Browse by Theme: Social Accountability

For those of us that sing the praises of social accountability (citizen-driven initiatives to hold those in power to account), making a claim about “impact” (or transformative change) is a challenge we face on a daily basis. And CARE’s not alone. The title of the first session at an NGO political economy analysis working group at which I’m presenting this week (“Building the Evidence-base for Social Accountability”) speaks to the same concern.

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The Citizens’ Charter is a process for giving service users more of a say in how their services are run. This guidance note describes how to develop a Citizens’ Charter, covering planning and preparation, design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.

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After disasters many international agencies, including CARE, undertake a whole range of projects to help affected people recover, including the construction of houses. These may be described as all sorts of things, including temporary shelter, transitional shelter, durable shelter, semi-permanent shelter, core houses or permanent houses. Which description is used often seems almost arbitrary, decided by a mixture of assumptions about people’s recovery, donor mandates and priorities, government policy and the level of expertise available in agencies. The description rarely matches reality.

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CARE has been working in India for over 65 years, and over that time a large part of its work has been responding to and supporting recovery from disasters. Many of these humanitarian projects have involved emergency shelter and housing reconstruction. Indeed, since 2000, CARE has built over 8,000 houses for some of the most vulnerable people who have lost their homes in disasters. A number of other agencies have undertaken similar construction programmes over the years. So what has the long-term effect of these projects been? Is the approach right, and given both the scale of typical disasters in India and the increasing quality and reach of government response, is the approach still relevant and appropriate?

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The introduction, conclusions and recommendations from the full report.

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Over the last 15 years CARE India and other NGOs have repeatedly responded to natural disasters where large numbers of people have lost their homes. This study evaluates the medium- to long-term effectiveness of post-disaster shelter responses and recommends measures to strengthen future shelter programmes, whether undertaken by CARE or other agencies, to most effectively address the complex and interconnected needs of disaster-affected women, girls, men and boys.

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Bangladesh has been quite successful in working towards the Millennium Development Goals, even receiving a Millennium Development Goal Award in 2010 for its notable progress toward reducing child mortality (MDG 4). But how far did this progress reach? Does the way we measure progress fail to account for the experience of millions of the country’s poorest people?

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