Tracking the Rupee An Overview of Expenditure Tracking Work in India : Gaps, Challenges, Opportunities and the PAISA Project. Yamini Aiyar Accountability Initiative July 2009. The Great Indian Paradox. People want change: Growing demand for transparency and accountability.
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Relatively little focus on expenditures – social audits in NREGA the exception
Sporadic efforts at PETS and Absenteeism surveys (PROBE II and WB study are underway now)
Limited scale and co-ordination
Links between micro and macro level work not very strong
Helps identify systemic inefficiencies: utilization levels, timeliness of fund flows, procedural complexities
Helps identify leakages
Creates transparency in procedures
Better planning: Linked with needs and performance
Citizens ‘right to know’
The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Example
Funds outside AG
District Implementation Unit
Block Resource centre
Village Education Committee
State Implementation Society
District Implementation Society
Reports are complex. Need de-mystifying
Cannot disaggregate from district to the service provider level
No publically available data on what happens after the district.
When and how to funds get transferred to the service provider? How much gets spent? Do UCs reflect ground realities?
This requires primary ‘physical-financial’ verification
You need to investigate:
Collecting Information + Building Capacity
First phase focus on Elementary Education
Understanding the big picture:
Plans, Allocations and expenditures
Total AWP size increased from Rs.3145 crore to Rs.5429 crore
Pattern of Utilization of SSA
Source: Budget Brief on Education Sector, Accountability Initiative
Understanding Expenditures at the Service Delivery Point
Expenditure tracking study
Data access (despite RTI): strong links with the local administration can help
Poor record keeping
Skill level of surveyors, data analysts (not everyone’s cup of tea)
Time and resource intensive when thinking of scale
Partnerships: A possible opportunity?
Capacity Building for VECs
Developing a tool kit to improve local decision making and planning
Sehore, Madhya Pradesh VEC intervention
To early to tell but the first intervention seems to have made some impact
Community mobilization – strong local presence essential
Local dynamics and politics
Multiple interventions- time and resource intensive which makes scaling up a question mark
Links with the state, an opportunity for scale?
In the final analysis implementation is the key binding constraint to achieving outcomes. PETS and Absenteeism studies hold the key
There are many challenges but the environment is ripe and the opportunities are endless
This is the most important job in the world