In its efforts to ensure that political, social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in society and that the voices of the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decision-making over allocation of development resources, CYSD aimed at provided for an environment conducive to sustained development.
CYSD’s purpose of carrying out Social Audit Interventions was to make functions and functionaries of government accountable on public development spending, to create a deep sense of accountability and transparency in the minds of the public, to initiate independent process of Social Audit and accountability in all Gram Panchayats in our program operational areas, and to develop partnership with the mainstream agencies for successful implementation of Social Audit. CYSD’s approach towards ensuring transparency and accountability in Governance was Participatory to every extent as it concentrated on introducing RTI and Social Audit as accountability tools through the formed RTI and Social Audit Cadres before facilitating the process of Social Audit.
The Social Audit process was conducted by the “Social Audit Committees” with an aim to identify gaps, enable provisions and carry out mid-course corrections through a mechanism of participatory review, from the initiation of the process through completion, ensuring a vigilant and socially accountable process, credible and answerable to the beneficiaries.
Right to Information:
CYSD adopts a series of approaches in its RTI interventions. It builds the capacity of barefoot practitioners from among partners, extend resource support for qualitative functioning of RTI clinics run by partners, create a platform for exchange of ideas of different actors engaged in RTI promotions and initiates micro studies on field realities to influence the mainstream stakeholders for pro poor policy and decisions.
The process followed in its RTI interventions are elaborate supporting likeminded organizations to organize village level rally and events, training and exposure to barefoot practitioners to different institutions, organizing interface programs and exchange dialogues, and having regular discussions/sharing on different findings relating to practical problems.
With a purpose of increased use of the RTI Act as a tool for addressing accountability and transparency issues, the RTI Clinic was proposed as a progressive intervention at the grassroots in the year 2010, pepping up transparency in all developmental activities by the line departments. Since then, the two RTI Clinics under the purview of CYSD-Prayas have been engaging volunteers and disseminating information on the provisions under the Act, creating awareness through community meetings, making application forms available for use, with booklet, leaflet, training kits and posters on RTI for reference. As a platform, the RTI Clinics have been providing immediate support to the people intending use of the Act.
National Social Watch Coalition (NSWC):
The process of Social Watch is the collective response of a number of development organizations, social action groups, and citizens to ensure a critical engagement in the process of Governance. To make the principles of democracy meaningful and participatory, it tries to monitor the institutions of Governance and their commitment towards citizens and democratic principles.
National Social Watch Coalition (NSWC) has been formed primarily to establish citizens’ role in monitoring the performance of the institutions of governance, making them more accountable and transparent in the realm of social development of the country, associating it with International Social Watch. Policy Makers, Planners, and the Media use the reports released by NSWC every year on the key institutions of Governance in India, to question the accountability and performance of the Government vis-à-vis social development. By now, the NSWC has succeeded in involving CSOs and Community Groups spurring the creation of local monitoring processes in 14 states, by concerted pressure of the voices and concerns of the wider civil society on the Government, through the unified Social Watch platform. See www.socialwatchindia.net for more on Social Watch.
Envisioning credibility towards people’s priorities the Odisha Budget and Accountability Centre (OBAC) was set up by CYSD. In a democratic environment like India, public understanding and involvement in the budget process is vital for ensuring that the government is accountable to the public. Such a process of seeking accountability can lead to the formulation and proper implementation of pro-poor and pro-marginalized budgets.
CYSD has been engaged in intensive and persistent budget analysis to analyze the implications of budgetary policy priorities and to track the implementation of the budgetary proposals, policy initiatives and development in the economy to seek a change in favor of the poor and the marginalized. OBAC’s focus to become a vital stakeholder in enabling the citizens to have a better understanding of the entire budgetary process was further ascertained with its campaigning, lobbying and utilizing the media to raise public awareness and stimulate public pressure to achieve desired budget and policy reforms. OBAC is facilitated by State Pressure Groups (SPG) and District Budget Groups (DBG), both formulated by it to conducts pre and post budget workshops before the Finance Minister of the State, at power, analyzing the promises and priorities of the Government and providing them with essential information on the actual needs and demands from the community level. While the former assists in defining issues and providing directional inputs, the later provides crucial information from the community level. The groups assist OBAC in smooth conduction of ‘Community Reflection Programmes’ that encompass community level discussion to locate the needs and demands of people.