The CBM-S Program aimed to enhance coordination between communities and government education departments, promote transparency and accountability, encourage officials to be more responsive, and advocate for policy change at both local and national levels.
Problems and Purpose
Note: This entry needs help with content and editing. Please help us complete it.
In July 2014, the CBM-S Program was launched to improve coordination between communities and government education departments. Its goals were to increase transparency and accountability and enhance the quality of education services through community monitoring, collaborative information sharing, and problem-solving. The initiative also aimed to encourage communities to support the education sector and advocate for policy change at the local and national levels while making officials more responsive to the needs of their constituents.
The CBM-S Program replaced Integrity Watch Afghanistan's Community Score Card (CSC) Program, which empowered School Management Shuras (SMS) to assess education services, identify issues, and find local solutions. While the CSC pilot phase in Jabal Saraj District of Parwan Province was successful, the lack of effective monitoring and reactive SMSs prompted Integrity Watch to switch to the CBM-S Program. This new approach allowed community members to monitor schools regularly and helped solve problems with school management over an extended period.[i]
[i] Integrity Watch Afghanistan Official webpage: https://integritywatch.org/advocacy/advocacy-about.
Background History and Context
Integrity Watch is a civil society organization in Afghanistan dedicated to promoting transparency, accountability, and integrity. It was founded in October 2005 and became an independent organization the following year. The main office is located in Kabul, but they also have programs in Balkh, Herat, Kabul, Kapisa, and Nangarhar provinces and partnerships with local organizations in other provinces. Over the past ten years, their work has centred on community monitoring, research, and advocacy.[i]
In developing countries, Community-Based Monitoring (CBM) is a popular method that promotes public participation, transparency, and integrity in public service delivery. It encourages citizens to take an active role in improving the quality of services in their community. In 2007, Integrity Watch introduced CBM for infrastructure projects in Parwan Province, and it was successful in engaging the public and improving project quality. Since then, Integrity Watch has expanded the program to include CBM for trials, schools, extractives, and health in over 15 provinces in Afghanistan. These CBM programs encouraged community mobilization and active citizenship.
CBM has become one of the most successful models in providing anti-corruption and integrity-building programs to communities. As a result, it has made significant progress in increasing public awareness about the negative impact of corruption, encouraging citizens to demand integrity, and involving decision-makers in adopting transparency-related policies and legislation.
Since its establishment in 2007, CBM-I has been a flagship program that has monitored 1356 infrastructure and development projects in 10 provinces. The program has involved local communities in monitoring the implementation of infrastructure projects to ensure that the promised projects are delivered. To date, the program has had 2924 Integrity Volunteers who regularly monitor their local infrastructure projects and report their findings to their communities in Balkh, Herat, Nangarhar, Kapisa, Laghman, Parwan, Panjsher, Kunduz, Badakshan, and Bamyan Provinces. Over its operation, the program has achieved an impressive 90.90% fix rate, calculated by dividing the number of solved problems by the number of identified problems.[ii]
[ii] Integrity Watch Afghanistan Official webpage: https://integritywatch.org/blog/slideshow/community-based-monitoring-of-trial-cbm-t/
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
This section needs help with content and editing. Please help us complete it.
Integrity Watch Afghanistan implemented the program with financial support from donors such as Norway, Tiri, UNDP, WB, IBP, OSI, and USIP.[i]
[i] Integrity Watch Afghanistan. Corruption and Conflict. IWA.Kabul.2010 : https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/Amanda%20Mayoral/Lorenzo%20Delesgues%20Presentation%20November%208%202010%20(00019540).PDF
Participant Recruitment and Selection
This section needs help with content. Please help us complete it.
Methods and Tools Used
The process of Community-Based Monitoring of School Programs involves several steps. Firstly, it was essential to coordinate with the education sector at the Ministry level. The CBM-S team should initiate contact with the relevant ministries and seek their cooperation. This involved conducting introductory meetings with the concerned departments in the education sector to introduce the Program to them. This collaborative approach was crucial for informing the further development of the Program.
In order to successfully implement the CBM-S Program, the CBM-S team worked closely with local authorities in the education sector at the provincial level, seeking their consent and support.
Community involvement was critical to the program's success. Communities were mobilized and informed about the program's necessity, and qualified individuals were elected by the community to serve as Integrity Volunteers or Community Representatives. These volunteers were responsible for monitoring schools and education services. The community members themselves chose these Integrity Volunteers. To ensure that the Integrity Volunteers were well-equipped to monitor education services, they underwent a training and orientation session after being elected. The training covered basic concepts of governance, awareness, community mobilization, monitoring, and problem-solving. Local Monitors were taught how to use monitoring tools and conduct surveys.
Before beginning any intervention, it was crucial to comprehend the ground conditions thoroughly. This allowed the implementers, Integrity Watch, to develop appropriate strategies for measuring the effectiveness and impact of the intervention. Integrity Volunteers distributed specially designed questionnaires during this stage to educate service beneficiaries and document the situation. The collected data was then entered into Integrity Watch's database, and reports on the baseline survey were generated.
The CBM-S Program had two primary objectives: monitoring schools and ensuring the proper functioning of School Management Shura (SMS). Integrity Volunteers visited schools at least twice a week, filled out monitoring forms, and attended monthly SMS meetings to update community representatives on their findings. All information collected was recorded in Integrity Watch's database. Weekly and quarterly monitoring forms were also completed by the volunteers and recorded. A monthly feedback sheet was prepared and submitted to school management and community representatives.
Additionally, Integrity Volunteers attended SMS meetings to monitor performance. Once a month, volunteers met to discuss their findings and share experiences. The Sectorial Monitoring Group (SMG) was a critical component of the Program, bringing together education officials, community representatives, and heads of SMSs to discuss immediate challenges at the provincial level. These meetings occurred quarterly and aimed to exchange ideas and collaboratively seek solutions.[i]
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
This section needs help with content. Please help us complete it.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
Since 2014, 757 schools in various regions of Afghanistan, including Balkh (96), Bamyan (65), Herat (131), Kabul (97), Kapisa (199), Kunduz (23), Nangarhar (76), and Parwan (70), have been monitored by communities. The program has successfully addressed 11321 issues, resulting in a 55 percent resolution rate. These issues include improving hygiene in some schools, providing portable water, ensuring teacher and student attendance, activating School Management Shura, providing textbooks, and constructing boundary walls and even school buildings in exceptional cases. However, 5584 problems remained unresolved, including constructing school buildings, and boundary walls, providing textbooks, desks, chairs or carpets, and portable water, and addressing the shortage of professional teachers and laboratories.[i]
Analysis and Lessons Learned
Integrity Watch's CBM-S program was becoming increasingly vital. It was introduced in 2014 and has now expanded to various provinces. The program aimed to have community members monitor local schools to ensure education services were delivered honestly, transparently, and impartially. So far, CBM-S has overseen 646 schools in Kabul, Herat, Balkh, Nangarhar, Kapisa, Parwan, Kunduz, and Bamyan Provinces. This was made possible by the dedication of 914 Integrity Volunteers from the local communities. The program has achieved an overall success rate of 51%.[i]
To evaluate the program's success, an end-line survey was conducted to measure its effectiveness and impact. The results of this survey were used for input. Selected Integrity Volunteers attended monthly SMS meetings to monitor its performance. Regular reports on all monitoring processes and achievements were provided to the communities. The monitoring showed that SMS meetings were being held regularly at the targeted schools, and local communities were becoming more involved in identifying and resolving school problems.[ii]
[i] Integrity Watch Afghanistan Official webpage: https://integritywatch.org/blog/slideshow/community-based-monitoring-of-trial-cbm-t/
 Integrity Watch Afghanistan Official webpage: https://integritywatch.org/advocacy/advocacy-about.
 Integrity Watch Afghanistan Official webpage: https://integritywatch.org/introduction/
 Integrity Watch Afghanistan Official webpage: https://integritywatch.org/blog/slideshow/community-based-monitoring-of-trial-cbm-t/
 Integrity Watch Afghanistan. Corruption and Conflict. IWA.Kabul.2010 : https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/Amanda%20Mayoral/Lorenzo%20Delesgues%20Presentation%20November%208%202010%20(00019540).PDF