Record of Operations and Finance (PROOF) was launched
in 2002 with the objective of creating a systematic structure of
government performance reporting along the lines of the private
sector. Four NGOs, Janaagraha,
Centre (PAC), Centre
for Budget and Policy Studies (CBPS) and Voices
came together to spearhead the process. In the second year of the
campaign, Akshara Foundation has joined as a partner to evolve a
comprehensive performance measurement system for elementary education,
in the PROOF in Education campaign.
The PROOF campaign is the first of its kind
in India in getting the government to disclose its budget and be
accountable to the citizens. PROOF in Education essentially seeks
to make government schools those of first choice rather than last
resort. Seven Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) schools have been
selected in the pilot phase, and toolkits have been created to
develop performance measures. Over 45 indicators have been identified
for the Education Department covering the dimensions of Infrastructure,
Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff, Scholastic Achievement, Community
Involvement and Financials, and these have been benchmarked against
the best in practice. An action plan for intervention is being executed
to improve service delivery in the selected schools.
First on the list will be the improvement of
toilets and equipping the 7 schools with better drinking water facilities.
Teacher training sessions will be conducted by the BMP. Remedial
education classes will be conducted for students as required, following
their performance in baseline tests to be conducted by Akshara,
and Akshara volunteers will coach, monitor and evaluate students
till they are up to the Minimum
Levels of Learning (MLL) prescribed by the government. Parent
Teacher Associations will be formed in every school. It is hoped
that gradually, these schools will become model schools. It is also
believed that during the course of and at the end of the pilot study,
and based on the data collection process, several recommendations
for process re-engineering will be developed, that will in the long
term greatly enhance the quality of education.
The PROOF campaign is based on the premise
that in a well-functioning democracy, it is important for citizens
to keep a check on government performance, so that they will be
motivated to deliver better services. Education has for long been
ignored in India. The PROOF in Education campaign aims to change
this, with co-operation from the government, schools and the community.
PROOF in Education: Memorandum of Understanding
signed in third quarter of 2003, action plan was executed from September
1, 2003 and is still underway.
BMP wins CRISIL
Award for PROOF
CRISIL has instituted awards that recognize
reform initiatives that local government bodies are undertaking
to improve the urban landscape of the country.
The Bangalore Mahanagar Palike's (BMP) initiative
is a pioneering effort towards greater transparency in public accounts
and more efficient governance through full and accurate disclosure
of its finances.The initiative, entitled 'Public Record of Operations
and Finance' (PROOF), was undertaken in collabaration with Bangalore's
prominent NGOs including Akshara Foundation.The dissemination of
this information is facilitated through public discussions, where
BMP officials present the financial performance to a gathering of
Since its inception, eight PROOF sessions have been held in the
city.The system of presenting financial records for public security
and debate has enhanced the confidence of people in the municipal
body. By involving PROOF, which is a non-Government body, BMP has
also introduced an element of independence. Disclosure of important
financial information to citizens so far restricted only to the
authorities has made BMP more accountable to its citizens.The initiative
has thus served as an effective vigilance mechanism, wherein citizens
keep a close watch on the functioning of the Corporation.
The initial results have earned wide appreciation from stakeholders
in Bangalore as well as from the urban community. Concrete results,
however, will be visible only in the long term. Nevertheless, the
initiative has been chosen as a best practice in ensuring greater
transparency and accountability.BMP is a deserving winner of the
CRISIL Award for engaging with PROOF partners to disseminate information
on its financial performance.