Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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  • Publication
    The City of Pancevo’s Citizen Service Center, Serbia: Streamlining Service Delivery and Fostering Inclusion at the Municipal Level
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) Pfeil, Helene; Agarwal, Sanjay; Schott, Berenike Laura; Johns, Kimberly D.
    This case study provides an overview of the Pan evo Citizen Service Center (CSC), which, since its establishment in 2009, has delivered a variety of municipal services to citizens under one roof. It examines the measures established by the municipal team to guarantee equal access to services for all segments of the population and to improve the quality of service delivery, notably by migrating certain procedures online and providing citizens with rapid feedback mechanisms. While institutional coordination, funding, staff motivation, and capacity to meet demand remain challenges, the CSC has become a key focal point for the municipality, with the number of citizens visiting the center each year almost equaling the city’s inhabitants. Successes achieved through this local-level, one-stop-shop model include easier access, greater efficiency, faster delivery, improved communication, and better quality of information for citizens.
  • Publication
    One-Stop Shops in Vietnam: Changing the Face of Public Administration for Citizens and Businesses through a Single Door to Multiple Services
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) Blunt, Melvyn; Davidsen, Soren; Agarwal, Sanjay; Pfeil, Helene; Schott, Berenike
    This case study analyzes the development of one-stop shops in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, from inception of the first one in Ho Chi Minh City in 1995 through the full roll out of this model of integrated service delivery across the country, beginning in 2003. Embedded in the spirit of the “Doi Moi” reforms that began in the 1980s, one-stop shops have been an integral part of the government’s public administration reform program, initiated in 2001. Political support, decentralization, clear guidelines regarding organizational structure, and significant capital investment allowed the one-stop shop model to successfully transform the attitudes of civil servants toward the public, reduce bureaucracy, inefficiencies, and rent seeking, and improve the quality of services delivered.
  • Publication
    Recent Developments and Key Considerations Impacting the Operations of One-Stop Shops for Citizens: A Summary of Major Trends and a Design Guide for Citizen Service Centers
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) Pfeil, Helene; Schott, Berenike; Agarwal, Sanjay
    Countries across the globe are establishing new and improving existing citizen service centers (CSCs) to better serve their citizens. This note provides an overview of recent developmentsimpacting CSC operations as well as a CSC design guide meant to summarize essential issues that managers looking to establish CSCs may wish to consider. Part 1 lays out how four key themes—access, personalization, speed, and interaction—have shaped the latest innovations in citizenservice center design. These themes are linked to the increasing availability and spread of new technologies, which open new channels for governments to provide information and services to their citizens, and expand the potential for multichannel approaches. Based on these trends, part 2presents a CSC design guide which provides an overview of eight key issues to take into account when designing or reforming a CSC: (1) channels of service delivery; (2) depth of service delivery; (3) financing models; (4) organizations involved and breadth of services provided; (5) single or multiple windows; (6) homogeneity/diversity across CSCs; (7) location; and (8) if services are provided by target group, life event or category of service.
  • Publication
    Municipal Citizen Service Centers in Southeastern Europe: Survey Results on Success Factors, Challenges, and the Human Rights Approach of Municipal One-Stop Shops in the Western Balkans
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) Pfeil, Helene; Agarwal, Sanjay; Schott, Berenike
    This report presents the results of an online survey administered in six southeastern European countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. The survey was aimed at gathering insights related to the operations and human rights approach of municipalone-stop shops delivering services to citizens. Findings show that the region’s municipal citizen service centers are generally aware of the impact that their activities have on human rights. In addition to complying with legal requirements to guarantee the rights of citizens and avoid discriminatory practices in service delivery, many citizen service centers actively promote universal access to public services. This is mostly accomplished by taking measures that foster theinclusion of vulnerable groups and by offering mechanisms that encourage participation and accountability, such as citizen feedback and complaint-handling mechanisms.
  • Publication
    Human Rights-Based Assessment Tool for Citizen Service Centers: Moving Toward a Rights-Based Approach in Design, Strategy, and Implementation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-06) Pfeil, Helene; Schott, Berenike; Agarwal, Sanjay
    This note provides practical advice on how to adopt a human rights-based assessment for the design, strategy, and implementation of service delivery by citizen service centers. Designed for World Bank teams conducting preliminary assessments, the tool presented here can also beuseful to clients such as citizen service center managers to deepen their understanding of the value of a human rights based assessment and to improve the quality, accessibility, and effectiveness of service delivery. The tool consists of an introduction to the human rights-based approach (HRBA), its relevance to citizen service centers, rationales for adopting the approach, and a 20-question survey instrument.
  • Publication
    Empowering Citizens through Budget Transparency in the North-West and Adamawa Regions
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-06) Agarwal, Sanjay
    Citizens often lack information on the use of public funds. They are usually left out of allocation decisions and do not have opportuni¬ties to provide adequate and timely feedback on the use of scarce resources. Transparency in budgetary processes reduces opportu¬nities for wasteful and corrupt spending. As a consequence, and because it can increase trust in authorities and lead to enhanced tax collections, budget transparency could increase resources avail¬able to fight poverty. Therefore, with support from the World Bank, two regions in Cameroon (the North-West and Adamawa) piloted an initiative to promote greater budget transparency with three objectives: simplification, analysis, and disclosure of budgets at multiple levels (national, regional, divisional, municipal, school, and health center); awareness and capacity-building of government officials and local/regional institutions to promote public dialogue about public expenditures by encouraging demand-side governance; and documentation and dissemination of activities. In both the regions, steering committees under the chairman¬ship of their governors spearheaded and coordinated the activities under the initiative. Two local nongovernmental organizations with expertise in social accountability approaches facilitated the community mobilization and budget dissemination process.
  • Publication
    A Local Budget Transparency Index for Cameroon's Local Councils : Insights from a Benchmarking Exercise
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-06) Alton, Martin Luis; Agarwal, Sanjay; Songwe, Vera
    Transparent budgets and public financial management processes constitute a key pillar of good governance. However, while this has been increasingly recognized for national budgets, little attention is paid to subnational budget transparency. To fill this lacuna, a World Bank-supported initiative piloted a local budget transparency index (LBTI) in two of Cameroon s ten regions. Thirty-one local councils in the Northwest Region and nineteen in the Adamawa Region self-assessed the openness of their budget processes by filling out questionnaires in 2012. The councils were then ranked, the results were published, and, in Adamawa, discussed in a public meeting called by the region s governor and attended by mayors and the media. Through this exercise, mayors of low-ranking councils were publicly questioned about their low scores, which led to a palpable desire on their part to better perform in the next round of the survey. In 2013, independent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) gathered the same information in a second round of surveys. This note discusses the methodology, main findings, and results from the LBTI pilot in the two regions and concludes with key challenges and lessons learned.
  • Publication
    Increasing Accountability through Budget Transparency at the Subnational Level in Cameroon
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-06) Alton, Martin Luis; Agarwal, Sanjay
    Improving governance is a major development challenge for Cameroon and for many other developing countries, and making public financial management more transparent is a central part of it. While budgets are public documents, accessible to citizens in principle, in practice, budget information is difficult to come by as a result of political, administrative, capacity, and logistical constraints as well as cost barriers at all tiers of government, including the national, regional, and municipal level and at service-delivery points like schools and health centers. In two of Cameroon s 10 regions, a World Bank-supported initiative has piloted a citizen-centered approach for disseminating simplified budget information of 151 schools, 58 health centers, and 28 municipalities and the two regional administrations. Budgets were made public and awareness was raised through various activities, including public community meetings at which the budgets of institutions were read aloud, poster campaigns, art competitions, theater performances, student budget clubs, and the use of media such as community radios and Facebook. Results of the initiative include increased tax revenues for one local council, changes in the willingness of parents to contribute to the financing of schools, and greater trust between mayors and constituents.
  • Publication
    Cameroon Budget Transparency Initiative : Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Local Councils
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-06) Agarwal, Sanjay; Alton, Martin Luis; Bove, Abel; Ngounoue, Victoire; Perrot, Vincent
    From 2011 to 2013, the World Bank-financed Budget Transparency Initiative1 has conducted a number of activities in the North-West and Adamawa Regions to make local council budgets more transparent and accessible to citizens. The pilot project developed and tested a number of tools and activities to increase the budget transparency of local councils and, in the process, to learn lessons about their efficacy. Based on the lessons learned dur¬ing the implementation of the pilot, this brief summarizes recommendations that are relevant to policy makers interested in scaling up efforts at increasing budget transparency at the local level.
  • Publication
    Social Audits in Nepal's Community Schools : Measuring Policy Against Practice
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-01) Prasad Kafle, Agni; Patel, Darshana; Agarwal, Sanjay
    Nepal s publicly-funded schools have been managed by community-level stakeholders since 1950 when Nepal first adopted a demo¬cratic system of government. Subsequent changes to legislation and policy have further devolved school management to the com¬munity level, including the provision of financial resources to support decision making by school-level committees. In addition to these reforms, each community school is now required to conduct an annual social audit. Community School National Network (CSNN), a national Nepali NGO with expertise in social accountability approaches, conducted a pilot of 60 schools in three districts (Kaski, Dolakha, and Nawalparasi) to assess gaps in the implementation of social audits by schools as specified in the Guidelines for the Social Auditing of the Schools issued by the Ministry of Education (MoE) of the Government of Nepal. In each of the three districts studied, 70 80 percent of the entire school budget is community-funded. Approximately 83 percent of community schools conducted social audits in the academic year 2008 09. Their implementation varied between the three districts but gaps were usu¬ally due to poor capacity and lack of information about community-level responsibilities. CSNN led a capacity-building initiative at the national, district, and community levels that included a training program for master trainers and facilitators who, in turn, strength-ened the capacity of the social audit committees (SACs) to collect data at the school level. CSNN also developed two templates to simplify data collection and monitor social audit implementation. The findings of this gap analysis and training program were disseminated through one national-level and three district-level workshops with the objective of influencing policy. A subsequent assessment of 20 schools in one of the pilot districts revealed that one iteration of the training effort has significantly improved community-level capacity to monitor and improve 22 of the 39 indicators in the Guidelines.