Achieving transparency and accountability with mobile phones. Assessing the impact of these initiatives for improving the functioning of entitlement-based programmes in India.
This collaborative research project seeks to study the impact of digital tools built specifically for activist partners to use in their campaigns to improve bureaucratic accountability in selected entitlement schemes, namely the MGNREGA, Pensions and the Public Distribution System. The interventions and the study are initiated from Liberation Technology Program in Stanford University and researchers from CORD, New Delhi and IGIDR, Mumbai are involved in the research.
In the initial phase, the study focuses on MGNREGS implementation in Surguja, Chhattisgarh and interventions made by "Chaupal". The methodology for this project can be described as a Randomized Experiment with Ethnography (RCT-E). Distinctions are made between intermediate outcomes and ultimate outcomes to reflect the process by which these campaigns can achieve the desired impact. Gram Panchayat is the unit for treatment. A phase-in design will be used whereby GPs will enter treatment in two phases.
The research study starts with a Baseline Survey in 2014 and campaigns using mobile technology will begin after the baseline in the first phase of Gram Panchayats. After a midline survey (a gap of around one year) the remaining Gram Panchayats will also enter the treatment. The endline survey will be done a year later.