PAISA

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PAISA by Yamini Aiyar of The Acocuntability Initiative

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  • PAISA

    1. 1. PAISA<br />A citizen led effort to improve transparency in government expenditures and make citizens genuine partners in planning and monitoring local service delivery<br />
    2. 2. The Problem<br />Government accounting in India is extremely opaque<br />Accounting systems are designed such that there are no incentives within the system to collect and report on ‘actual expenditures’ in real time<br />Expenditure data is available with a two year time lag. Thus inefficiencies (such as delays in funds reaching their destination) and leakage (or corruption) are rarely identified and addressed<br />Expenditure data, when made public, is presented in a manner that makes it impossible for the average citizen to understand<br />Consequently, citizens and service providers are unable to effectively direct and monitor expenditures and accountability is severely compromised <br />
    3. 3. The PAISA solution (1)Strengthening Transparency<br />Develop tools and use these tools to collect data on government expenditures at the local level. Current focus is on elementary education. The tools ask the following questions:<br /><ul><li>Do schools get their money?
    4. 4. If so, when do schools get their money?
    5. 5. Do schools get their entire entitlement?
    6. 6. Do schools spend their money? If so, what are the outputs of this expenditure?</li></li></ul><li>The PAISA solution (1)Strengthening Transparency<br />Data is collected through surveys conducted by citizen volunteers. There are two kinds of surveys: <br /><ul><li>National rapid assessment that covers an average of 15,000 schools across the country
    7. 7. District (key subnational unit of government) in-depth surveys that cover 2000 schools in 10 districts across the country. These studies go beyond the school level to trace the entire set of processes through which resources are allocated and flow to schools </li></ul>PAISA is the only national level citizen led effort to track government funds in India<br />The surveys are conducted annually and disseminated widely to government and citizens<br />
    8. 8. The PAISA solution (2)Building Citizen Capacity for Accountability<br />To build citizen capacity, PAISA is working to build a network of ‘fiscal detectives’ across the country. These ‘detectives’ can be frontline civil society activists, journalists, members of community groups or interested citizens<br />To do this PAISA has developed a two –year course which aims to provide students with the tools to collect and track expenditures and encourage them to act as ‘change agents’ at the frontline by drawing on these tools to demand accountability<br />The course offers students an overview of public finance and administration in India and a detailed introduction in to the ‘how to’ of tracking expenditures and processes using PAISA and PAISA like tools. The course also helps students develop intervention strategies for accountability <br />
    9. 9. Key Products<br />National annual report<br />District report cards<br />Budget Briefs<br />PAISA Course <br />All products are available at www.accountabilityindia.in<br />
    10. 10. Results<br />Wide acceptance of PAISA findings within Government of India and recognition of the importance of collecting real time expenditure data <br />Greater awareness of government finances and structures amongst PAISA students<br />An interesting glimpse of how the PAISA experience has empowered PAISA students can be found on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9932IrK8CI<br />
    11. 11. Lessons<br />Feasibility: It is possible for ordinary citizens to track government expenditures and do so at scale. This does not require highly qualified researchers<br />Scalability: If you keep data collection tools simple and stay focused on what citizens’ need to know, scale is achievable <br />Balancing simplicity with research rigor is the greatest challenge<br />
    12. 12. Contact Us<br />Contact person: YaminiAiyar, Director Accountability Initiative, Centre for Policy Research<br />Email: yaiyar@accountabilityindia.org<br />All our reports and tools are available on our website: www.accountabilityindia.in<br />

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