What does sustainability mean to SABI?

In April 2019, recognising that the SABI programme has now passed its mid-point, and will shortly be entering the final year of implementation, we have developed a statement outlining what sustainability means for this programme. 

SABI is a four-year citizen-led accountable governance programme, which aims to contribute toward improved service delivery in health, education and social protection by strengthening accountable relationships between citizens, their elected representatives and state service providers.

To reach this aim, SABI has designed several initiatives which seek to change the behaviour of citizens in terms of engaging in accountable governance processes. For example, we gather and share evidence of citizens’ experiences of the services they use through the Citizen Perception Survey, and we facilitate action planning processes at community and ward level.

We believe communities have the power to drive sustainable change themselves, and so we have primarily focused on modelling and enablement interventions, to increase ownership and the willingness of citizens to engage with state, and to sustain this positive behaviour.

As SABI will end the first phase of implementation in June 2020, we are seeking to sustain the changes made in the behaviour of citizens, their elected representatives and state service providers. Our ultimate goal for sustainability is that ‘following SABI’s exit, citizens (men, women, young people, people with disabilities and others) will continue to fulfil their own responsibilities toward development, including constructively raising concerns relating to service delivery, and working together, with their elected representatives and state service providers to find gender equal and socially inclusive solutions to service delivery problems.

  • ‘Champions’ of community development, who have demonstrated integrity, commitment to gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) and determination to lead state engagement will continue to grow, and assume leadership roles at community, district and national level.
  • Civil society agencies directly engaged in the delivery of SABI will incorporate key programme learning, particularly relating to enhancing accountable governance and GESI into their organisation’s work.
  • State service providers will remain committed to hearing from the citizens they are serving, and to basing their interventions so far as they are able to on evidence and data.

This goal does not require citizens to continue to follow the exact processes that SABI has been modelling, but rather that citizens draw on an instilled belief that appropriately engaging the state can lead to improved services.

We therefore do not aim for citizens to continue to compile CPS data in the absence of a funded programme, or that they follow the specific process of problem prioritisation matrices, power mapping and action planning.

We do, however, aim for citizens to continue to take a GESI-sensitive approach to seeking multiple views on service delivery issues, and coming together to agree on and carry out actions to engage the state to seek improvements.