The answer from a case study in western Nepal says the answer could be one of the social accountability tools - Community Score Card (CSC).
The case study, produced by the World Bank-funded Program for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN), 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.
Community Score Card
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.
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.
“CSC should be applied in all community schools of the district and all over the country, if the present education system is to be changed. This will help to reduce the difference in schooling quality between poor children and those who can afford expensive private schools,” explains Ritu Kumal, a mother of two girls attending the Shree Shiva Higher Secondary School.
The Importance of CSC
The case study looks into the application of Community Score Card and is implemented by one of PRAN’s sub– grantees Vijaya Development Resource Center (VDRC) from November 2011 – October 2012.
The aim of this Case Study was to explore the impact of the application of the CSC method on the quality of education in rural communities in Nepal, and in particular its effect on teachers’ attendance problem. Specifically, the case study analyses the experience of VDRC that finally resulted in the accountability of community schools. There are 28 accountability indicators explored and scored through the implementation of CSC.
While transparent budget and improved school management (among other irregularities of the school) are main areas explored in the study, it is interesting to see how the study also captures the hidden, yet essential issues of empowerment of parents through the use of the tool and how it has helped to promote trust within the parents and the school.
Commitment of the authorities at the community as well as district level is another major result of the study. Through the use of CSC, it was possible to seek and receive commitment from the service providers to improve education system in Nepal.
The case study will be of interest to national and international Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), local and national government structures, academia, Social Accountability practitioners and all interested in promoting accountability and quality of basic service provisioning in the education sector in Nepal.
Download the full report here.
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