PROOF: Transparency in Governance with active citizens participation
The Campaign: Launched on July 4th 2002 in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka.
The Objective: to create a structure where the city Municipal Corporation (Bangalore Mahanagara Palike or BMP as it is known) makes public its quarterly performance data and citizens participate constructively in the process.
The Partners: Centre for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS) with expertise in Performance Analysis; Public Affairs Centre (PAC) which works for Transprency through Report Cards; Janaagraha; for Citizens Mobilisation and Participation; and VOICES for Community Awareness and Communication.
One point of engagement are the public discussions that follow the announcement of each of the four quarterly reports. These provide the opportunity to bring financial accountability and performance measurement into the public space and act as catalysts in the larger process of bringing the government and the public closer together. Three public discussions around the data for the first three quarters, Q1 ,Q2 & Q3, of the BMP have been held. More than 120 people participated in each – Senior BMP officials and Councillors and representatives of the Corporate, developmental, education sectors and others were present. (The ability of the BMP to respond quickly in furnishing the quarterly financial performance in a user-friendly format is indeed both creditable and noteworthy. It must be mentioned here that the BMP has a state of art computerized Fund Based Accounting System (FBAS) in place thanks to a 3 years long effort of the Bangalore Agenda Task Force.)
The PROOF team has designed a training programme aimed at any interested citizen on ‘How to Read Government Financial Statements”. Training sessions are being held all across the city. For both Q2 & Q3, citizens analysed the data at a workshop ahead of the public discussions and presented their findings.
Performance Indicators to evaluate the services of the BMP in the area of education has been developed with valuable inputs and suggestions from the Education Department of the BMP. Forty four BMP run schools were evaluated on the basis of this and 5 of these have been selected for a pilot study to see how citizens involvement can improve their rating on the PI scale.
Performance Indicators for BMP-run health care units too have been developed and the campign is in the process of collecting data. A similar exercise is to be undertaken in the area of Storm Water Drains..
The campaign in striving to enable community participation and ownership. Some of the strategies include creating a core group called the Proof Energy Centre, airing PROOF PUTTANNA, a weekly series on AIR (FM), circulating an e-newsletter, encouraging monthly student activities in colleges, etc. Many of these activities are being coordinated by the members of the PEC themselves. Get in touch with us
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The Q4 analysis held on April 12 at the IPP center drew 40 citizens. The quality of participation this time round was much richer compared to earlier analysis reflecting the better understanding citizens now have of BMP’s budget data. This is ample proof the ground the campaign has covered since it began in July 2002.