This Toolkit is offered as a set of ready-to-use tools that can be adapted by practitioners. It is not meant to be read cover-to-cover; rather, users can download the topics and tools that are most relevant to their projects. The Toolkit is organized into a Guidance Note and three sections: community-, project-, and external level tools. Within each section, information is organized into modules and topics containing related tools, case studies, boxes and figures.
Community-Driven Development (CDD)-based projects aim to get resources and decision-making into the hands of communities and to strengthen social accountability. With this in mind, this Toolkit is meant to provide just-in-time support and practical advice to task teams to help them address governance and accountability aspects in their CDD-based projects. The knowledge and tools presented here are drawn from successful case examples as practiced and scaled up in CDD-based projects around the world, on topics ranging from effective participation to social mobilization to financial management and participatory monitoring.
When the CDD approach works well it deeply embeds in the community a sense of pride and accomplishment in upholding transparency, accountability, and inclusive participation. It creates the foundation for sustainability because it is owned and operated by the community from the start. However, given its bottom-up design, the challenges of project management and monitoring require different, community-based solutions. Specifically, there are five key characteristics in which CDD-based projects differ from more traditional investment project models:
- A large number of communities are involved: With a CDD-based approach, even pilot projects may involve dozens of communities (whether rural villages or urban neighborhoods), while fully scaled up projects can involve hundreds or even thousands of communities. Some may be in remote or insecure locations where regular communication and travel are difficult. While this has positive implications in terms of the reach of project activities, it has an adverse impact on the ability to supervise and monitor all aspects of the project on a practical and predictable basis.
- Multiple small transactions at the community level: As part of project design, specific arrangements are agreed for the flow of funds to the community. Disbursements are normally made on a lump sum basis, based on the agreed sub-project scope and cost estimates. Individual transactions are usually kept at the community level using systems such as a “cash book,” with supporting documentation kept also at the community level. Depending on the number of communities involved, and the nature of the sub-projects, the number of individual transactions may range into the tens of thousands.
- Financial Management (FM) and Procurement conducted by communities: In a CDD based project, fundamental World Bank FM/Procurement rules still apply, and the integrity of the principles are maintained. However, some modifications are allowed to take into account that CDD-based projects rely on community implementation to conduct duties (e.g. in procurement, “local shopping” or direct community participation in civil works). Therefore, knowledge transfer and skill building in fiduciary management is a core part of laying the GAC groundwork in CDD-based projects.
- Substantial and sustained investment in local capacity building: In CDD-based projects, intensive training, capacity development, and sustained community level dialogue are absolutely critical to the achievement of development outcomes. Building capacity at the local community level leads to ownership, lasting development outcomes and sustainability of CDD-based operations. However, it does require a substantial commitment of time and financial resources. With budget and time constraints, many project teams struggle with the cost and time-effective means to ensure capacity building that allows all project activities to be effective over the project cycle.
- The importance of downward accountability: In all forms of communities and stakeholders (local and national), it is important to have a clear understanding of how accountability is established and maintained. This is one part of reinforcing a culture of rules and transparency. It is considered good practice in CDD-based operations to have an inclusive process for establishing appropriate governance that is accountable both to the community and to the overall project.