Experience in anti-corruption and integrity building in the last decade has shown that governance reforms intended to bring tangible impact to the everyday life of citizens and communities encounter the tough challenge of “closing the loop”. There is an urgent need for local decision makers and aid suppliers to have an effective and efficient feedback mechanism from the ultimate beneficiaries to inform policy and interventions. Moreover, in Africa, citizens and communities have to depart from mere beneficiaries to be active stakeholders in the governance of development efforts in their areas to meet their needs. Such change requires not only the capacity to monitor service provision and realisation of rights but indeed the capability to engage in a constructive manner with key stakeholders, including service providers and aid suppliers, for better performance.
Governments, NGOs and others are publishing more data than ever before on their finances and projects, but without input from citizens it’s almost impossible to know if the money is being spent as it should be and if funds are reaching those who need them most. That’s why we’re delighted to announce a grant of £13,000 to Integrity Action to address this problem. Integrity Action have already built an online platform, Development Check, to enable civil society organisations to monitor service delivery in their country. This grant will help them build a simple app that partners can use to input data via mobile phones. Part of the grant will also enable Integrity Action to work with partner organisations in Côte dʼIvoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Liberia and Sierra Leone to monitor project implementation in their communities.
The second phase of the project – which we are not funding – will evaluate use and results of the Development Check platform and app and identify areas for further improvement and development.