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Philippines: World Bank Extends $250,000 Grant for 'Local Knowledge Partnerships' Initiative

April 7, 2010

MANILA, April 8, 2010—The World Bank, the Department of Finance, and the De La Salle University (DLSU) signed today a grant agreement for a project to institutionalize and enhance the capability of civil society groups and government agencies to conduct joint monitoring and evaluation of local service delivery for poverty reduction.

Extended through the World Bank’s Institutional Development Fund (IDF), the grant of $250,000 will be used to support a set of initiatives designed to develop a set of “local knowledge partnerships” among selected universities, national government agencies, civil society organizations, and local government units. The partnerships will conduct capacity-building activities to better prepare civil society groups and government units to undertake joint monitoring and evaluation of local public service delivery.

Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said that results-oriented monitoring and evaluation systems that will come out of this undertaking are expected to help the Government in providing suitable and timely services to the people, especially for the poor.

“I’m happy with this Project because it demonstrates how the Government and other sectors of society including the academe, civil society, as well as multilateral development banks such as the World Bank can work together to help improve governance and delivery of services to the people, especially the poor,” said Secretary Teves.

DLSU, which will administer the grant, will work in close partnership with selected local universities to develop and deliver training activities and provide technical assistance to national and local government agencies and civil society organizations in the monitoring and evaluation of the delivery of key services for poverty reduction.

Brother Armin A. Luistro, DLSU President, said the Local Government Code has provided an enabling environment for significant civil society participation in the planning, budgeting, and delivery of basis services at the local level, but more needs to be done to to translate the provisions of the Code into action.

He added that national government agencies including the departments of education, health, and social welfare are experimenting with different mechanisms for enhancing civil society monitoring and evaluation such as through report cards, and textbook counts, and various citizens’ watch initiatives. “This Project provides a great opportunity to institutionalize these approaches and scale them up to make a significant impact on the poor in terms of improved service delivery,” said Brother Luistro.

“This Project will help strengthen accountability between citizens and public service providers at the national and local levels,” added Brother Luistro. “Perceived weakness in those links have often led to socially and economically sub-optimal resource allocations and increased opportunities for corruption.”

World Bank Country Director Bert Hofman said the grant awarded to the Project is consistent with the Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy for 2010-2012, which supports community-driven development approaches at the local level to promote opportunities for institutionalizing joint Government-civil society initiatives to monitor and evaluate public service delivery through greater transparency and accountability.

Mr. Hofman said: “The grant would support one of the current Medium-Term Philippines Development Plan’s objectives of empowering the poor to participate more effectively in the development process, especially in relation to the delivery of key public services. The IDF grant would be used to build on the many on-going and previous initiatives designed to give greater voice to the poor and promote greater accountability of public service providers to the poor.”

IDF, which provided the financing, is a World Bank grant facility launched in 1992 to finance quick, action-oriented, innovative capacity-building activities that are consistent with the Bank’s work.

This Project has the following components:

• Stocktaking of existing CSO monitoring tools and approaches, to support the establishment of local multi-stakeholder knowledge partnerships for monitoring and evaluating local public service delivery.

• Development of training modules and materials, and capacity development activities for local stakeholder through local knowledge partnershipssupported by DLSU together with local universities.

• Performance assessments on the application, relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability of tools and approaches used for joint government-civil society monitoring of public service delivery.

• Various modes of communications will be used (including websites, video documentation, media events) to expand public access to knowledge and information on the tools and approaches for joint monitoring.

Media Contacts
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Dave Llorito
Tel : (632) 917-3047
In Manila
Kitchie Hermoso
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Elisabeth Jane Mealey
Tel : (1-202) 458-4475