What are we learning about inclusive governance?

The 2018 Inclusive Governance Progress Report highlights some accomplishments and lessons on promoting our Inclusive Governance approach across the CARE confederation.

Promoting inclusive governance for CARE means that women, men, girls and boys should have the opportunity and the ability to participate meaningfully in public decisions that affect their lives, hold decision-makers to account and provide feedback on the relevance and effectiveness of actions by public authorities and other power-holders, including CARE. The Inclusive Governance Progress Report 2018 (July 2016 to 2017 data) highlights some accomplishments and lessons on promoting our Inclusive Governance (IG) approach across the CARE confederation.

What have we accomplished?

  • More people participating in decision-making processes: CARE supported 1.1 million people to participate in formal and informal decision-making processes in 2017 across 79 projects that reported (compared to 185,000 people across 24 projects in FY16).
  • Women are taking the lead: 54% of participants in decision-making spaces in projects that reported were women, and 49% of those that assumed leadership positions were women.
  • Crisis-affected people are holding CARE to account: Over 1.5 million crisis-affected people reported satisfaction with CARE’s humanitarian interventions in 2017, one million more than the previous year.
  • Projects are using advocacy to multiply CARE’s impact: 60% of CARE projects used advocacy for policy influence in 2017, the largest proportion in the food nutrition and security and climate change outcome areas. To find out how to double your impact through advocacy and influencing, check out this Insights blog and internal webinar.  
  • More projects are taking an inclusive governance approach: Overall, we saw an increase in average inclusive governance marker scores, with 18% of projects increasing their IG marker scores.

How did we do it?

  • Integrating Inclusive Governance models: one of the ways we monitor mainstreaming of inclusive governance is through uptake of proven IG models like community action planningCommunity Score Cards (CSC), Social Audits and Citizens’ Charters. Interestingly, there was an uptake of IG models in three new countries in 2017 (Guatemala, Nigeria and Mozambique) but an overall decline in usage. One reason was the limited renewal of large governance programmes from key donors, such as USAID.
  • Inclusive Governance marker: The CARE IG marker is an internal accountability and learning tool aimed at assessing the degree to which a project integrates IG into programming. Challenges persist with under-reporting, particularly in type-4 crisis contexts, where we saw an increase in under-reporting. The majority of CARE projects (58%) that did report, self-reported as ‘accommodating’. There are low proportions of transformational or responsive governance work across all regions and outcomes areas. Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are leading the way in marker scores regionally.
  • Integrating Inclusive Governance across CARE’s global outcome areas: All outcome areas, other than humanitarian assistance, improved their IG marker scores in FY17. The best performing outcome areas in descending order were: Life Free from Violence, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, Food Nutrition Security and Climate Change/Resilience, Women’s Economic Empowerment and Humanitarian Response.

What have we learned?

  • Accountability of decision-makers: While there has been great progress in supporting advocacy and policy influencing processes, surprisingly few initiatives report on policy implementation and budget oversight. More attention is needed in this area to strengthen CARE’s contribution to policy implementation and accountability of decision-makers.
  • CARE’s own accountability: A more strategic focus on CARE’s own accountability in CARE’s humanitarian and development programming is a priority. This includes incorporating more “proactive” feedback mechanisms to improve programming.
  • Continued investment is required to support awareness and uptake of the IG marker and models, and to maintain our overall upward progression, with a focus on moving more projects from accommodating to responsive, and responsive to transformative governance programming.