Economic literacy and budget
accountability for governance, elbag is a process and methodological framework
that combines organizing people, developing grassroots monitoring mechanisms
democratizing knowledge (Particularly political economy and economics) and
using participatory tools and methods for building public accountability and
transparency to initiate people centered advocacy processes. It creates space
where people can discuss economics and use it as an entry point to build
inclusive, democratic and just governance. ELBAG thus seeks to address the
disconnection between local, national and international level.
People may enter the space
constructed by the ELBAG process through various angles some enter and build
space through various angles some enter space through their concerns of
livelihood needs. Parents and often children, enter it through issues
pertaining to the education system and services. HIV positive people enter in
to it to claim their rights to health care demanding better services from the
primary and secondary level health care system with adequate ARV coverage.
Likewise women, who have been
subjected to a long lustory of exploitation and inequality, create space for
themselves by articulating and bringing to for discriminatory issues and unfair
practices bred by patriarchy such as being over burdened by household work,
economic dependency and difficulties and nominal access to other resources.
Depending upon their level of empowerment they raise related issues that are
responsible for their disempowerment.
In this way ELBAG aims to
facilitate empowerment of people, ensure participation of poor and excluded
reduce corruption, increase accountability in the processes of governance and
policy making particularly with regards to budgets formulation economic
planning and government decision making that impact there lives.
Why has ELBAG got to do this with
you? People and communities deal with economic on daily basis in their lives-in
their household’s communities and market. Economic literacy is about
politicization of this knowledge. It is about understanding how economic
processes operate, asking questions about political economic processes operate
asking questions about political economy and taking action. Economic literacy,
thus builds on existing knowledge of communities.
As decisions are made rarely
transparent and usually beyond public realm, ELBAG starts with taking
appropriate action on making the economic aspect of development more democratic
and people and people centric. In their quest for democracy and people begin to
ask many questions. Some of the most asked questions are:
are revenue generated?
do these revenues collected by the government not find their way to development
are budgetary allocations made and whose priority usually counts?
are budgetary allocations spent?
is spending information not shared?
Similarly at the local level too
people would like to ask many question with their local government why the
schools do not have enough resources to recruit teachers? Why do the health centers not have medicine
and trained personnel? Why are employment generations not undertaken even when
these are promised by politicians? Who gains from development programs?