Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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World Bank Country Offices and Parliamentarians : A Survey

2009-12, World Bank

Country offices engage with parliamentarians for several reasons. Parliamentarians pass laws and discuss, modify, approve or reject other legislation relevant for the World Bank Group (budget, development programs, etc). They provide oversight in sectors where the World Bank Group is active. They ratify World Bank loans and projects or in donor countries, they decide on International Development Association (IDA) contributions or capital increases and occasionally seek to influence World Bank policies. They allow the bank to have a broader perspective than that of the government alone: parliamentarians represent the communities that the World Bank assists. They are a strong expression of public opinion and are or can have a strong influence on key players of a country s development and reform agenda. The World Bank seeks to engage parliamentarians by providing information on development, strengthening the capacity of parliamentarians, and discussing World Bank policy, research and country work. Often, country offices are the main point of contact. At the end of 2009, the World Bank conducted a broad, informal survey of country offices relationships with parliaments. The survey explores the bank s interaction with parliamentarians at the country level, as well as challenges and opportunities for future interaction. Sixty-two respondents, representing 75 countries from all regions completed the survey.

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Improving Student Enrollment and Teacher Absenteeism Outcomes through Social Accountability Interventions in Nalgonda and Adilabad Districts, Andhra Pradesh, India

2009-11, Patel, Darshana, Shah, Parmesh, Lakhey, Smriti

Although Andhra Pradesh (AP) has high economic growth, the state's public education system, which most poor children attend, faces several structural issues that hinder its quality. Although the public education system offers a structured space for parent and community input into management of schools, these spaces are not systematically used. AP achieved 10.37 percent economic growth for 2007-08 against the national average of 8.37 percent and has a poverty headcount ratio of 16 percent, compared with 23 percent for India as a whole. Despite such growth, AP's public education system, which serves the children of most poor households, faces several structural issues that impair its quality. The quality of education itself is suboptimal, teacher absenteeism rates are high, and teachers lack accountability to parents and the community. As a result, parents who wish to give their children quality education opt for expensive private schools. The AP Community Participation Act also empowered village level school committees to conduct micro-planning exercises and to develop education plans for schools. These school committees consist of teachers and the parents of the children enrolled in the school. Committee meetings are convened by the school's headmaster but presided over by an elected parent. After one year of implementation, this accountability intervention catalyzed the community and service providers to take an active role in public education. It brought about a series of impacts and outcomes, starting at the micro level with behavior changes on the part of students, parents, and the community, as well as school administrators and teachers. These behavior changes iterated over time, triggered changes at the institutional level in the school committees and government functionaries at higher levels.

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The Gemidiriya Program, Sri Lanka: Piloting the Community Assessment Process

2007-08, Agarwal, Sanjay, Shah, Parmesh, Sirker, Karen

The Gemidiriya program's long-term objective is to reduce rural poverty and promote sustainable and equitable rural development. The program aims at creating an environment that enables rural communities to improve their livelihoods and quality of life. It paves the way for rural communities to get together, organize formally, plan village development by themselves with 50 percent women participation, and to mobilize self-help and community contributions. The Gemidiriya focuses on building accountable and self-governing local institutions by: (i) devolving decision-making power and resources to community organizations; (ii) strengthening selected local governments that demonstrate responsiveness and accountability to rural communities; and (iii) working with federations of village organizations (VOs), the private sector, and non governmental organizations (NGOs) on economic empowerment to increase the size and diversity of livelihoods. This note summarizes the findings, processes, concerns, and lessons learned from the Sri Lanka pilot.

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Towards Sustainable and Responsible Investment: A Review and Inventory of the Social Investment Industry’s Activities and Potential in Emerging Markets

2003-12, International Finance Corporation

To support the growth of sustainable capital flows, IFC’s advisory services seek to influence, support, and enable capital market stakeholders to better integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into capital allocation and portfolio management processes, using IFC’s own investment practices as a model. IFC is playing its part to support the growth of the market by funding the development of enhanced stock market indices, financial instruments, and through targeted market research. In 2003, this report provided the first comprehensive overview of socially responsible investing (SRI) in emerging markets. Its findings showed that the social investment industry, having already achieved striking, ongoing growth in developed countries, could ultimately play an expanded role in emerging markets as well. This summary version of the report can be downloaded in full from IFC’s website, highlights the major findings of the report. Its findings allow us to gauge how far the sustainable investing community has come since the turn of the century when ESG issues were breaking into the mainstream investment field.

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Impact of Social Accountability Mechanisms on Achieving Service Delivery and Health Development Outcomes in Satara District, Maharashtra, India

2009-11, Patel, Darshana, Shah, Parmesh, Islam, Moutushi, Agarwal, Sanjay

Satara District Council has an average budget of roughly US$30 million/1,410 million Indian rupees to provide health, nutrition, drinking water, sanitation, and education infrastructure services to its citizens. While social and economic indexes indicate that Satara is one of the better-developed districts in Maharashtra, it still falls short in attaining expected service delivery outcomes. Irregular health services and suboptimal health outcomes such as malnourishment, unsafe drinking water, and lack of sanitation remained major challenges in the district because of the absence of community participation in planning and poor accountability on the part of public functionaries. The overall objective of this accountability intervention was to improve development outcomes by strengthening the delivery of services by key government departments and programs. The micro-planning (MP) aspect of the process allowed communities to set collective priorities and decide on investments while the community scorecards (CSC) part allowed regular monitoring, feedback, and dialogue between service users and providers.

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Chhattisgarh, India: Performance Rating of Gram Panchayats through Community Score Cards

2007-09, Murty, J.V.R., Agarwal, Sanjay, Shah, Parmesh

The World Bank-supported Chhattisgarh District Rural Poverty Reduction Project (CGDPRP), also called locally as Nawa Anjor (New Light), aims at improving opportunities for poor and vulnerable communities in Chhattisgarh State. To achieve this goal, the project creates infrastructure and income opportunities for the rural poor, empowers disadvantaged groups, and helps local governments1 become more responsive and effective in assisting the poor. CGDPRP sought to develop a performance monitoring and rating system to build local government capacity, especially the Gram Panchayats (GPs). In this context the project experimented with the use of the Community Score Card (CSC) for identifying crucial issues that affect local service delivery, measure user satisfaction, empower village citizens (especially the poor and women), and rate the performance of GPs. This note summarizes the findings, processes, concerns, and lessons learned from the Chhattisgarh pilot.

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Rajasthan, India: An Assessment of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Chittorgarh District

2007-08, Cheriyan, George, Sharma, K.C., Murty, J.V.R., Agarwal, Sanjay, Shah, Parmesh

The current initiative was one of six pilot projects launched by the South Asia Sustainable Development Department of the World Bank aimed at the application of specific social accountability tools in different contexts of service delivery through the trust fund for Capacity Building and Piloting of Social Accountability Initiatives for Community Driven Development in South Asia. This note summarizes the findings, processes, concerns, and lessons learned from the Rajasthan pilot.

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Improving the Public Expenditure Outcomes of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme through Social Accountability Interventions in Sirohi District, Rajasthan, India

2009-11, Patel, Darshana, Shah, Parmesh, Chakrabarti, Poulomi, Arya, Om Prakash, Cheriyan, George, Agarwal, Sanjay

The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), enacted by the government of India in 2006, recognizes employment as a universal legal right for every rural household. Breaking from earlier employment schemes and development programs, NREGA is significant in that it is 'a regime of rights' for poor rural communities. NREGA provides a comprehensive set of entitlements that not only outline judicially enforceable terms for employment but also give citizens a central role in all stages of implementation. The overall objective of this social accountability intervention was to assess NREGS implementation, identify lacunae in program implementation, and build ownership of the findings of this intervention within all levels of government. NREGS has a system of continuous external monitoring and verification to curb corruption and maintain quality implementation. The Citizen Report Card (CRC) survey found that 56 percent of the project worksites were visited fewer than three times by upper level government authorities.

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Maharashtra, India: Improving Panchayat Service Delivery through Community Score Cards

2007-08, Murty, J.V.R., Agarwal, Sanjay, Shah, Parmesh

This note summarizes the experiences from a pilot project undertaken by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, in partnership with the World Bank-sponsored Jalswarajya Project. The current initiative was one of six pilot projects launched by the South Asia Sustainable Development Department (SASAR) of the World Bank aimed at the application of specific social accountability tools in different contexts of service delivery through the trust fund for Capacity Building and Piloting of Social Accountability Initiatives for Community Driven Development in South Asia.

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Andhra Pradesh, India: Improving Health Services through Community Score Cards

2007-08, Misra, Vivek, Ramasankar, P., Murty, J.V.R., Agarwal, Sanjay, Shah, Parmesh

The current initiative was one of six pilot projects launched by the South Asia Sustainable Development Department of the World Bank aimed at the application of specific social accountability tools in different contexts of service delivery through the trust fund for Capacity Building and Piloting of Social Accountability Initiatives for Community Driven Development in South Asia. This note summarizes the findings, processes, concerns, and lessons learned from the Andhra Pradesh pilot.