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Submitted by Jane Lonsdale on
In response to Jeff's post, election promises tracking worked to varying degrees, with some accountability successes including councillors agreeing to meet with villagers and starting to fulfil some of their promises, and some seeing it as an opportunity to show how well they are performing their role. In other cases, leaders have avoided the tracking where possible, with one MP actively running away from trackers! Cartoons were used to display promises on boards near the villages offices; we found that people liked the cartoons but tend to avoid village offices so the local school might have been a better location.So our conclusion was that it was fairly successful but as a standalone project it does not represent a complete change model, not least because election promises are just one aspect of governance. We have now subsumed the tracking aspect into the work with farmer animators. The farmer animator we found was the most complete model of change, we think because farmers had the skills to not only discuss and agree their issues, but to then work out what tactics to take to get a good response. We are seeing this is becoming increasingly sophisticated over time- the original farmer groups are spreading the approach to other farmer groups (eg one village alone now has 100 farmers on board) to increase voice and reduce the risk of them being targeted as individuals, and are getting their elected leaders working for them to raise their issues. It is therefore the core of our model for phase 2, and we are expanding it to faith leaders, teachers, traditional birth attendants and students. One of the biggest learnings in all of the pilots was that it worked not to have any sector basis- let people choose their own issues to work on and they are much more likely to run with it. There is a paper coming out at the end of May on our Chukua Hatua experiences, to be posted on Oxfam's policy and practice website http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/