Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Community Based Performance Monitoring (CBPM)

Community Based Performance Monitoring (CBPM) was developed in The Gambia with support from the World Bank as one element in its promotion of social accountability in poverty reduction programs. Building on earlier work by CARE International in Malawi, CBPM combines elements of familiar participatory tools such as social audits and participatory rural appraisal. It has been scaled up nationally to monitor implementation of The Gambia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, and has been introduced to a number of other African countries. CBPM enables local communities to negotiate reforms in the delivery of services such as primary education or village dispensaries. Information on the quality of service provision is generated through the use of structured focus group interactions with user groups as well as with service providers. Feedback from user groups to service providers is almost immediate, and changes are arrived at through mutual dialogue during an interface meeting. The community also tracks inputs by comparing actual facility assets and supplies against entitlements. The primary aim of the approach is community empowerment. Secondarily, CBPM can be used as an advocacy tool by aggregating community-generated data across multiple CBPM “community gatherings”. The paper (accompanied by an illustrated slide presentation) first outlines the origins and attributes of the CBPM approach. The CBPM process and outputs, and the experiences to date with variants of the CBPM approach in several African countries, are described. Finally, the paper reviews a number of ongoing strategic and operational challenges, and the potential for adaptation and scaling-up of the CBPM approach.
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