Lack of Adequate Information Impairs Accountability
To begin with, lack of adequate information flows impairs or limits significantly provider’s and policy maker’s accountability to their principals. Thus, several of the GDN case studies found that when information derived from administrative monitoring and evaluation systems is not made public, chances are that it will remain unused, even for administrative purposes.
As mentioned above, the study on mandated municipal participatory budgeting in peru, included in this volume, found that one of the main reasons for the lack of impact of this mechanism on water coverage and quality is lack of access of participants to the generally complex technical information required for identifying and evaluating options for increased coverage and quality. As a consequence of this and the fact that these options require large hnancial resources that are generally not available to municipalities, local citizens’ participation is mostly limited to solving minor issues in order to improve reliability and continuity of water provision for those already connected.
In the same vein, the GDN case study in Philippines found that, in spite of mandatory participation of civil society organizations in municipal budgetary allocations in the education sector, the generalized lack of adequate information makes it hard for them to supervise and influence local government’s expenditures in this area.
Similarly, the case study on the Uruguay and Chile educational systems, included in this volume, concluded that, as administrative information on schools, principals and teachers (as well as student tests) is not made public in uruguay, monitoring and evaluation in that country remain essentially an internal formalistic exercise with little consequences on performance. In contrast, in Chile, information, especially on student performance in official tests, is publicly and widely available, and it is used by all actors and seems to have significant impact on performance and results, as discussed below.
The GDN Southeast European case study on quality assurance systems in education echoes these conclusions. In almost all countries administrative information and school assessments are not made public and do not appear to influence performance, exactly as it happens in Uruguay. In contrast, in Slovenia, as in Chile, wide dissemination of information, especially on students test performance, appears to have a significant influence on performance.