Agencies sponsor programs of transparency in public administration in the provinces
SANTO DOMINGO.- The World Bank in the Dominican Republic and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today began training in "social auditing techniques for public policy and results-oriented project management" in the provinces of Santiago and La Vega, as part of the programs for strengthening the capacities of civil society organizations that develop both develop cooperation agencies in the country.
Specifically, the program will provide training and technical assistance to civil society organizations in these provinces, so that citizens play an effective role in the transparency of the central government and local government and in the responsiveness of governments regarding the provision of public services and the implementation of the participatory budgeting.
The training will focus on four areas: monitoring the quality of public services, the evaluation of the participatory budgeting process, monitoring of works and project management of social audit.
The activity will take approximately 12 days. In collaboration with local governments, these capacity building programs have proven worldwide to be an effective way to involve citizens in their community projects to optimize the use of allocated funds and improve the quality of programs and services.
When citizens engage in public administration In Brazil, the municipal expenditure allocated to health and health services increased by more than 6%, and in the municipalities where it is implementing participatory budgeting, universal access to water increased by 33%.
The case of Uganda is more dramatic. Assuming that schools were not receiving the funds and to determine where the funds were going, the World Bank, in collaboration with the government of Uganda, the Centre for Economic Policy Research, and an independent consulting firm, surveyed 250 public schools.
The survey compared the allocations of funds to the central government schools with individual school records. The results showed that only 13% of non-wage funds for education actually reached the schools they were intended for. Most schools did not receive any funds. With this information in hand, parents and teachers were more likely to mobilize and demand the full budget government had promised.
A 1998 survey done by the government found that these measures were effective in increasing the flow of funds to schools. By 2001, 80% of budgeted funds were reaching schools, as scheduled.
The activities in Santiago and La Vega is part of the training program "Social Audit of Public Policy, Project Management and Institutional Strengthening" that has taken place since May, as part of the Strategic Alliance for Transparency Social audit and Improving Governance in the Dominican Republic, that the World Bank and USAID are implementing in the country.
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