Project: Guarding the Integrity of the Conditional Cash Transfer Program for the Philippines
Executing Agency: Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Government (CCAGG)
Grant Amount: $800,000
Closing Date: March, 2018
In 2008, the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) started to implement a new Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) initiative to improve the education and health outcomes of poor households. Entitled the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), this Bank-supported initiative grew from covering 6,000 households in 2008 to four million in 2014. The 4Ps was designed to include partnerships with CSOs and activities geared towards involving beneficiary communities. This is reflected in CSO participation in national and municipal advisory committees, independent groups’ role in performing checks of CCT performance, and official established grievance mechanisms.
However, these activities fail to adequately empower communities to monitor the 4P and provide feedback to local health and education boards and the DSWD. In the Northern Luzon region, CSOs usually have limited knowledge and skills to develop and apply social accountability tools to monitor and channel beneficiary experiences and feedback to the DSW. Family Development Sessions (FDSs), community-based platforms for sharing information on the 4Ps and collecting community feedback, also face serious weaknesses. More specifically, parent leaders participating in the FDSs lack the necessary skills to mobilize communities, engage with local governments and service providers, and develop action plans to improve public services.
The Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Government (CCAGG), an NGO active in the social accountability arena in the for the last 25 years, was awarded a GPSA grant to strengthen CSOs and FDSs in Northern Luzon to develop and apply SA tools to improve the 4Ps, and share lessons enabling replication of good practices across the country. This will be done by implementing three components that are geared towards: 1) tracking funds and monitoring CCT programs to ensure transparency; 2) empowering citizens to use social accountability mechanisms and participate in district-level meetings with local authorities; 3) strengthening the capacity of CSOs to organize and form a coalition that is active in the CCT program; and 4) collect and curate knowledge to improve project design and share lessons learned.
Improvements in CSO and citizen feedback are expected to improve the 4Ps and services for poor households in project areas. Key expected milestones and results include:
25 CSOs are trained in ways to apply social accountability mechanisms to the 4Ps.
1,350 Parent Leaders enhance their knowledge and skills in how to mobilize 4P grantees and facilitate engagements with local governments and service providers.
30 municipalities in project areas have adopted plans for bringing together CSOs and local governments to apply SA tools to improve the transparency and accountability of the 4Ps.
Increase in the share of CCT beneficiaries complying with conditionalities from 60% to 90%.
Share of beneficiaries participating in decision-making community forums rises from 0% to 80%.
Increase in the share of issues raised by beneficiaries that are responded by government officials.
Increase in the satisfaction of CCT beneficiaries that are attributed to project interventions.
The grant is at its early stages and lessons will be added as available. However, the design of this grant benefits from the lessons learned from CCAGG’s work in the use of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) as an instrument to structure and help guide engagement with local authorities.