Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project (DIMAPPP) Research Brief: Issue 2 – Dynamics of Collective Action within the Citizen Monitoring Groups

Since 2017, the DIMAPPP project has brought innovation in improving public procurement performance and enhancing capacity for monitoring of public works from multiple dimensions. One of its core objectives is to professionalize procurement and citizen engagement. To explore the benefits of ‘Citizen Engagement model (CE), the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) partnered with BIGD to set up a pilot project in 16 Upazilas in 2019 (scaled up to 48 Upazilas in 2020) to monitor public works like the construction of roads, schools, and bridges across the country. This study was undertaken to understand the underlying dynamics of ‘collective action’ within the citizen monitoring groups. The purpose of this exercise was to analyze which demographic, programmatic and other external factors influence citizens to be more proactive towards monitoring. The program also wanted to understand the role of program staff in increasing activeness. This knowledge would help formulate future monitoring groups comprising citizens who are more likely to be active. Out of the 60 sites under DIMAPPP, 24 were purposively picked as their construction was near completion. 6 group members were selected from each site for interviews. Respondents were selected based on their proactiveness, socio-economic status, gender identity and technical knowledge, totalling 144 interviews. The 16 FOs working with the citizen groups were also interviewed. Out of the 144 interviewees, 36 respondents (25%) were found to be Very Active in their monitoring, vising the site at least once a day. Men were found to be far more active than women. The level of education played a major role in determining the level of active participation. Participants with a graduate degree were found to be the most active group.

Authors: Hoque, Rafsanul; Hoque, Mahan Ul; Nahreen, Avia
Type: Research Brief
Year: 2020