In 2018, we piloted a new approach in seven countries to equip grassroots communities with the skills to gain influence over budgets. This effort focused on Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa. In five years, we have proven that a bottom-up model works. We can tangibly improve the lives of underserved communities and these communities can lead effective, powerful coalitions capable of shifting government incentives and service delivery practices.
To maximize our learnings, we formed a partnership with the Institute of Development Studies and the Accountability Research Center called Learning with SPARK (LwS) to generate insights, ask questions and facilitate regular reflection. In a three-part learning series, we explore how SPARK has built the capabilities of grassroots groups to collectively engage with fiscal governance systems – the politics, institutions, policies, and processes that govern the use of public funds and how they are utilized and implemented accountably to provide services. The learning briefs below draw key insights from a series of learning papers produced under the LwS program with IDS.