Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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    The Labor Market Impacts of COVID-19 in Four African Countries (April to October 2020): Evidence from LSMS-Supported High‑Frequency Phone Surveys on COVID-19
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10) Contreras-Gonzalez, Ivette ; Siwatu, Gbemisola Oseni ; Palacios-Lopez, Amparo ; Pieters, Janneke ; Weber, Michael
    As part of a global effort led by the World Bank to track the socio-economic impacts of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the living standards measurement study (LSMS) team supports high-frequency phone surveys in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, and Uganda (among other countries). This brief focuses on the early impacts of COVID-19 on the labor market and their evolution from April to October 2020 using phone surveys in four African countries.
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    Budget and Procurement Monitoring in Nigeria : A Civil Society Perspective
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-09) Zovighian, Diane
    Can governments be held accountable for spending by citizen organizations? In this issue the author present the experience of two civil society organizations (CSOs) engaged in budget and procurement review and monitoring in Nigeria. In the Nigerian context, the preconditions for accountable citizen-state relations are underdeveloped. In particular, some of the building blocks of transparent and accountable public financial management systems are absent or dysfunctional. Lack of information and limited opportunities for citizens' engagement in government processes have resulted in high levels of mistrust between citizens and government. Despite these challenges, there are people and groups, in both government and civil society, who have taken bold steps to ensure greater transparency and accountability in the planning and management of public resources. For example, networks of CSOs working in the area of procurement oversight have started demanding information on procurement bids. The World Bank civil society fund provides financial and technical support to CSOs aimed at improving their capacity and effectiveness to engage in reform and policy processes. Given the World Bank's broader focus on governance reforms, a particular emphasis has been placed on supporting CSO engagement in monitoring the use of public resources, including budget and procurement processes and the delivery of public assets and services. This note features interviews with two civil society fund (CSF) grantees. The first is with Amy Oyekunle, the executive director and manager of the CSF grant at the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), and the second with Nkem Ilo, manager of the CSF grant at the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC). The aim of these interviews is to look at how these organizations navigate the challenges of the Nigerian governance context and what they can realistically achieve with financial and technical support from the World Bank in this context.
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    Making Mobile Feedback Programs Work : Lessons from Designing an ICT Tool with Local Communities
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Lee, Panthea ; Schaefer, Merrick
    Does providing a free text messaging (SMS) reporting tool, which facilitates communication between farmers and the state-level Project Implementation Unit (PIU) overseeing the Fadama III Project, improve the quality of service of the program? This note highlights initial outcomes from a pre-pilot exercise conducted in 2013 with two program objectives: 1) to explore whether working with local Community-Based Organizations (CBO) to train farmers to use and to promote the tool was an effective means to get and maintain user adoption; and 2) to examine whether the ICT-generated information and system helped the PIU better manage the project. Two main conclusions can be drawn from this pre-pilot. Firstly, it was found that CBO engagement led to significantly larger uptake and use of the system. Secondly, the State PIU only minimally used the reports that were being sent by farmers, despite institutional excitement about the system and a strong mandate from management to use the reports. The findings presented here are based on the deployment of MyVoice, a prototype SMS tool, in six communities in the Federal Capitol Territory of Nigeria. The tool was rolled out over a two-week period through training sessions in the community. The tool was then left operational for an additional four weeks for the communities and government to utilize it. The data informing this note was from all six weeks. Despite the fact that the prototype had significant technical and usability limitations, which were well-understood by the implementing team, its deployment allowed the team to test and learn about the social adoption and use of the tool, as well as to refine the program, training and final software for a more formal pilot and launch. This responsive and adaptive approach helped the team build a more locally relevant and useful system.