World Voices Uganda, in partnership with Development Research & Training, has produced a guide to using the Bataka Court system they have supported to increase access to justice for the poor in several discricts in Uganda.
The Bataka Courts projects has drawn on traditional justice systems to tackel unequal access to justice for poor people, who often find themselves marginalised from a formal court system which is expensive, slow and difficult to access.
The new guide explains the advantages of using traditional justice systems such as Bataka Courts, which draw on pre-existing cultural norms and understandinds to solve simple disputes such as domestic or land disagreements. The courts operate quickly, cheaply and within the community where the dispute occurred.
The Bataka Court is facilitated by the penal of 7 elders selected by community members to dispense justice and resolve conflict.
- Are media, civil society, elected representatives (parliament and local councillors) and traditional leaders the most effective interlocutors of voice and accountability?
- Does working in coalitions make a difference to the effectiveness of these interlocutors in enhancing voice and accountability?
- Does use of evidence make a difference to the effectiveness of interlocutors either on their own or in coalitions?
These are some of the questions that this paper seeks to answer, based on the author's research with the partners and beneficiaries of Mwananchi in Malawi, the Liu Lathu programme.
Each country programme benefits from a local governance expert (for example from a local university), who acts as an insider-outsider, visiting project sites and working with the National Coordinating Organisation to review and consolidate lessons learnt, within the framework of the Mwananchi theory of change.
Asiyati Chiweza acted as the local governance expert for the Liu Lathu programme, and this paper presents her findings, including challenges in understanding and taking into account how accountability is understood in different contexts, the effectiveness of use of evidence and why in the Malawian context civil society organisations seem to have been most effective at achieving their aims.
Working paper: Citizen voice and state accountability - towards a theories of change that embrace contextual dynamics
Development practice is increasingly being pushed to achieve results as well as to explain clearly 'what works or what does not work and under what circumstances' on the path to achieving such results.
There is particular concern regarding the ways individual cases of success can be scaled up to other contexts so that broad-based national economic growth and development or poverty reduction objectives can be achieved.
Making theories of change (ToCs) explicit right from the start of development projects can help in discovering what will need to happen in order to get from 'here' to 'there'.
Exploring ToCs should also become a central part of rigorous independent evaluations and of ascertaining the effectiveness and impacts of development interventions. In other words, good ToCs will enhance the rigour of evaluations from the beginning of an intervention process and not just at the end of a development programme.
This Working Paper provides a critical analysis of a series of citizen voice and accountability (CV&A) cases from the Mwananchi Governance and Transparency Fund (GTF) programme in order to develop some patterns of observation and thought lines which, when put together, form an analytical framework for developing theories of change (ToCs) for CV&A projects.
In developing this analytical framework, this paper draws on the principles of the well-known approaches of outcome mapping (OM) and political economy analysis(PEA).
12 October 2012: Fletcher Tembo, Director of the Mwananchi Programme, gave this presentation at the World Vision event 'Achieving better health outcomes through investments in social accountability' at the annual meeting of the World Bank and the IMF in Tokyo.
Fletcher presented the Mwananchi theory of change, the progress made by the programme over the last four years and said "asking how we got to where we are can frequently help furnish an answer to the question: 'how do we get from here to there?'".
Dr. Fletcher Tembo, the Director of the Mwananchi Programme, facilitated the Pan-African civil society empowerment and accountability learning event in Nairobi in June 2012.
The event was a rich discussion between staff from eight DFID-funded demand-side empowerment and accountability programmes from across Africa, as well as DFID officers. Priority issues under discussion included theories of change, value for money, sustainability and results in voice and accountability programmes.
Participants shared the dilemmas they were facing in their programmes, such as:
- What counts as results? How do webest track and measure intangible results among numerous programmes and outcomes?
- How do we approach the tension between attribution and contribution when it comes to analysing the impact of our programmes on results?
- How should we define sustainability?
- How do we go beyond civil society as organisations, to use multi-donor funds to incentivise effective citizenship within Africa?
To read more about the event and the different models participants shared, click here.