Communities and young people should be involved in making decisions about programmes that affect them, from design and delivery to monitoring and evaluation.
NGOs, Agencies, Government, among others, must be accountable to the communities and young people they serve. They should share with them as much information about their work as they can, so that the people they work with are well informed about programs that affect them. For example, they must constantly organise feedback sessions with community members, including those who are marginalised and invite them to tell what they think about the projects and activities, and show that their opinions matter.
How do we strengthen accountability to our beneficiaries?
At CERC, we make sure to listen and respond to community opinions, treat them with respect and show that their opinions matter.
We listen to young people’s voices to be sure that our programmes are responding to their needs. Young people’s views are critical to our programme delivery, making our work more relevant and sustainable, and allowing young people to be an active part of their own development.
This approach allows us to run programmes that are more relevant to people’s real priorities and needs. It allows us to hear feedback about our programmes and adapt them as a result. So, it improves the quality of our work, as well as building the self-confidence of community members to claim their rights.
Our years of experience working in communities gives us credibility and ensures that young people and communities feel comfortable working openly and honestly with us. We use a range of participation methods – always adapted for the local context – to ensure that we communicate properly with young people and communities about the programmes we are running.
How we did it in the past?
A crucial element of our community integrity building program has been a two-way feedback system between communities and decision-makers.
Community feedback has been facilitated by young people, who used methods such as text messaging, phone interviews and radio call-ins to gather opinions and ideas. This feedback helped shape CERC’s ongoing program, as well as the responses of other organisations. By supporting young people to gather this feedback, they gained valuable skills and had the opportunity for their voices to be heard by community leaders.