DevelopmentCheck – online citizen feedback on development projects

emmi May 23, 2013
Blog

We are happy to launch our new online tool, DevelopmentCheck, a platform for collective action and citizen feedback on development projects. 

DevelopmentCheck

Development projects often fail to meet the needs of communities in war-torn countries as resources are frequently lost or mismanaged. Transparency and effectiveness standards exist but there is often no mechanism to get feedback from the beneficiaries. Our Community Integrity Building approach and DevelopmentCheck tool address this gap. 

With training and support from us, community monitors and our civil society partners constructively engage authorities or contractors to ensure development projects are effective. Trained community monitors gather project information on three areas:

1. Transparency – could they access project documents?
2. Community Engagement  - was the community involved in the design and/ or implementation of the project?
3. Effectiveness – is the project effective? Does it comply with standards/ contract? Is the community satisfied? 

Everyone involved works hard to ensure the data they collect is credible and reliable. Monitors visit project sites, survey beneficiaries, take photos of the project and compare this information to the project documents if they have access to these. They gather feedback from community members, contractors, authorities and other relevant stakeholders. This evidence is then shared on DevelopmentCheck. On the website you can search for projects by country and sector. At the project level you can see how the project scored on the three areas (transparency, engagement & effectiveness). Where possible our partners upload project documents and photos of the project. 

The monitors then share their findings with communities and other stakeholders, including contractors, local authorities. If they discover a problem with a project they try to address this through collective action. In Timor Leste, for example, there are District Monitoring Committees comprised of monitors, contractors, community members and local authorities, who work together to find solutions or “fixes”  to identified problems. 

DevelopmentCheck generates the evidence and demand for accountability, and therefore significantly improves the prospects that development projects meet communities’ needs. We believe that through our community integrity building approach we can improve public services and infrastructure for thousands more citizens around the world. 

As one of ten finalists in Google’s Global Impact Challenge, which supports organisations using technology, and innovative approaches to tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges, we could achieve this but we need your help to do so. Watch our short video, cast your vote and spread the word: g.co/impactchallenge/integrityaction