Promoting State Accountability and Citizen’s Empowerment through Budget Analysis in Rajasthan, India (SAP)

Problems, Solutions and other changes

The Launch Meeting

The first of the training programmes was the Launch Meeting, held on the 7th May 2000 at Jaipur. The meeting was attended by a number of networkers.

The meeting was primarily organised to

  • share the experience of conducting such awareness generation projects, in terms of an approach of collective action for development.
  • To prepare a strategic plan of action to implement the project, explaining the role they have to perform in making the project a success.
  • To make them aware regarding the problems they may face in carrying out the project, as well as equipping them with the possible solutions.

The launch meeting was structured in a manner in which, a thorough backgrounder was given to the networkers on economic policies, governance, rights of citizens and the need for transparency in governance.

A detailed strategy of approach was also discussed at length, highlighting the methodology of approach and the expected outcome of the project.

On the basis of the discussions and the interactions, the basic outline of the information kit was designed. The launch meeting also discussed the various deliverables of the project and the time frame.

State Level Seminar

The second of the training programme was State Level Seminar, organised on the 5th June 2000 at Jaipur. The meeting was attended by all the 7 district co-ordinators and 64 block co-ordinators. Notable resource persons who attended the training seminar included, Shri. Mitha Lal Mehta, Former Chief Secretary, Rajasthan, Ms. Kavita Srivastava, Convenor, National Campaign for Right to Information and Mr. Laxmi Narayan Verma from CECOEDECON.

  • The meeting was primarily to repeat of the first meeting, to ensure greater and clearer clarity amongst the field staff. The meeting also underlined the importance and usefulness of projects of this nature.
  • The highlight of the project was the recommendation `A State can only become accountable, when there is a questioning society and this questioning society can only be developed when the society has required information’.

The third state level seminar was organised at Masooda, Ajmer district, on the 11-12 November 2000. The state level seminar was basically to take stock of the progress of the project and was some sort of de-brief session for all our project networkers.

  • The seminar was a totally interactive session, where in the various problems encountered by the field staff and possible methods of overcoming these problems were discussed. The seminar threw up some interesting and revealing information pertaining to the kind of quality of information which was available and also the outlook of some of the staff.
  • It was at this seminar, that a decision was taken to have a re-look at the initial information kit and the design for a new information kit was developed, which is now being used to elicit information.
Regional Workshops

The project team felt that regional training workshops need to be organised. This was primarily to ensure the following:

  • To monitor the level of interaction between the District co-ordinator and block co-ordinators
  • To assess the awareness levels of the block co-ordinators and to also get a sense of things on their home front
  • Keeping this objective in mind, 7 regional level workshops were held at the following places.

  • Sawai Madhopur, 22-23 July 2000
  • Chittorgarh, 19th August 2000
  • Jalore, 26th August 2000
  • Jodhpur, 27th August 2000
  • Kota, 2nd September 2000
  • Nagaur, 9th September 2000
  • Ajmer, 10th September 2000

The workshops was designed as an interactive session, with actual mock interviews and role plays being organised for the benefit and understanding of the field staff. All the participants found the workshop immensely helpful and the result of this was in the form of better and constant flow of information from the field.

Workshop on good governance on the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day, 2001

In addition to the above described training workshops and seminars, it was decided to devote an entire half day session to take stock of the progress vis-à-vis the project, on the occasion of the World Consumer Rights Day Celebration, 17th March 2001 at Jaipur. The seminar was attended by all the 7 district co-ordinators and 64 block co-ordinators. The half day session was devoted to exchange of ideas and information between and amongst the project team. Various experiences were exchanged and certain actions, which would need to be taken, were also discussed.

Meeting of the Chief Minister, Ministers, Department Heads and Division, District & Block Administration officials for project briefing

To acquaint the government machinery about the project, the project members have had a number of meetings with the chief Minister, The Finance Minister, Secretaries of various Departments, Department and Project Heads and Divisional, District and Block level administrators. Most of the meetings were very successful, with the government recognising the need for undertaking such kind of study. A detailed note of the various meetings and outcome thereof is given in the annexure. The meetings with the Division and District level officials was primarily to request them to provide the required information to the CUTS staff on various programmes/schemes.