Nepal en Data responsibility: a new social good for the information age <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> As climate change intensifies, catastrophic, record-setting natural disasters look increasingly like the “new normal” – from <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Hurricane Matthew</a> killing at least 1,300 people in September to Typhoon Lionrock, the previous month, causing flooding that left 138 dead and more than <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">100,000 homeless</a> in North Korea.</p> <p> What steps can we take to limit the destruction caused by natural disasters? One possible answer is using data to improve relief operations.</p> <p> Let’s look at the aftermath of the April 2015 Gorkha earthquake, the worst to hit Nepal in over 80 years. Nearly <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">9,000 people were killed</a>, some 22,000 injured, hundreds of thousands were rendered homeless and entire villages were flattened.</p> <p> Yet for all the destruction, the toll could have been far worse.</p> <p> Without in any way minimising the horrible disaster that hit Nepal that day, I want to make the case that data — and, in particular, a new type of social responsibility — helped Nepal avoid a worse calamity. It may offer lessons for other disasters around the world.</p> <p> In the wake of the Nepal disaster, a wide variety of actors – from government, civil society and the private sector alike – rushed in to address the humanitarian crisis. One notable player was <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Ncell</a>, Nepal’s largest mobile network operator. Shortly after the earthquake, Ncell decided to share its mobile data (in an aggregated, de-identified way) with the the non-profit Swedish organisation, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Flowminder</a>.<br />  </p> </div></div></div> Tue, 29 Nov 2016 19:49:00 +0000 Stefaan Verhulst 7573 at Grievance Redress Mechanism: A case of Nepal’s Hello Sarkar <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" height="214" src="" style="float:right" title=" Esmar Abdul Hamid, some rights reserved" width="320" />A section of a footpath is swept away by landslide near the international airport in Kathmandu, Nepal. The roads are slippery and difficult to walk on or even drive due to potholes and delayed maintenance in the valley. These are just few difficulties that I endure during my everyday commute, but what do I actually do about it? I complain about it with my friends, we all nod in agreement and we get on with our everyday chores.<br /><br /> Pranish Thapa, on the other hand, is an exception. A 17 year old student, he has complained on issues ranging from public infrastructures, abuse of power, the quality of education, good governance or the lack of it, etc... His complaints have gone beyond 3000 over the last five years. He lodges his grievances through <em>Hello Sarkar,</em> which literally means Hello Government in Nepali.<br /><br /> Pulled by the abstract of the event organized by <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Martin Chautari</a>, I decided to see how the case of Grievance Redress Mechansim (GRM) is working in Nepal. The event information stated: <em>Hello Sarkar</em> aims at making the government more accountable to the people by addressing citizens’ grievances on public service delivery directly. It is located at the heart of the state machinery, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers. Concerned citizens can approach the system via phone (toll-free number- 1111), mobile texts, <a href="">email</a>, social media or <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">website</a>.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 09 Aug 2016 17:17:00 +0000 Deepa Rai 7482 at Results-based financing links masses of youth with employment in Nepal <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><h4> <img alt="Building electrician training, Nepal" height="186" src="" style="float:left" title="Helvetas Employment Fund, Nepal" width="280" />Bettina Jenny and Sonja Hofstetter of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, Switzerland and Gisela Keller of Helvetas USA explain how a skills development program in Nepal has trained over 100,000 youth— with more than 75,000 of them gainfully employed.</h4> <p> In Nepal, about 500,000 young people enter the Nepalese labor market every year. Most of them are unskilled and have not completed formal education. Moreover, the private sector in Nepal is weak, and a ten-year-long civil war (1996-2006) and subsequent ongoing political instability have contributed to the worsening economic and social situation. In short, getting a job is a huge challenge for many young people in Nepal.<br /><br /><strong>Good intentions are not enough. </strong>Future employment and earning outcomes are the key indicator to measure the success of skills training. Many development actors provide skills training with the goal of making personal and economic perspectives available to youth in countries with high unemployment. Such programs tend to focus more on training delivery than on employment, and graduates of these kinds of youth skills programs often discover that their newly acquired skills do not meet market demands.<br /><br /><strong>We do things differently.</strong> In 2007, the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation</a> (SDC) joined with <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation</a> to establish the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Employment Fund</a> to create new and effective ways to scale up approaches addressing the alarming scope of youth unemployment in Nepal. Funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Department for International Development (<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">DFID</a>) and the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">World Bank</a>, the Employment Fund began its operations in 2008. The Employment Fund offers training in about 80 occupations in construction, hospitality, garments and textile, agriculture, and electronics – to name a few -- in locations all over Nepal. The Employment Fund <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">received a prize</a> for good practice in youth employment awarded by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and was <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">among the ten finalists</a> for the OECD DAC Prize for Taking Development Innovation to Scale.<br /><br /> Unlike many other skills training programs, the Employment Fund applies a results-based financing approach that has proven to effectively lead to gainful employment upon the completion of training. Training providers are paid based on their success in training youth and subsequently connecting them with the labor market. The key result is gainful employment.</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 09 Mar 2016 19:26:00 +0000 HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation 7334 at Campaign art: Want to be a hero? First, go wash your hands. <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><h4> People, Spaces, Deliberation bloggers present exceptional campaign art from all over the world. These examples are meant to inspire.</h4> Hand-washing is one of the single best habits any individual can adopt to lead a healthier, happier life. Hand-washing with soap is an extremely effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrhea and acute respiratory infections, including pneumonia, which is the number one cause of mortality among children under five years old, according to the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">World Health Organization</a>. Over 2 million children die from pneumonia each year, and diarrhea and pneumonia together account for almost 3.5 million child deaths annually. <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Simply hand-washing with soap could, though, could reduce the number</a> of deaths due to diarrhea by almost half and deaths from acute respiratory infections by one-quarter, saving more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention.<br /><br /> These are some of the many reasons that <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Global Handwashing Day</a> was established. It is observed on October 15 with the aim of increasing awareness and knowledge about the importance of hand-washing with soap to prevent diseases and save lives.<br /><br /> The following video, produced by <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Help</a>, encourages people in Nepal to wash their hands with soap. The lyrics ask, “<em>How can Sabunman fly? Why is his body so strong?" </em>and answer “<em>Because before eating a meal he washes his hands with soap and water</em>.”  Composed and performed by Almoda Rana Uprety, "Kina Udcha Sabunman," cheers kids to defeat the dirt monsters by washing their hands before they eat and after they play or use the bathroom.<br />  <div class="asset-wrapper asset aid-204 asset-video"> <strong > VIDEO: Kina Udcha Sabunman (How can Sabunman Fly?) </strong> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-asset-video-file field-type-emvideo field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><iframe width="854" height="480" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-asset-video-desc field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"></div></div></div></div> </div> <p> <br /></div></div></div> Wed, 21 Oct 2015 16:10:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7193 at Blog post of the month: Mapping Nepal after the earthquake <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><h4> Each month <em>People, Spaces, Deliberation </em>shares the blog post that generated the most interest and discussion. In April 2015, the featured blog post is "<a href="" rel="nofollow">Media (R)evolutions: Mapping Nepal after the earthquake</a>".</h4> <p> <img alt="" height="171" src="" style="float:right" title="" width="280" />On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, rattling the country and affecting 8 million people across 39 districts, with a quarter of those in the worst affected areas. More than 5,000 people have been confirmed dead so far.<br /><br /> Relief agencies are now in the country, providing supplies, administering medical treatment, and searching for survivors. In an effort to support disaster responders, teams of volunteers around the world are scouring through thousands of high-resolution satellite images to provide those on the ground with as much information as possible so they can do their jobs most effectively.<br /><br /> Many of these so-called “crisis mappers” are untrained volunteers who compare before and after images of the affected areas to tag buildings that have collapsed, roads that are blocked, and areas of heavy debris. This provides crucial information to disaster response teams on the ground.<br /><br /> The people of Nepal have also been utilizing other tools to locate missing family and friends, identify themselves as safe, and find rescue and gathering places where help can be obtained.<br /><br /> Here are a few of the initiatives underway:Nepal Earthquake: Before And After In Kathmandu</p> <p> </div></div></div> Fri, 01 May 2015 17:57:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7036 at Expanding Budget Literacy in Nepal <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" height="346" src="" style="float:left" title="" width="240" />In mid-July, when the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Government of Nepal’s FY15 budget was announced</a> live on TV, radio and social media, most Nepalis were keen to watch the latest game of the World Cup. However, in a country with a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">literacy rate of only 57%</a>, where almost half of Nepalis can neither read nor write, analyzing complex GoN budgetary information would not have been their priority. The <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">World Bank’s Program for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN)</a>, however, is hoping to change that and educate people how the GoN budget affects their lives.<br />  <br /> PRAN, together with Institute for Governance and Development (IGD), has recently developed ready-to-use, neo-literate flip charts outlining the importance of the government budget, its priorities, and its processes. These new IEC materials have been officially approved by the Government of Nepal for use nationally. Used effectively, they can help Nepali citizens become much more aware of what is rightfully theirs.  <br />  <br /> Since 2011, PRAN has promoted increased social accountability and transparency in Nepal. PRAN seeks to educate communities about their local budget process and content.  As part of this effort, these new flip charts will serve as an awareness-raising tool by offering a detailed visual explanation of how the budget is designed, reviewed and approved.<br />  </p> </div></div></div> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 15:25:00 +0000 Deepa Rai 6811 at From ‘baby-making machines’ to Active Citizens: How Women are Getting Organized in Nepal (case study for comments) <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" height="187" src="" style="float:left" width="280" /><em>Next up in this series of case studies in Active Citizenship is some inspiring work on women’s empowerment in Nepal. I would welcome comments on the full study: <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Raising Her Voice Nepal</a> final draft 4 July</em></p> <blockquote> <p> <em>‘I was just a baby making machine’; ‘Before the project, I only ever spoke to animals and children’<br /><br /> ‘This is the first time I have been called by my own name.’ </em>[Quotes from women interviewed by study tour, March 2011]</p> </blockquote> <p> While gender inequality remains extreme in Nepal, Oxfam’s <a href=";rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CCAQFjAA&amp;;ei=kLe6U6n4HpGA7QbrtoDICQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNHEG0UHCaNl7vbVesnTQdTk741E1Q&amp;si" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Raising Her Voice</a> (RHV) programme on women’s empowerment is contributing to and reinforcing an ongoing long-term shift in gender norms, driven by a combination of urbanization, migration, rising literacy and access to media, all of which have combined to erode women’s traditional isolation.</p> <p> During the past 20 years, Nepal has also undergone major political changes. It has moved from being an absolute monarchy to a republic, from having an authoritarian regime to a more participatory governance system, from a religious state to a secular one, and from a centralized system to a more decentralized one.<br />  </p> </div></div></div> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Duncan Green 6758 at What Can a Community Do to Hold a School Accountable? <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="" style="float:right; height:198px; width:280px" />The answer from a case study in western Nepal says the answer could be one of the social accountability tools - Community Score Card (CSC).<br /><br /> The case study, produced by the World Bank-funded <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Program for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN), </a>gives an overview of how the tool was used to counter mismanagement, irregularity of staff as well as quality of 21 community schools in Nawalparasi district in Nepal.<br />  <br /><strong>Community Score Card</strong><br />  <br /> CSC is a mechanism through which citizens monitor the quality of community based public services. It provides the opportunity for citizens to analyse any particular service they have received based on their personal feelings, to express dissatisfaction or to provide encouragement for good work. It also further suggests measures to be taken if flaws still remain.<br />  <br /> Ritu, who had to interrupt her post-school education because of her marriage, now hopes for a good education for her daughters. She voiced her heartfelt opinion during the scoring, commenting on the weak ability of the school administration to control and discipline the teachers. Consequently, she was elected into the School Monitoring Committee to supervise the improvements. She is confident that the community, having had a taste of the Score Card, will maintain it, especially now that it does not entail any community expense.</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 17:30:00 +0000 Deepa Rai 6642 at Everybody Loves a Good Conflict? Radio Broadcasting Policy in Nepal <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <em><img alt="" height="184" src="" style="float:left" title="" width="280" />AnOx 2013 alumni Preeti Raghunath discusses Nepal’s radio landscape, situating it w</em><em>ithin the country’s political environment. Preeti is pursuing her doctoral research at the Department of Communication, University of Hyderabad, India, on comparative policy frameworks on Community Radio in South Asia. Her research interests include community media for peace, media in conflict and transitional societies, media policy, critical political economy, critical security studies and deliberative policy-making.</em></p> <p> Media policies in transitional societies often mirror the nature of governance, and policy making in such nations. Nepal provides a prime case study of a transitional nation whose media policy reflects issues with its governance structures. The country itself acts as a buffer state between India and China, successfully ousted a 240-year monarchy after a decade-long civil war between the extreme-left Maoists and the King’s security forces, and became the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal in 2008. Currently, Nepal is mired in repeated attempts to draft a Constitution, and is expected to finally hold a long awaited Constituent Assembly election in November of this year. The impact of the larger political scene on media policies, especially policies concerning community radio (CR) broadcasting, makes for an interesting study.</p> <p> Nepal is widely credited for being the first country in South Asia to open up its airwaves to community and private broadcasting. The National Media Policy of 1992, the National Broadcasting Act of 1993 and the National Broadcasting Regulation of 1995 permitted the establishment and broadcasting of community radio stations in the country (Pringle; Subba, 2007). In 1992 various actors such as the Nepal Press Institute, the Himal Group, Worldview Nepal and the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) came together to apply for a community radio broadcasting license. After a five-year struggle, Radio Sagarmatha became the first CR station in Nepal and South Asia to receive a broadcasting license and go on air in 1996 (UNESCO, 2003). With that, Nepal’s successful tryst with community broadcasting became a talking point for activists in countries like India and Bangladesh, who were lobbying for the opening up of airwaves in their respective countries.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 16 Jan 2014 16:47:00 +0000 CGCS 6580 at Finding Answers to Social Accountability in Nepal through PETS <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="" style="float:left; height:157px; width:280px" />It’s interesting to see how Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys (PETS) have become an essential tool for social accountability in Nepal.<br /><br /> At a workshop organized by the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">World Bank’s Program for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN</a>) and the World Bank Institute, more than 50 social accountability practitioners gathered to share a practical, hands-on experience on PETS from 30<sup>th</sup> September until 3<sup>rd</sup> October in Kavre, Nepal.<br />  <br /> PRAN’s Social Accountability practitioners have been implementing various social accountability tools in ten rural districts in Nepal. The main objective is to promote accountability by making the citizens aware and capable enough to demand accountability within the government and the service providers.</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 19:57:00 +0000 Deepa Rai 6504 at The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Challenges for Poverty Reduction and Service Delivery in the Rural-Urban Continuum <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="" style="float:left; height:186px; width:280px" />The progress in achieving the target set for the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)</a> continues to be diverse across goals and regions. The goals aim at actualizing a universal standard of being free from grinding poverty, being educated and healthy and having ready access to clean water and sanitation. While progress has lagged for education and health related MDGs, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty has indeed fallen. To accelerate further progress in the latter, development strategies have to attempt to increase not only the rate of growth but also the share of income going to the poorest section of the population along the rural-urban continuum.<br /><br /> Economic projections for developing countries prepared by the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">World Bank</a> state that approximately 970 million people will continue in 2015 to live below $1.25 a day. This would be equivalent to 15.5% of the population in the developing world. Herein, the pertinent challenge of reducing extreme poverty through creation of new income opportunities and better delivery of basic services largely remains in rural areas. In addition, such poverty is concentrated more in Asia (East and South) and Sub Saharan Africa with 38% and 46% of their poor residing in rural areas respectively. Thus, the task of effective rural development remains daunting. But the latter has to be operationalized and implemented holistically, and more importantly, in context of the complexities posed by the rural -urban continuum.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 17 Sep 2013 20:57:00 +0000 Abhilaksh Likhi 6469 at Provocative Voices: Profiles in Blogging <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="" style="float:left; height:212px; width:320px" /><!--StartFragment --> Inspired. That's how I felt after reading <a href="" rel="nofollow">Profiles in Blogging</a>, a new report published by the <a href="" rel="nofollow">Center for International Media Assistance</a> that examines how bloggers around the world practice their craft. <a href="" rel="nofollow">Christopher Connell</a>, an independent writer, editor, and photographer who was also former bureau chief for the Associated Press in Washington, provides a window into the experience of eight bloggers from Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, Ghana, Yemen, Philippines, China, and Cuba. He provides an interesting narrative about each blogger, noting their important role in filling information gaps and their evolution into influential bloggers. He also examines how these bloggers find their audiences, the obstacles they face in practicing their craft, and, most inspiring (as least in my view), what motivates them.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 05 Sep 2013 22:12:00 +0000 Uwimana Basaninyenzi 6460 at Weekly Wire: the Global Forum <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=120 alt="" hspace=0 src="" width=121 align=left border=0></P> <P>These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</P> <P><STRONG>CIMA<BR></STRONG><A href="" target=_blank>Making Media Development More Effective</A></P> <P>"CIMA is pleased to release a special report, Making Media Development More Effective, by Tara Susman-Peña, a media development and communications consultant. She was the director of research for Internews’s Media Map Project, which informed this paper. A wealth of research demonstrates that a healthy media sector is consistently paired with better development outcomes and can contribute to better development. However, media development–donor support for strengthening the quality, independence, and sustainability of the news media–has comprised only about 0.5 percent of overall aid to developing countries. Should media development’s track record earn it a more central place in international development? A strong evidence base of original research conducted for the Media Map Project, a collaborative effort between Internews and the World Bank Institute, funded by the Bill &amp; Melinda Gates Foundation, provides the opportunity to analyze the extent to which donor support to media has helped the media sector fulfill its promise to strengthen development. This report points out that donors to media development have a number of blind spots that prevent their interventions from being more effective and that media development stakeholders could improve their efforts by applying aid effectiveness principles to their practice." <A href="" target=_blank>READ MORE</A></P> <P><STRONG>DFID Research for Development<BR></STRONG><A href=";utm_medium=owly&amp;utm_campaign=documents" target=_blank>Emerging Implications of Open and Linked Data for Knowledge Sharing in Development</A></P> <P>"Movements towards open data involve the publication of datasets (from metadata on publications, to research, to operational project statistics) online in standard formats and without restrictions on reuse. A number of open datasets are published as linked data, creating a web of connected datasets. Governments, companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across the world are increasingly exploring how the publication and use of open and linked data can have impacts on governance, economic growth and the delivery of services. This article outlines the historical, social and technical trajectories that have led to current interest in, and practices around, open data. Drawing on three example cases of working with open and linked data it takes a critical look at issues that development sector knowledge intermediaries may need to engage with to ensure the socio-technical innovations of open and linked data work in the interests of greater diversity and better development practice."<A href=";utm_medium=owly&amp;utm_campaign=documents" target=_blank>READ MORE</A></div></div></div> Thu, 11 Oct 2012 14:32:04 +0000 Johanna Martinsson 6122 at How Can Aid Agencies Promote Local Governance and Accountability? Lessons from Oxfam’s Work in Five Countries <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=210 alt="Community discussion class participants in Bardiya village talk about their plans for building a community clinic." hspace=0 src="" width=280 align=left border=0><A href="" target=_blank>Oxfam</A> is publishing a fascinating <A href=";q=*;q1=publications;q2=local+governance+and+community+action+programme+insights;x1=page_type;x2=series" target=_blank>new series</A>&nbsp;of case studies today, describing its programme work on local governance and community action. There are case studies from <A href="" target=_blank>Nepal </A>(women's rights, see photo), <A href="" target=_blank>Malawi</A> (access to medicines), <A href="" target=_blank>Kenya</A> (tracking public spending), <A href="" target=_blank>Viet Nam</A> (community participation) and <A href="" target=_blank>Tanzania</A> (the ubiquitous <A href="" target=_blank>Chukua Hatua</A> project), and a very wise (and mercifully brief) <A href="" target=_blank>overview paper</A>&nbsp;from power and governance guru <A href="" target=_blank>Jo Rowlands</A>. Here are some highlights:</P> <P>“Governance is about the formal or informal rules, systems and structures under which human societies are organised, and how they are (or are not) implemented. It affects all aspects of human society – politics, economics and business, culture, social interaction, religion, and security - at all levels, from the most global to the very local."</div></div></div> Thu, 31 May 2012 16:02:09 +0000 Duncan Green 6002 at When Budget Disclosure is Not Enough <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=210 alt="" hspace=0 src="" width=280 align=left border=0>Deliberations around public budgets can sometimes bring out the <A href="" target=_blank>worst in parliamentarians</A> but impassioned responses rarely come from citizens themselves. Perhaps it is because budgets come in the form of tomes, with tables upon tables of data and very little context. Even though those tables reflect social services and entitlements that impact us all, simply disclosing this information does not necessarily mean that these documents will be understood or the resources well spent.</P> <P>The Budget Transparency Initiative (BTI), led by the World Bank’s Social Development Department and funded by the Governance Partnership Facility, has introduced a methodology to disclose, simplify, and analyze budgets at various levels to not only bring this information closer to citizens but also create enabling spaces for them to provide feedback. </div></div></div> Wed, 30 May 2012 17:46:04 +0000 Darshana Patel 6000 at