We at CRD believe that strengthening citizen participation in local government programmes is key to attainment of a better service delivery system. Through our work we have observed there was little citizen participation in the development and implementation of Ward Development Plans(WDPs). We further observed most community leaders were not attending full council meetings and budget consultative meetings in order hold local authorities accountable for service delivery because of lack of communication and mobilization. Despite the passing of the Freedom of Information bill into law in 2020 citizens have little access to public documents on budget information and service delivery planning
CRD also discovered that there was poor coordination on service provision from different government departments because the laws were not synchronized. Poor service delivery was impacting negatively on the rights of citizens to better education, health, environmental health and safe water. As it stands there are four main funding sources of RDCs which are local taxes, 5% devolution grants from central government and corporate social investments. The administration of these revenue sources lacks meaningful citizen participation.
Against this background we have established service delivery participation hubs for citizens such as service delivery committees(SDCs). Through education and awareness raising on fiscal transparency issues such as budget monitoring and expenditure tracking SDCs have become knowledge hubs on policy and service delivery. Education empowered SDCs are mobilizing in implementing community led audits and community scorecards to gather evidence on service delivery and hold duty bearers accountable.Increased participation in accountability activities have seen SDCs occupying space in local government instituions to drive citiznes voice for better service delivery and devolution reforms.
The project has established Service Delivery Committees (SDC’s) for health, education, roads and infrastructure, water and environment in the targeted wards. SDC’s will work through VDC’s, WDC’s and RDDC’s to influence public accountability in local development and service delivery. The project will implement the following activities under education and awareness raising campaign targeting 6 wards of Chimanimani, Mutare and Mutasa Districts.