Friday, August 24, 2012

Community Score card

By JT

Community Score Cards are qualitative monitoring tools that are used for local level monitoring and performance evaluation of services, projects and government administrative units by the communities themselves. The community score card (CSC) process is a hybrid of the techniques of social audit, community monitoring and citizen report cards. They are a an instrument to exact social and public accountability and responsiveness from service providers. However, by including an interface meeting between service providers and the community that allows for immediate feedback, the process becomes also a strong instrument for empowerment. YAA partners have therefore in the recent past been gathering information and interface meetings will be guided by the findings.

Coalition Members through our partners administered CSC and got responses from the respondents that included service providers that were mainly from the education ministry at the district level, heads of schools and local learning institutions, teachers and CBF committee members, or respondents from organized groups would include members of local CBOs/NGOs working on areas that are being monitored and service users that were a sample of respondents drawn from the general citizenry and was determined based on the vastness of monitored area, e.g. based on number of locations or divisions so that each has at least one respondent.

The findings were categorised in four areas that included :

1. Enhanced involvement of the community in the school activities identified
The score card focused on involvement of community members in running the school, attendance and evidence of attendance through constructive evidence in minutes. Service providers indicated that they most of the time involve the community a lot. 100 % of the respondents in this category stated that they notified parents and community members to come for the meetings like PTA, School Day etc and to discuss priorities of the school. This is opposed to Users who stated that few 56% are sometimes informed and the rest that they are never informed. On attendance after notification more than 67% of Service provider respondents stated that the community indeed attends. On whether the minutes of such meetings are circulated more than 77% service providers stated that it is done compared to more than 56 % of the community who stated that they never see the minutes.

2. On ensuring a transparent procurement processes
Providers indicated that they most of the time followed proper procurement processes and procedures. 89 % of the respondents in this category stated that they adhered to the laid down procedures contrary to service users perception that indicated a whooping 64% stating that they are never followed and an 18% giving benefit of doubt by stating that the school administrators sometimes follow the procedures as laid down. On release of funds in a timely money by the School Finance Commitees, it was established that 67% of Service providers perceive that often they are released on time whereas Service Users feel that they are not released in a timely monner up to 40%, whereas 50% stated that it is sometimes so. 10% agreed with the SPs that it is often released on time.

3.On increased participation of the community in management of and monitoring of the project:

100% of Service providers stated that the school budgets are accessible more often than not compared to 33% of the users. 11% stated that they never access the budgets at all. Respondents from service provision up to 87 % stated that it is transparent in budgetary processes whereas 56 % of Users indicate that it is not. On releases respondents stated that there is often proper release and use of resources. 50% of Provider and 33% of Users indicated so. While 10% of providers state that resources are not used transparently, 56% of users agree with them. A close number 10% and 11 % respectively indicate that they are sometimes transparently used.

On whether receipts are issued for every payment and expenditure, respondents were very divided with 100% of Providers stating that they give receipts whereas 56% of users stated that they never issue receipts for every payment. This is also something that was reflected on the school’s audited annual accounts accessibility where more than 90% of service providers stated that they are accessible and an almost equal number of Users stated that they are sometimes available.

4. Quality assurance for projects
This considered whether school projects were completed in time and the quality of completed work. 56% of Provider and 10% of users indicated it is so often. While 22% of providers state that projects are completed very often in time, 30% of Users disagreed. 60 % indicated that it is sometimes in time while 22 % of Providers agree with them. On the level of work on projects being satisfactorily completed 56% of Provider and 33% additional stated that completed work is of quality often and very often respectively. However Users indicated otherwise up to 80%. While 11% of providers state that projects are sometimes fine and 20% of users agree with them.

After reviewing the results I recommended that:
• All efforts should be made to ensure that the primary stakeholders i.e parents, teachers and students are included in running of the school as a matter of policy.
• Critical awareness on the problems of Secondary Education should be generated through media campaigns, public dialogues and debates, drama and processions so that different manifestation of corruption in secondary education, the poor management of Secondary Education and its consequences on the quality of basic education is curtailed.
• Collaboration by the Users with government institutions should be enhanced. Local authorities should directly participate with the Users in call-in talk shows, in public dialogues where they will be alerted to concrete cases of corruption on projects so as to take concrete actions.
• Creation of inroads into the discussions of the policy on Universal Secondary Education and advocacy on concrete amendments to the upcoming reforms be drafted and a broad coalition of key players in the field of education be created to continue to advocate for the concrete changes in the management of Secondary Education.
• A coalition of organisations that are especially interested in working closely together on combating corruption in secondary education be formed comprising of YAA and Coalition partners. These organisations should be part of the campaign and should continue the work of ensuring better quality and management of education.

These were the score cards I analysed in Kenya YAA Dec 2011

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