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Community Score Cards : Creating Accountability Through Practicipation

Community Score Cards : Creating Accountability Through Practicipation

State and Development Partner

Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand

Save the Children

Problem

Most often, citizens view themselves as mere recipients of government services without having a say in their functioning. This attitude renders citizens voiceless in a system which is designed to benefit them. The need to create feedback loops that inform service delivery providers how to better their services is essential. The first unit of India's administrative system begins at the Panchayat level, a participatory system, so it is only natural for this approach to be used to improve services.

Conventional Solution

Typically, services like health, infrastructure, financial inclusion reach the masses through awareness generation. The interaction between service user and provider remains transactional and the focus is on reach more than quality.

Behavioural Insight Based Solution

The quality, efficiency, and accountability with which services are provided at different levels are essential to ensure community uptake. Recognising this need, Save the Children Community Score Cards (CSC) have been introduced across districts as part of the Stop Diarrhoea Initiative. CSC is a two-way and ongoing participatory tool for assessment, planning, monitoring, and evaluation of services. It's a 5 step process that entails setting up the scorecard, collective scoring, bringing together the users and providers, action plan implementation, and public hearing. It works on the behavioural principle that when there is a lack of involvement and accountability, it affects community uptake of services because citizens don't feel a sense of ownership and trust in the system. When service users are empowered and given the platform to aid the improvement of service, there is an increased level of involvement from the community. The public hearing makes this issue social because it mobilises people and seeks their input on public services, thus building a sense of social trust which positively impacts community involvement. The community is further motivated by a healthy competition to outperform other communities in the district.

Impact

A third party baseline and endline evaluation show there is a marked improvement in the positive perception of the quality of public service from 43% to 80% over a span of one year. Out of a total of 21 indicators, those that were marked poor in the bepinninp of the year was 21% which reduced to 6% by the end of the year.

"Community Score Cards have enabled us to better understand the many issues in our village. And this has led to better solutions to those problems. In the future, we would like to resolve issues as quickly as possible." - Mamta, Dausni, Uttrakhand

Source : Stories of Change from India's Aspirational districts - NITI Aayog publication



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