Midterm Evaluation: Participatory Evaluation for the Improvement of Basic Social Services, Phase 2 (May 2015)
Brune Mercier, Search for Common Ground
Funded by the European Union, the Dynamics for Civil Society in the DRC and Search for Common Ground implemented the second phase of the project, “Participatory Evaluation for Service Improvement,” which was implemented over the course of 2013.
The overall objective of this project is to promote the civic participation of the Congolese population through participation in the management of basic social services. Specifically, the project aims to familiarize the community with the concept of accountability of service providers and local authorities and help keep public service providers accountable for their role in doing so. The objective of the mid-term evaluation was to provide information on the progress of the indicators and to provide lessons learned in order to guide further the implementation of the project and its activities. The second phase also expanded to additional cities with the intention of improving the management of basic social services in each of the identified cities through increased involvement of the population in public management at the local level. The approach is aimed at promoting an assessment of the quality of basic social services – such as education, sanitation, health, safety, electricity, water and administration – involving collaboration between citizens, civil society, local authorities and service providers towards greater transparency and social accountability of these different actors.
This report indicated that the importance of basic social services for members of the population remains to be strengthened. In all sites, evaluation and self-evaluation criteria exist, but there has not been an identical approach consistently applied to define these criteria in each site. The level of awareness of target populations of their rights and responsibilities in basic social service management remains low with respect to the right to information on the management of these services. The development of scorecards, however, raised a lot of awareness regarding the state of deterioration of services in the identified communities and the role that the community could play in its improvement. The respondents emphasized self-management and finding community solutions to problems rather than interacting or initiating actions with providers to demand accountability.