1 Stakeholder Involvement in PRS Monitoring By Walter Eberlei and Thomas Siebold This working paper is a contribution to the project Participation in PRS Implementation, conducted by the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), University of Duisburg- Essen/Germany (see on behalf of The World Bank, Participation and Civic Engagement Team (P&CE team) in the Social Development Department. Walter Eberlei is Professor of Development Sociology at the University of Applied Sciences, Düsseldorf (Germany) (contact: Dr. Thomas Siebold, is a political scientist affiliated with the Institute for Development and Peace (INEF), University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany) (contact: Duisburg, June 2006
2 2 Contents: 1. Summary Conceptual Aspects of Stakeholder Participation in PRS Monitoring Stakeholder Involvement in Monitoring: Experience from PRS Countries Structural dimensions of stakeholder involvement in PRS monitoring Legal basis of stakeholder involvement in PRS monitoring Legitimacy of stakeholders involved in PRS monitoring Capacity of stakeholders involved in PRS monitoring Conclusions Bibliography List of boxes and tables: P & CE Team Project: Participation in PRS Implementation, Monitoring and Revision... 3 Monitoring tools and their focus Tanzania: Poverty Policy Week and other dialogue forums Uganda: Monitoring through the Poverty Action Fund Honduras: Consejo Consultivo de la Estrategia de Reducción de Pobreza (CCERP) Mozambique: The Observatório da Pobreza Monitoring output: Citizen Report Card and Community Score Card Bad practice: How donors impeded participation in the annual review Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Project (UPPAP) Legal basis for monitoring and evaluation: Bolivia and Tanzania High legitimacy: The network Civil Society for Poverty Reduction in Zambia Monitoring from a gender perspective the Gender Budget Initiative in Tanzania Uganda: parliament with more rights Weak IFI s statements on participation in monitoring the example of Mali... 22
3 3 P & CE Team Project: Participation in PRS Implementation, Monitoring and Revision The elaboration of Poverty Reduction Strategies has seen a promising amount of stakeholder participation in many PRS countries, even if considerable quality problems are recognizable (exclusion of marginalized groups, speed and depth, ad hoc nature of participation events, macro-economic and structural policies being off-limits). Most countries have now started implementing their PRSP, with participation dwindling instead of being institutionalized. Some observers speak of a 'participation gap'. The situation seems to be slightly more promising for the issue of participation in monitoring & evaluation of PRS, as in many countries independent civil society monitoring or participatory monitoring arrangements are planned, although mostly not yet operational. Stakeholder participation in the revision process has been occurring in a number of countries, but not much is known about the way this is done. For most of these issues a systematic review of experience is not available at this stage. Building on earlier work on participation in elaborating PRSPs, the Participation and Civic Engagement Team (P&CE team) in the World Bank Social Development Department has included in its FY06 work program a review of experience with participation in implementation, monitoring and revisions of PRSP. The German Institute for Development and Peace (INEF University of Duisburg-Essen) has been selected to support this review work. The overall objective is to increase the current understanding of the status, practice and challenges of participation in PRS implementation (incl. monitoring, evaluation, revisions, policy reforms, institutionalization) and to make conceptual as well as good practice` contributions to the current discussion. Different types of reviews have been carried out to gain an overall idea of the status, experience and challenges related to the issue. Besides a review of the international debate (Siebold 2005) and a desk review of 15 PRS countries (INEF 2005), a set of four background papers has been produced to analyze the following specific topics: What does stakeholder participation in PRS implementation mean? Theoretical background and empirical evidence (Bliss 2006) Stakeholder participation in policy reforms linked to PRS implementation (Führmann 2006) Stakeholder involvement in PRS monitoring (Eberlei / Siebold 2006) Early experience with participation in PRS revision processes (Eberlei 2006a). These four papers have informed two final products: the Synthesis Paper - synthesizing the findings and conclusions and discussing core conceptual aspects of the theme (Eberlei 2006b) Guidelines for practitioners - based on lessons learned and conceptual developments, this task serves the purpose of guiding the actions of in-country stakeholders, the international community and the WB in particular (Rodenberg 2006). The findings, interpretations and conclusions in these papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Bank for Reconstruction / The World Bank Group.
4 4 Abbreviations AMHON APR BMZ CCA-ONG CCERP CG CRD CSC CSO CSPR CWIQ DDCC DFID ECAMA GBI GTZ HIPC IDA IFI IMF INEF IPA JSA KePIM MDGs M+E MEJN MP NGO ONG OP PAF PANE PER PMC PMS PRS PRSP PEAP PPA PPEM PPER Asociación de Municipios de Honduras Annual Progress Report Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) Conseil de Concertation et d Appui aux ONG (Mali) Consejo Consultivo de la Estrategia de Reducción de Pobreza Consultative Group Citizen Report Card Citizen Score Card Civil Society Organization Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (Zambia) Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire District Development Coordinanting Committee (Zambia) Department for International Development (UK) Economic Association of Malawi Gender Budget Initiative (Tanzania) Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (German Technical Cooperation) Highly Indebted Poor Country International Development Association International Finance Institution International Monetary Fund Institut für Entwicklung und Frieden (Institute for Development and Peace) Institute for Policy Alternatives (Ghana) Joint Staff Assessment Kenya Participatory Impact Monitoring Millennium Development Goals Monitoring and Evaluation Malawi Economic Justice Network Member of Parliament Non-Governmental Organization Organisation Non-Gouvernementale Observatório da Pobreza Poverty Action Fund (Uganda) Poverty Action Network of Civil Society in Ethiopia Public Expenditure Review Poverty Action Fund Monitoring Committee (Uganda) Poverty Monitoring System Poverty Reduction Strategy Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Poverty Eradication Action Plan (Uganda) Participatory Poverty Assessment Participatory Public Expenditure Management Participatory Public Expenditure Review
5 5 PPETS Participatory Public Expenditure Tracking Survey PRF Poverty Reduction Fund PRSC Poverty Reduction Strategy Credit PRSP Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper PSIA Poverty and Social Impact Assessment SAG Sector Advisory Group (Zambia) SEND foundation Social Enterprise Foundation of West Africa TANGO Tanzania Association of NGOs TGNP Tanzania Gender Network Programme UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNICEF United Nations International Children s Fund UDN Uganda Debt Network UPPAP Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Project VENRO Verband Entwicklungspolitik deutscher Nichtregierungsorganisationen (Association of German Development NGO)
6 6 1. Summary The objective of this paper is to analyze the experience with stakeholder involvement in PRS monitoring in recent years. Four crucial aspects related to participation have specifically been taken into account: the structures for participation, the legal conditions, legitimacy aspects and the ability or capacity of the stakeholders. Based on basic conceptual considerations (chapter II) and the analyses of experience with PRS monitoring in PRS countries (chapter III), the paper draws a number of conclusions on the state of stakeholder involvement in PRS monitoring so far. 1 The report shows, first of all, that many countries with a Full-PRSP have made efforts to develop and implement some kind of PRS monitoring system. In many cases, governments have invited societal stakeholders to participate in the monitoring exercises in one way or another. A multitude of monitoring methods, techniques and tools have been developed in recent years. All these are positive developments showing that the PRS process in general and stakeholder participation in particular have gained ground in numerous countries. Nevertheless, there is plenty of room for improvement. Conceptual weaknesses, capacity constraints, in some cases also a lack of political will to implement transparent accountability systems are among the reasons for insufficient monitoring systems. Some major insights: Structures: It turns out that only few countries have developed an institutional framework of policy implementation and monitoring, and even fewer countries have developed the monitoring system in a participatory way. Countries with established permanent dialogue forums that encompass government and other stakeholders are rare. They demonstrate, however, that it is possible to develop monitoring mechanisms even in countries with weak institutions and plenty of capacity constraints. A basic conceptual problem is that it remains indistinct which stakeholder should and can assume which task within a monitoring structure. Rights: A legal basis for stakeholder involvement in monitoring systems is largely missing in many countries; there are, again, a few exceptions to the rule. Legitimacy: The involvement of democratically legitimized parliaments in monitoring exercises is meager, as is cooperation between parliaments and civil society although there are some potential links. In a range of countries, parallel monitoring processes often initiated to fulfill donor reporting and monitoring requirements are undermining existing (albeit weak) domestic accountability systems. Capacity: Discussion so far has concentrated on technical aspects while the wide-ranging political implications of stakeholder participation in monitoring have not been considered sufficiently. These have to be taken into account when selecting monitoring indicators, setting up monitoring systems, and strengthening the various capacity needs of stakeholders (e.g. including evidence based advocacy skills of civil society organizations). Overall conclusion: Despite positive developments, there is still some way to institutionalize stakeholder involvement in the political systems and processes of PRS countries. A necessary step to change this would be understanding the PRS process as an eminently political process, a process that is better associated with competition than with partnership of stakeholders in a society. 1 The analysis is based on the INEF country databank (see INEF 2005) and a desk study of secondary sources as well as interviews conducted by team members during earlier field work in several PRS countries, among them Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, Tanzania, and Uganda.
7 7 2. Conceptual Aspects of Stakeholder Participation in PRS Monitoring 1. The following lines cover some basic conceptual considerations on PRS monitoring: although participation in monitoring plays a crucial part in the PRS monitoring concept (2), it remains indistinct which stakeholder should and can assume which task (3). Discussion so far has concentrated on technical aspects while neglecting the wide-ranging political implications of participatory monitoring (4). These have to be taken into account when selecting monitoring indicators and setting up monitoring systems (5, 6). The MDGs can be regarded as overarching goals but can not be a substitute for a country-specific monitoring system (8). A multitude of monitoring methods, techniques and tools are available but more work needs to be done to develop the full potential of their participatory connotations (9). Feeding back the monitoring findings into the national policy dialogue is an important part of the process (10). However, dissemination tools and strategies are largely donor-oriented; coherent frameworks to reach stakeholders and target groups are rather the exception than the rule (11). For CSOs, integration in a governmentdominated monitoring system is a mixed blessing: they can gain influence but lose their independence (12). 2. Participatory monitoring and evaluation is an important part of the PRS cycle. Monitoring serves to determine to what degree and how successfully the PRS strategy has been put into effect, it serves to check the performance of implementation agencies and policies and it serves to adjust policies and implementation steps undertaken so far. As the Sourcebook points out: a monitoring system is needed to track indicators over time and space and to determine if they change as a result of the strategy (World Bank 2003: 107). The participation of a wide range of stakeholders in the monitoring system can channel the views and experience of actors into the process, it can to contribute to a better understanding of poor people s reality and it can encourage civil-society actors to engage in policy processes. Obviously government-led monitoring and independent monitoring by CSOs are not exclusive but complementary. While the former focuses on broad-based data collection with regard to output and outcome of government policies all over the country, the latter will ideally concentrate on gaining evidence on specific aspects of poverty reduction for public debate and advocacy work (e.g. inclusion of very poor strata of the population or specific-interest groups). Quite rightly, stakeholder participation in monitoring and evaluation processes is considered by many agencies to be an important activity to increase accountability and ownership of PRS processes (Lucas et al. 2002: 12). The IMF / World Bank 2005 review of the PRS approach states: Participation can be a key factor to enable stronger accountability (IMF / World Bank 2005: 26). 3. Which stakeholder should and can assume which task in the monitoring process? The question has not yet been answered satisfactorily. While it is clear that the same groups of society that contributed to the formulation and implementation of the PRS strategy should also participate in its monitoring (central government, government agencies, regional and local state entities, parliament, research institutions, civil society organizations, special-interest and advocacy groups), it is less clear which actor could and/or should have which role in a functioning monitoring system. Obviously, some stakeholders are more suited (capacity) and more legitimized for participation in certain phases and certain tasks than others. Although this question can only be answered conclusively on a country and case-by-case basis, it might be useful to approach it by
8 8 differentiating between different levels of participation: gathering of/providing information; controlling the process, contents and results of a monitoring activity; identifying shortcomings and reformulating policies; and implementing amendatory actions (Lucas et al. 2004: 17). Monitoring work of a parliament, for instance, would be largely confined to the second and third participation level; parliament should play an important role in the reformulation of policies. So long as they are not organized, the much-cited poor will participate in a monitoring exercise only as providers of information. CSOs, in principle, can play a role on all three levels of participation. Diverse as they are, they have varying degrees of access to information at different levels. However, their role in the monitoring process is often restricted by severe capacity constraints, not only in the financial and technical sense but also in the sense of leadership, the allocation of responsibilities, work effectiveness and management practices (Lucas et al. 2004: 7). For many CSOs it is difficult to engage in systematic monitoring work over a long period Stakeholder participation in PRS monitoring is an eminently political issue. The discussion does not always reflect this fact. There is a tendency to focus on the technical side of monitoring, thereby losing sight of the primarily political character of participation in PRS monitoring. As vital interests of numerous parties are at stake, it cannot be expected that all potentially participating stakeholders are interested in sharing all information that would be beneficial for the monitoring process. Groups that fear to be on the losing side cannot be expected to want to participate at all. Expectations on the level of participation can and will be often diverse and incompatible, leading to frustration and conflict (GTZ 2005: 35). A government cannot be expected to be in favor of monitoring at the outset, because it restricts its room for maneuver (GTZ 2004: 4; Foresti et al. 2002: 5). The hope, expressed in the Sourcebook (World Bank 2002: 122), that participation in monitoring could foster the partnership between the government and civil society, on the one hand, and between the government and donors on the other hand seems somewhat quixotic. PRS monitoring necessarily takes place in a highly contested political field and refers to the relations between civil society and the state, the state of democracy and the political culture in a country. Thus, all issues to be decided in the context of monitoring (targets, indicators, monitoring methods, data gathering, data processing, interpretation, and dissemination) should be understood as political issues that are part of a complex political bargaining process. The GTZ (2005: 35) rightly speaks of the potential political explosiveness of the entire PRSP and its monitoring. It seems to be more appropriate to associate monitoring with competition rather than with partnership. In many PRS countries, minimum requirements for fair political competition are hardly met. 5. The multidimensionality of poverty requires a wide range of different indicators to be incorporated in a monitoring exercise. This poses a big challenge to a participatory monitoring system. As poverty is a phenomenon with many facets and PRS policies try to deal with it in different fields, the monitoring process has to take into account both monetary and non-monetary 2 A number of initiatives are under way to improve capacity of CSO stakeholders. The Monitoring & Synthesis Project (2003: 13) gives the example of Mozambique. In the country (i) the Mozambique Debt Group intended to produce, among other PRS-related activities, an indicative guide to PRS monitoring; (ii) the LINK NGO Forum proposed to work on raising awareness and promoting civil society monitoring of the PRS; and (iii) Action Aid is working to strengthen district planning processes in pilot districts, seeing these as opening spaces and creating capacities for PRS monitoring.
9 9 aspects and it has to gather and process quantitative and qualitative data. The complexity of the task poses a considerable challenge that is compounded by the missing middle problem, the lack of intermediate indicators 3 : Even if goals are clearly defined in PRSPs - though this is not always the case - it often remains unclear how these goals are to be achieved or, if actions are proposed, why these actions should have been more successful than comparable actions in the past (Booth/Lucas 2002: v) 4. In many cases, the precise chains of causality between measures and impact remain indistinct and should be publicly debated (Lucas et al. 2004: 30). However, many non-governmental stakeholders lack the necessary expertise (and resources) to take part in a political process that discusses appropriate indicators for poverty tracking. 6. The process of selecting indicators and setting up a monitoring system is a complex procedure of political bargaining. This is all the more true for genuine socio-political aspects of PRSs. The process has the potential to stimulate a debate on development priorities and strategies and stimulate the engagement of non-government stakeholders. Goals and strategies that are formulated in PRSPs are often quite vague. The lack of clear guidance, especially in the early PRSPs, led to a "shopping list" approach: a multitude of indicators related to poverty were added indiscriminately (GTZ 2005: 54f). Even nowadays serious weaknesses remain especially as far as socio-political aspects are concerned. Good governance and anti-corruption measures play an important role in many PRSPs, though it is often not clear how developments can be tracked in these areas (GTZ 2005: 56). A free public debate on these issues seems to be a prerequisite for monitoring socio-political reforms. It can motivate civil society stakeholders to get involved in a monitoring activity. 7. To be strategically meaningful, indicators should be specified in terms of input, output, outcome and impact and need to be formulated precisely. Monitoring can be divided into four different levels: input and output monitoring (subsumed under the notion implementation monitoring ) and outcome and impact monitoring (labeled poverty monitoring ). Inputs are resources and activities (e.g. material, extension services, seminars) that can normally be expressed in monetary terms. Outputs are the results of the inputs (e.g. trained teachers, refurbished schools, and rehabilitated sewerage systems). Outcomes are rendered by the outputs when target groups (or other citizens) use the goods and services offered, e.g. when they benefit from a health care centre set up under the PRS strategy. Impacts are the intended or unintended results of (several) outcomes; normally, impacts refer to the poverty situation of a particular group of the population (GTZ 2004a: 40f.). Although it is not yet fully clear when outcomes are to be understood as impacts, the distinction has become widely accepted and has shown to be useful. Besides distinguishing indicators in these four categories, they have also to be formulated precisely: To be fully effective and usable for policymakers, the Monitoring & Synthesis Project (2003: 8) clarifies that indicators need to be tangible, discrete (not overlapping) and SMART 3 The Monitoring & Synthesis Project (2003: 9) refers to a number of intermediate indicators in more recent PRSPs and declares that the middle is no longer missing but concedes that there remain a number of weaknesses. 4 Lucas et al. (2004: 30) point to the fact that the lack of intermediate indicators in early PRSPs was not a simple oversight. The emphasis on outcomes and impacts reflected a reasonable desire for evidence that policies were resulting in actual as opposed to potential improvements in the living standards of the poor.
10 10 Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Apparently, more recent PRSs have gone some way towards outlining indicators that meet these conditions. 8. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be regarded as overarching goals in PRS processes. But they cannot be a substitute for the participatory development of a country-specific strategy and country-specific indicators. In the early years of PRS processes there was some controversy about the relationship between PRSP goals and MDGs. The joint declaration of the World Bank and the United Nations Development Group in April 2003 seems to have settled the matter. Since then, the MDGs are considered as the overarching goals to be operationalized by country-specific strategies and indicators (GTZ 2005a: 33). However, as CIDSE/CI (2005: 7) point out, this understanding is not without risks: MDGs as poverty reduction targets may sacrifice the participatory and country-specific character of the PRS approach. Therefore we propose that the MDGs be interpreted as indicative areas of concern, to be localized within a participatory process and developed into targets which are appropriate and achievable. 9. There are numerous monitoring methods, techniques and tools that are more or less appropriate to participation of non-government stakeholders. One of the first entry points for CSO monitoring is the public budget; it can be a key vehicle for civil society to check whether or not a promised policy or measure is being implemented. Participatory Public Expenditure Management (PPEM) or Participatory Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PPETS) came into being through the HIPC initiative and involve stakeholders in the collection, analysis and dissemination of expenditure data. In a functioning monitoring exercise stakeholders provide the necessary information on whether the funds were used according to their allocation (Feuerhahn 2005: 7f; Lucas et al. 2004: 26; GTZ 2004a: 56). A Participatory Public Expenditure Review (PPER) has a stronger focus on the general course of the budget in the light of poverty reduction promises (Feuerhahn 2005: 8). Bringing in stakeholders perspectives, it analyses e.g. the congruence between policy and expenditures, investigate[s] the efficiency of expenditures in selected sectors, or take[s] a position on incorporating donor funds in the budget sheets (GTZ 2004a: 55). The Budget Analysis goes to the very beginning of the PPEM cycle; it confronts the budget proposals with the views of critical stakeholders. Social Audits are very similar instruments to PPERs and PPETSs and are used predominantly in Latin America (Feuerhahn 2005: 9). CIDSE/CI (2005: 16) observe that civil society initiatives around budget monitoring and advocacy at local and national level are gaining increased ground and are an important element in developing capacity to engage in debates related to economic policy over the long-term. Working like opinion polls, Citizen Report Cards (CRDs) and Community Score Cards (CSCs) are an instrument for gathering systematic feedback from stakeholders on the quality and performance of government service providers to identify flaws in service delivery and strengthen the accountability of service providers. Provided that independent CSOs have the necessary capacities at their disposal, they can carry out this work, decide on the services to be monitored and select the indicators to be tracked (Feuerhahn 2005: 10f; Lucas et al. 2004: 28). Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPAs) focus on the knowledge the poor have about their situation, and involve them as stakeholders in the selection of poverty indicators. Being anchored in the government structure (normally the Ministry of Finance) the use of PPAs apparently dropped in recent years as the policy impact of the assessments did not live up to expectations (Feuerhahn 2005: 12; GTZ 2004a:
11 11 51). Poverty and Social Impact Assessments (PSIAs) are intended to timely evaluate the social impact of major policy reforms and to contribute to better evidence-based pro-poor policymaking; some of the instruments are purely technical, some participatory. Observers recognize that PSIAs can generate relevant findings within a fairly short time frame but deplore the lack of transparency and involvement of national stakeholders that lead the PSIA to remain just another technical tool in the World Bank panoply of analytic instruments (CIDSE/CI 2005: 8; see also Holvoet/Renard 2005: 15; Feuerhahn 2005:13; Asche 2003: 9f). CIDSE/CI (2005: 21) therefore recommends redesigning the PSIA instrument to achieve better evidence-based policy making that is pro-poor and to build country capacity for poverty analysis. Finally, the Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire (CWIQ) developed by the World Bank, UNICEF and UNDP is a comparatively simple survey instrument to provide household data within a very short time frame on a sufficiently large sample. It collects, normally on an annual basis, up to 10 indicators such as the consumption of certain goods and the ownership of assets. The CWIQ can serve as an additional instrument to improve the value of institutional data (World Bank 2002: 118 Box 3.3; Lucas et al. 2004: 26; GTZ 2004a, 53). Monitoring tools and their focus Focus on Country examples Input Output Outcomes Impacts PPEM/PPETS Social Audit (X) X Gambia, Ghana, Uganda Bolivia, Honduras PPER (X) X Malawi, Tanzania Budget Analysis X Ghana, Kenya, Malawi CRD/CSC (X) (X) X (X) Albania, Ghana, Philippines PPA X Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia PSIA (X) X Ghana, Uganda CWIQ X (X) Ghana, Pakistan, Tanzania 10. The dissemination of monitoring results is an important part of participatory PRS monitoring that has not yet found adequate attention. It is important that findings and recommendations be accessible to community councils, local women s organizations, and ethnic, religious, environmental and other groups representing communities to whom programs are targeted, the Sourcebook states (World Bank 2002: 126). Obviously, dissemination is not only about giving stakeholders access to (government) findings, but also about dissemination of stakeholders own monitoring findings and feeding back all monitoring cognitions into the national policy dialogue and policy formulation processes. Only then can government and other responsible PRS actors be held effectively accountable. Although the dissemination of monitoring results figures in all PRSPs often the role of the mass media is underlined -, in reality this part of monitoring often leaves much to be desired (Monitoring & Synthesis Project 2003: 11; Wood 2005: 7f; Schnell/Forster 2003: 19f). The GTZ study (2005: 63) sees it as an area that is so deficient that, in effect, neither accountability nor dialogue is possible amongst the governments, parliaments, and citizens. One reason for this deficiency lies in the donor orientation of PRS monitoring systems. Most are focused exclusively on meeting the requirements of donors (IMF / World Bank 2005: 23).
12 The institutional set-up of monitoring systems is inevitably shaped by governments and their attitude towards non-governmental stakeholders. Normally, an (official) coordinating committee or a central secretariat or unit exists that exerts some oversight or leadership and where the government and its agencies are the most powerful actors. Thus, much depends on the political will of the government to engage in serious monitoring and to be monitored by non-government stakeholders (Feuerhahn 2005: 22) 5. This is compounded by the fact that in most cases nongovernmental monitoring is not formally recognized or integrated in monitoring systems; participation remains very much ad hoc (Wood 2005: 7; Holvoet/Renard 2005: 27). Given the dissimilarity of countries, there is no blueprint for the institutional structure of a PRS monitoring system but some key points can be specified: it should build on existing structures (or systems); it should be inclusive permitting all relevant stakeholders (also latecomers) to join; it should be compatible with the available capacity (GTZ 2004: 4; GTZ 2004a: 37; GTZ 2005: 62); and it should be based on a legal framework that endows civil stakeholders with justiciable rights protecting them from arbitrary government actions (Eberlei 2005). 12. Bringing CSO-stakeholders closer to government monitoring systems potentially increases their participation but also raises the question of their independence. It is a delicate question that can be answered only on a case-by-case basis: how to find a level of integration that ensures effective and meaningful participation of non-government stakeholders without affecting their necessary independence (Holvoet/Renard 2005: 28; Wood 2005: 26) 6. Lucas et al. (2002: 21) challenge the view that CSOs should always participate in joint monitoring activities, particularly if that involvement is heavily dependent on government funding. It can be argued that at least some would be much better occupied in the independent analysis of monitoring data, such that they are in a position to seriously debate the interpretation of findings with central and local government agencies. 3. Stakeholder Involvement in Monitoring: Experience from PRS Countries 13. All 45 countries with a Full PRSP have developed some kind of monitoring system at least on paper. This consistent picture has to do with the PRS principles, of course: The PRS approach and other initiatives have strengthened the focus on results. This has created a substantial incremental demand for data, underscoring the need for effective national monitoring systems (IMF / World Bank 2005: 22). What is the role of stakeholder participation in the existing PRS monitoring systems? Observers share the opinion that the participation of societal stakeholders vanished to a large extent after finalization of the strategy papers ( participation gap ): In the vast majority of countries participation procedures concentrated on strategy development and PRSP formulation; participation in implementation, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) was more or less neglected (Siebold 2005: 14, based on numerous sources). Nevertheless, and despite this disappointing overall picture, the PRS processes have so far produced a variety of experience with 5 Wood (2005: 35) states a tendency on the part of many governments to assume that budget and other government information should be kept secret which has hampered CSO access to data. 6 This is compounded by the fact that CSOs also often play an important role in implementing the very policies they are supposed to be critically monitoring and evaluating. (Holvoet/Renard 2005: 18)
13 13 participatory monitoring in at least some of the countries. The following chapter deals with these examples. 14. To systematically describe and analyze the numerous country cases, the chapter uses the conceptual framework of institutionalized participation in PRS processes. The 2005 PRS Review emphasized the need for institutionalized participation that should contribute to sustaining meaningful participation (IMF / World Bank 2005: 10, 26). Four elements have been proposed to define this concept (Eberlei 2001, 2002). Institutionalized participation has to be integrated in the political structures of the country. Meaningful, sustainable participation requires a clearly defined institutional setup for dialogue between all stakeholders at national and local levels. needs to be rights-based. Meaningful, sustainable participation requires a number of fundamental rights and safeguards. is inconceivable without capable stakeholders (e.g. analytical, technical, advocacy skills). needs legitimacy (e.g. decisions by democratically legitimized bodies, involving broad-based civil society networks, including social movements and organizations representing the poor). These four dimensions are used to structure the following chapter and to systematically organize good or bad practices from PRS countries. 3.1 Structural dimensions of stakeholder involvement in PRS monitoring 15. Only few countries have developed an institutional framework for stakeholder involvement in monitoring systems. The comprehensive monitoring of policy implementation from input, output and outcomes through to impact is an entirely new requirement for developing countries and is a direct consequence of the PRS principle of results-based strategies. The fact is: Monitoring and Evaluation is among the weaker parts of most of the PRSPs. We argue that PRSP with its focus on process conditionality functions as a catalyst for change, while its basic philosophy of participation and comprehensiveness puts at the same time unrealistic demands on at best embryonic national M&E systems (Hoelvoet/Renard 2005: 4). Only a handful of countries have developed a relatively far-reaching monitoring system not just on paper (like the majority of the PRS countries) but have also breathed life into it. Comprehensive institutional monitoring systems are to be found e.g. in Tanzania, Uganda (Booth 2005, Booth/Nsagabasani 2005) and Mozambique (Gerster 2005). 16. Even fewer countries have developed participatory monitoring systems in a participatory way. The monitoring systems were as a rule, but for different reasons, developed by a small group of technocrats in governments and donor institutions. Most of the non-state actors lacked the know-how to participate in this task. In many cases, however, governments and donors on the one hand were reluctant to involve stakeholders in this process, and on the other hand non-state actors showed no interest in tackling a task they understood to be technical. In some cases, donors competed against each other to install what in their opinion was the "right" monitoring system (e.g. DFID and GTZ in Zambia). Monitoring systems developed in a participatory manner are rare. A positive example is Armenia: the government and non-state actors have been working together
14 14 around a so-called 'negotiation table' to develop a new multi-stakeholder institutional framework for the coordination of the PRSP process (Azizyan/Mallmann 2005: 2). 17. In a number of countries, new donor-driven monitoring systems have undermined existing (weak) systems. Nearly all constitutions of PRS countries provide for some controls over government actions, e.g. by parliaments or institutions like the Auditor General, etc. In most cases, these are weak institutions which the donors did not think were capable of carrying out effective monitoring. So, as a result: Performance monitoring systems were set up in parallel to existing (albeit often weak) domestic ones. These practices have at times fragmented scarce human capacity and drawn attention away from strengthening existing processes. Disconnecting the PRS cycle from domestic political cycles can also detract from domestic accountability. (IMF / World Bank 2005: 44) 18. There are only few countries with established permanent dialogue forums between government and other stakeholders dealing with PRS monitoring. Some countries have at least formed working groups that meet at regular intervals to report on and discuss the progress made in PRS implementation, e.g. Ghana (National Intra-Agency Poverty Monitoring Groups) and Zambia (Sector Working Groups) or have set up new institutions involving non-governmental stakeholders, e.g. Kenya (National Economic and Social Council) and Honduras (Consejo Consultivo de la Estrategia de Reducción de Pobreza). However, as in these four countries, the role of such forums is in many cases a very weak one. By contrast, a whole system of monitoring groups with different tasks was established in 2001 in Tanzania. Non-governmental stakeholders among them civil society, academia, private sector, major faith groups and donors are represented in the National Poverty Monitoring Steering Committee as well as in several working groups (Evans/Ngalwea 2003: 279; Shariff Samji 2005: 55; Booth 2005: 37-40). Institutionalized dialogue structures, also in the sector of budgetary control, e.g. Public Expenditure Reviews, are implemented on a participatory basis (CIDSE/CI 2005: 15). In addition, a large public forum is now held on an annual basis: the Poverty Policy Week (see box). In Uganda and Mozambique, too, structures set up for monitoring have meantime become firmly established (see boxes). Tanzania: Poverty Policy Week and other dialogue forums Since 2002, the annual Poverty Policy Week serves the purpose of an open forum and thus opens up the space for public debate on poverty reduction (Shariff Samji 2005: 62-63). Consequently, civil society actors (most notably big NGOs) engage in the debate, which is based on the government's Poverty and Human Development Report. As a vital part of the PMS, participation is drawn from the Consultative Group Meeting between government and international donors; civil society actors are invited to take their stand during the open session (e.g. in December 2002; IDA/IMF 2004). As part of the CG Meeting, the Annual Progress Reports (APR) appeared on the agenda. While the first APR has been widely criticized for passing the chance to include civil society in its formulation (Evans/Ngalwea 2003: 278), the two follow-ups (2003 and 2004), according to the government, incorporated the societal stance through workshops and the aforementioned Poverty Policy Weeks. Since December 2001 the annual Poverty Monitoring Master Plan delineates the diverse structure of the Tanzanian PMS and specifically describes the institutional framework for poverty monitoring: the Poverty Monitoring Steering Committee with about 30 members representing key stakeholders; among those, civil society representatives such as the Tanzania Gender Network Programme (TGNP), the NGO network TANGO and Save the Children (international NGO); various working groups such as the Dissemination, Sensitization and Advocacy Technical Working Group, which is not only responsible for disseminating the results of poverty monitoring in Tanzania but also for doing so in a user-friendly format (e.g. releasing comprehensible information in plain language). Furthermore, it coordinates the annual Poverty Policy Week (Shariff Samji 2005: 55).
15 15 Uganda: Monitoring through the Poverty Action Fund With its transparency, its co-operative decision-making processes and its sophisticated monitoring system, the Ugandan Poverty Action Fund (PAF) is probably the most advanced model of institutionalized participation in the context of poverty alleviation in sub-saharan Africa. Around 35 percent of the national government budget is now accounted for by the PAF. While, in principle, decisions on how this money is used as well as corresponding reporting are dealt with in the course of the regular budget compilation process and are subject to a final decision by parliament, extensive debates take place in public sessions called on a quarterly basis. These debates address priorities set in the PAF, important individual measures, controversial issues as well as government reporting on implementation. A number of NGOs and NGO networks regularly and actively participate in these meetings, which are also open to representatives of the donor side and journalists. Honduras: Consejo Consultivo de la Estrategia de Reducción de Pobreza (CCERP) As a dialogue forum for government and non-governmental stakeholders, the Consejo Consultivo de la Estrategia de Reducción de Pobreza (CCERP) was founded in It is made up of six government representatives and twelve representatives from the civil society: the coordinator of the Social Cabinet and the Ministers of Finances, Education, Health, Natural Resources and Environment, and Government and Justice; from the civil society one representative from each of the following sectors: rural development; organizations of women, youth and childhood; private enterprise, micro and small businesses and the social sector of the economy; confederacies of community directives and ethnic organizations; non-governmental organizations; and a representative of the Association of Municipalities of Honduras (AMHON). The CCERP is also open to representatives from the international community (bilateral and multilateral) as observers. One basic function of the CCERP is to help establish indicators and methodologies for monitoring and evaluating the PRS. The idea is to make the administration and monitoring of the PRS more effective and transparent, to implement citizen participation and to decentralize the PRS and Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF). Mozambique: The Observatório da Pobreza In PRS monitoring, Mozambique has achieved an institutional innovation by setting up the highranking dialogue forum Observatório da Pobreza (OP), from which important impulses are expected to emanate for future stronger participation of civil society. The OP is an important instrument for observing and evaluating the PRS-guided government policy in Mozambique. The government, donors and civil society work together in this forum. The institution consists of two parts: an "Opinion Council", and a Technical Secretariat that is subordinate to the Ministry of Finance and is supported by the UNDP. The "Opinion Council" is composed of 60 members, of which 24 come from various ministries and other government offices, while the other 36 members represent civil society including academic and religious organizations, and international donors. The parliament has no participation in the Observatório. The civil-society representatives were not picked out by government but agreed on between civil-society organizations. Interestingly, and differing from procedures in other countries, this was done very systematically, and included a discussion about who "civil society" actually is (Negrão 2003: 13-16). The following group, meantime also known as the G-20, was finally selected: four representatives of religious organizations (two from Christian, two from Muslim organizations); two representatives of the trade unions; three representatives of the private sector; six representatives of overarching networks; four representatives of smaller, regional groups; one independent academic. The Poverty Observatório convened for the first time in April 2003 in order to discuss the progress made in implementing the PRS. Since then meetings of the OP are held on an annual basis. Civil society has suggested that regional, sector-specific and also cross-sector groups be established, and this is meantime planned by the government. At the annual meeting of the Observatório in 2004, the G-20 presented a remarkable Annual Poverty Report which critically assessed the implementation of the poverty strategy (G ). The report concluded with a number of demands aimed at strengthening the fight against poverty (G : 27f). In 2005, within the framework of a scientific study the G-20 was involved in the process of reviewing the donor policy. As part of the donor monitoring system, a donor rating system was drawn up for the first time in 2005 to identify who does or does not meet his commitments and by which means (Gerster 2005: 16ff).
16 Countries have developed a number of instruments to monitor PRS implementation and poverty trends (see introductory chapter for details). As far as monitoring as a whole is concerned, instruments are at present above all in place which monitor public expenditure and long-term social developments. Most PRSPs have focused on budgetary or expenditure analysis (input indicators) and survey-based measures of well-being (impact indicators) (IMF / World Bank 2005: 14). Participation is possible in both cases. Thus, in Mozambique and Tanzania, for example, civil-society actors participate in the Public Expenditure Reviews (Driscoll et al. 2005: 45 and 49f). For studies that are concerned with general poverty trends, Participatory Poverty Assessments (PPA) are frequently used, as Feuerhahn notes in a study of 32 countries with Full PRSP (2005), in some cases even more recent monitoring instruments, e.g. Citizen Report Cards or Community Score Cards (see Box). However: The overall trend clearly goes to participation in implementation monitoring away from the poverty monitoring level with the attention drawn to monitoring initiatives around the budget process. This could be attributed to the easier access depending on fewer prerequisites, due to many entry points around the budget. (Feuerhahn 2005: 27) Monitoring output: Citizen Report Card and Community Score Card Two instruments have emerged during the last years that have already proven to be very successful on the output level. The Citizen Report Card (CRC) and the Community Score Card (CSC). (...) It basically compares the contentment of the citizens with the service provision across different public service providers. (...) The report card survey itself works just like a public opinion poll. (...) The CRC is utilized in six countries of the sample (Ghana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Uganda and Yemen). In some of the countries the implementation of the CRC is so far only an, although advanced, plan, whereas other countries have already made considerable experience with the CRC. Some examples: In Ghana the government is carrying out a pilot study on the agricultural sector with the CRC methodology. The pilot will cover 36 communities in 12 districts spread out over 6 regions. The SEND foundation is using the CRC tool to monitor the usage of HIPC funds. The Citizen Score Card (CSC) is a somewhat similar instrument in its goal. It also intends to monitor the service provision of public service providers. The CSC differs nonetheless considerably from the CRC in its level and approach. (...) The CSC is used in seven countries (Armenia, Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Malawi, Nicaragua and Uganda). (Feuerhahn 2005: 10f) 20. Monitoring as a political task calls for continual public reporting. As described in the previous chapter, monitoring is not only a technical process for data collection but an eminently political process that can lead to public debates on government actions. Basically, the Annual Progress Report (APR) scheduled in the PRS cycle could forms the necessary basis. 31 out of a total of 60 PRS countries have submitted at least one such report. In principle, the APR serves three purposes: it is a source of policy learning for the government; it is a mechanism enabling citizens of the country to hold the government responsible for its commitments under the PRSP; and it provides a focus for donors who wish to rely more on the country s own reporting systems. (Driscoll et al. 2005: vii) Unfortunately, the APRs rarely fulfill these tasks. APRs are only rarely presented to the public anyway, and in even fewer countries are they drawn up with the participation of non-state actors or parliament (Driscoll et al. 2005: 11-12). Accordingly, in only a few countries have public statements been made on the APRs. Positive exceptions: the governments of Albania and the Niger carried out consultations to discuss the draft APR. In Ethiopia and Cambodia, civil-society networks drew up comments on the APR. Most governments view the APR not as an instrument to account for their poverty policy, but rather as "another
17 17 onerous donor requirement" (Trócaire 2004: 5). The donors subscribe to this view absolutely (see box Bad practice: How donors ). Bad practice: How donors impeded participation in the annual review Driscoll et al. (2005: 12) describe how donors impeded stakeholder participation in the APRs: "In Malawi, the government was keen to ensure the APR was the product of a fully participatory process but donors advised against this and in favour of a much lighter consultation. In the end, the government organised a large-scale consultation to respond to high demand for PRS reporting amongst civil society organisations such as the Malawi Economic Justice Network. However, DFID has indicated its main priority by funding a programme to build the capacity of parliamentary committees to engage in budget scrutiny. In Ghana, there was some debate about whether the APR should be presented to parliament or Cabinet first, because it was produced by the National Development Planning Commission which includes several academics working for the government and is therefore semi-independent. In the end, the APR was a frank and open assessment which was sent to Cabinet first and has yet to be released to parliament. Donors have applied little pressure for public release of the report, even though they have included in PRSC conditionality a requirement that parliament pass legislation in support of freedom of information and whistleblowers!" Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Project (UPPAP) The Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Project (UPPAP) constitutes another exemplary instrument of institutionalized participation in Uganda. UPPAP is designed in such a way as to enable the results to expand into the political decision-making processes concerned with the poverty reduction strategy of the PEAP. Many observers regard UPPAP as a helpful instrument to incorporate the voices of the poor into the political processes. The sector working groups, in which non-state stakeholders are represented, are another structure within the PEAP process. These working groups played a central role in the review process of 2003/2004; already prior to the second revision they were actively involved in the discussion of the annual budget and its implications for the poverty strategy. UPPAP, and particularly its influential first report, is an example of how even the context of a weak systemic demand for evidence-based policy making, a relatively ad hoc type of data collection can result in significant policy shifts given conducive political conditions. Interestingly, the influence of UPPAP arose from its ability to generate telling case studies illustrating flaws in policy implementation, and not from its nominally more distinctive quality, that of highlighting non-income conceptualisations of poverty and vulnerability among the poor. (Booth/Nsabagasani 2005: 9) 21. Structural involvement of the poor in monitoring is wishful thinking. So far, the poor and especially poor women are heavily underrepresented and even neglected in most PRS processes, concludes Bliss with regard to PRS implementation (2006: 24) the same is true for PRS monitoring. There are only a few approaches to involving the voices of the poor frequently in PRS policymaking. The Ugandan experience is unique. Monitoring of the Ugandan Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP) implementation is carried out inter alia by a participatory designed structure, UPPAP (see Box). Furthermore, to improve institutionalization of local level monitoring, societal Poverty Action Fund Monitoring Committees (PMCs) were installed by NGOs at district level, consisting of nine to eleven representatives of NGOs, community-based organizations, women s organizations, and religious organizations. A few other countries have at least worked with a frequent participatory approach to impact monitoring, e.g. Kenya (GTZ 2004a: 73f; Kabubo-Mariara/Ndeng'e 2004), and Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia with frequent PPAs (Holvoet/Renard 2005: 16-17) or Ghana and others with report card approaches. However, with the exception of UPPAP, one can hardly find any mechanism linking poor people to policymaking. The Tanzanian experience shows that the data gathered in PPAs is not used for concrete
18 18 policymaking, and some say it is not useable anyway: Like the two previous exercises on a similar scale in Tanzania (Narayan, 1997; Shinyanga, 1998), the PPA provides a basis for rethinking some of Tanzania s basic policy options but not for monitoring on an annual basis (Booth 2005: 13). This experience was also discovered in a GTZ study on six PRS countries: "Participatory Poverty Assessments have been carried out in all countries except Albania. But none of the countries has made them a part of the agreed monitoring system or of the scheduled observations of the results of current policy" (GTZ 2004a: 65). 3.2 Legal basis of stakeholder involvement in PRS monitoring 22. There is hardly any legal basis for stakeholder involvement in PRS monitoring. Institutionalized participation requires a legal basis. If there is none, monitoring is at the mercy of the political will of governments. The first and largest challenge [for monitoring] is the necessary political will of the government. While the government has a natural interest to be reelected, the monitoring of its progress towards the targets in the PRSP may be contradictory to this goal (Feuerhahn 2005: 28). Politically critical monitoring therefore needs both legal rules for the monitoring procedure and also legal safeguards for non-state actors as such. NGO legislation in a number of PRS countries, where registration of NGOs is placed in the hands of the government, conflict with these. As the only country, Bolivia has a law concerning social control mechanisms but the political will to provide the envisaged structures with the necessary resources is lacking (Komives/Aguilar 2005: 12; ProPACS 2004: 43). In regard to the legal situation, it is worth noting that the Ugandan parliament passed a Budget Act in 2001 to improve the legal framework for participation of the legislature in budgeting, but also to create more space for publicity and civil-society participation. To give just one example: contrary to the practice in most African countries, the government of Uganda is now obliged to publish the draft of the annual budget at least three months before it has to be decided. In many countries, parliaments have only a few days between publication of a budget proposal and their decision - which makes participation meaningless (see also para 22). Legal basis for monitoring and evaluation: Bolivia and Tanzania The options to improve the legal framework for monitoring activities of non-governmental stakeholders beyond constitutionally guaranteed principles can be demonstrated by examples of two countries. In Bolivia, parliament passed the Law on National Dialogue in With this law, a PRSP checking process is formalised one of the aims of which is to achieve better societal control over the distribution of resources. The procedural basis for this has been provided by new mechanisms of social control (Mecanismo Nacional de Control Social) and enhanced competencies at community level. However, the implementation of this law has been severely complicated and all but prevented by Bolivia s stormy political developments over the last five years. Nevertheless, the framework it provides is remarkable. In Tanzania, too, it ought to be welcomed that the government is willing to provide appropriate structures for societal participation that may not represent legal rights but do constitute political rights that people can claim. Such precursors of a legal safeguarding of participation are contained in the PRS monitoring system (here, there is an exemplary Poverty Monitoring Master Plan) or in the guidelines for the PRS review process (which describe the preconditions for participation and the course of the processes).
19 Legitimacy of stakeholders involved in PRS monitoring 23. Civil society can increase legitimacy of their independent monitoring by networking. As already outlined, participatory monitoring systems depend heavily on the political will of governments to involve non-governmental stakeholders. If this compulsory precondition is not fulfilled it can be more successful to build up an independent monitoring system, as the crucial point is the willingness of the government to truly engage in monitoring (Feuerhahn 2005: 28). In a number of countries, societal stakeholders have begun to monitor the PRS process on their own (e.g. Ethiopia, Zambia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda). The experience shows: Civil society organisations are able to set up effective monitoring structures and processes that can produce reliable data and provide spaces for engagement with government. This is contributing to the empowerment of local communities, provision of better services and greater impact of government programmes, improvements in government processes of data collection and analysis, and improvements in public expenditure management (Wood 2005: 34). However, the credibility and legitimacy of these approaches can be enlarged by several factors, e.g. the involvement of independent researchers (e.g. Zambia), focussing on especially vulnerable groups (like women) or networking between civil society actors: Participatory monitoring activities by networks like the Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) in Zambia (see Box), PANE in Ethiopia and UDN in Uganda can expect a much higher societal legitimacy than the activity of a single NGO. Most of the independent civil society monitoring approaches focus on poverty developments and/or impact of policies at local level (Holvoet/Renard 2005: 17; Wood 2005). Nevertheless, there are also a few implementation monitoring projects at macro level, e.g. some Gender Budget Initiatives (see box and Rusimbi 2003) or general budget analyses (e.g. the work by the Catholic Commission in Zambia or the Institute of Economic Affairs in Kenya). Noteworthy is also the overall evaluation of the PRSP implementation in Zambia by the civil society network (CSPR 2005). High legitimacy: The network Civil Society for Poverty Reduction in Zambia The network Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) founded in 2001 and embracing more than 80 NGOs to date is noteworthy: during PRS formulation as well as in the context of the reformulation of the strategy in 2005 the CSPR completed substantial proposals, partly in cooperation with scientists at the University of Lusaka. CSPR continuously participates in the political debate concerning poverty reduction. The network participated in the monitoring and evaluation of the PRSP through representation in the Sector Advisory Groups (SAGs), Provincial Development Coordinating Committees (PDCCs) and the District Development Coordinating Committees (DDCCs). In an endeavour to assess PRS implementation independently, CSPR is running its own monitoring programme. CSPR undertakes rapid poverty assessments and budget tracking exercises annually in five districts as well as poverty assessments. Results of participatory applied studies, which were conducted in several parts of the country, highlight minimal impact PRS-initiated programs had on the lives of the poor. Despite or: based on its critical stance vis-à-vis the Government as well as donors, CSPR is seen as highly accepted and eminently reputable in the Zambian political arena. See 24. Involvement of parliament in monitoring is meagre. In most PRS countries constitutions, the legislative bodies are provided with an oversight role in politics. The reality is different: A study on PRS countries in Sub-Saharan Africa showed how little the involvement of parliaments in (the monitoring of) PRS processes is (Eberlei/Henn 2003; see also IMF/World Bank 2005: 25; Siebold 2005: 8 and numerous other sources; there is hardly any evidence of parliaments being more strongly involved in PRS countries outside Africa). A specific problem is the lack of budget and financial control on the part of parliament (Langon/Draman 2005: 22). This is especially
20 20 worrying as legislative institutions, whether national parliaments or regional councils, have numerous competitive advantages compared to other stakeholders in the PRS process, and would have a variety of credible entry points to make the PRS process more legitimate and accountable (Siebold 2005: 8). The World Bank and the IMF explain the low involvement of legislative bodies partly by the low capacity of parliaments in many PRS countries, which are unable to engage effectively with the executive on policy issues without a strong committee system supported by analytical and research staff (IMF/World Bank 2005: 25). However, they keep quiet about their own demoralizing behaviour vis-à-vis national parliaments. In Tanzania, for example, considerable controversy arose when it emerged publicly that the government sent the draft budget to the IMF for approval before taking it to parliament. Donors that deliver the bulk of their aid offbudget (i.e. not reporting plans, expenditure and disbursal to governments in a timely manner) undermine government and parliament s role in agreeing and monitoring national programmes for development (CIDSE/CI 2005: 14; see also box Bad practice: How donors impeded... ). In a few countries, a new role for parliaments is emerging. The Ugandan Budget Act 2001 created, for example, more space for monitoring of the Parliament which is used obviously (see Box). In their study about the Ugandan monitoring system, Booth/Nsabagasani refer several times to the role of Parliament, although their skeptical conclusion is still that neither parliament nor the cabinet functions in a way that places strong performance pressures on ministers and their departments (Booth/Nsabagasani: 6). Reports from Tanzania do also mention a role of parliament in poverty debates and monitoring (Parliamentary Centre 2005: 5; CIDSE/CI 2005: 14). The parliament in Ghana has set up a Poverty Reduction Committee another approach to give the PRS process specific attention, albeit with little effect so far. But these are exceptions to the rule: the democratically legitimized bodies are not involved adequately in PRS monitoring. Monitoring from a gender perspective the Gender Budget Initiative in Tanzania Gender Budget Initiative (GBI) is an ongoing monitoring and lobbying programme initiated by a coalition of gender and civil society organizations and coordinated by the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP). The introduction of policies of cost-sharing, retrenchment, social spending cuts and privatization as part of structural adjustment has had a retrogressive impact on gender equity in Tanzania. In this context, GBI aims to analyse macro and micro economic policies and the impact that these policies (including the national budget) have on different social groups in the country. Research is carried out at district and national levels on the key sectors in planning and budgeting and key service provider agencies. Data is collected and analysed from a gender perspective by analysts from universities, NGOs and government. The research process also involves feedback workshops with communities, where comments from participants can be incorporated into the research. The findings of the research are disseminated through activist organizations, government departments and agencies and public forums with civil society, policy makers and technocrats. Findings did not only include an analysis of the budget content, but also of the budget process. TGNP criticizes: "The budgeting process in Tanzania is a top down model that is also male dominated. (...) In all the key decision making organs, including the parliament, the cabinet, the Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee, the Central level Budget Committee, as well as sector level budget committees, are essentially controlled by men and decision making is top down. The center defines priorities, provides guidelines, and budget ceilings which cannot be altered by the bottom level or sector level organs. This limits the extent at which gender equity policies can be effected by sectors if gender equity is not identified by the center as being a priority area. The findings of TGNP have not only been fed into the public debate frequently. They were also used to inform the PRS review process in Tanzania. Sources: and