Community Score Card
The Community Score Card (CSC) is a two-way and on-going participatory tool for assessment, planning, monitoring and evaluation of services. The Community Score Card brings together the demand side (“service user”) and the supply side (“service provider”) of a particular service or program to jointly analyse issues underlying service delivery problems and find a common and shared way of addressing those issues. It is an exciting way to increase participation, accountability and transparency between service users, providers and decision makers. Being a tool for participatory monitoring, it also effectively exacts community empowerment. Contradictory to what the name suggests, it is not just a scorecard but a process, though the emphasis remains on feedback and reform. Simply understood, it is a report card for various departments involved in providing a variety of services to the community, which is understood and filled by members and groups from the community.
The goal and core strategy of the Community Score Card
The goal of the Community Score Card is to positively influence the quality, efficiency and accountability with which services are provided at different levels. The core implementation strategy to achieve the goal is using dialogue in a participatory forum that engages both service users and service providers.
What are the main features of the Score Card?
The Community Score Card is a participatory tool that:
- Is conducted at micro/local level and uses the community as the unit of analysis
- Generates information through focus group interactions and enables maximum participation of the local community
- Provides immediate feedback to service providers and emphasizes immediate response and joint decision making
- Allows for mutual dialogue between users and providers and can be followed by joint monitoring
What can the Score Card be used for?
- For the service user (e.g., the community): The CSC helps service users give systematic and constructive feedback to service providers about their performance.
For the service provider (e.g., government agencies/ institutions): The CSC helps government institutions learn directly from communities about which aspects of their services and programs are working well and which are not. The information it generates will enable power holders to make informed decisions and policy choices and implement service improvements that respond to citizens’ rights, needs and preferences.
Major Processes in implementation of Community Score Card
The following flow diagram illustrates the major processes in the implementation of the CSC process.
- Phase I: Planning and Preparation to be carried out by the CSC practitioners in coordination with key stakeholders
- Phase II: Conducting the Score Card with the Community to be carried out with service users
- Phase III: Interface Meeting and Action Planning to involve both service users and providers
- Phase IV: Action Plan Implementation and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) repeat cycles to ensure institutionalization
- Phase V: Public Hearing
There could be as many criteria for scoring. Under SDI project, we developed three criteria with colour code namely Good (Green), Average (Yellow) and Poor (Red). Good means 75% and more respondents are satisfied with the indicator progress. Average means 50% to 75% of respondents are satisfied with the indicator progress. Poor means less than 50% of respondents are satisfied with the indicator progress.