Policy Brief 7 – Community Monitoring Report

The Socio-Economic Rights (SER) monitoring tool developed by Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) provides a programmatic and long term approach to monitoring and evaluating the progressive realisation of SERs in South Africa.1 The tool combines policy and budget analysis and statistical indicators with the overall aim of guiding policy and the implementation of SERs. The monitoring tool attempts to provide a standardised approach which can be used by various actors and employs different tools as the context and aim requires. The tool, in particular the development of statistical indicators for various SERs, has emphasised quantitative measures that are well suited to mapping trends and patterns over time and but in effect has side-lined citizen based monitoring (CBM) and other mechanisms for public participation. This is a result of a number of factors, firstly, the difficulty of disaggregating data to ward or community level where the breakdown in service delivery is most acute, and secondly, the scarcity and often complete absence of data at a facility level where citizens engage directly with the state. Despite these challenges the SER Monitoring Tool acknowledges both the importance and necessity of citizens, the recipients of government services and goods, to actively participate in the monitoring of government. CBM is particularly relevant when to date most of the monitoring and recourse measures occur at policy or programmatic level and not where they are often most urgently needed – at the local or facility level.

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