IQA – Face to face, on site encounters with democratic development

The Municipal Partnerships (MP) unit uses a variety of methods to assess the effectiveness of its programme and to identify factors for success within municipal partnership projects.
– The MP programme is also the subject of continuous improvement work in which both needs-based guidelines and skilled support for the partnerships’ parties form key elements, says Rikard Eduards.

One of the methods used is internal quality assessments, or IQAs. During an IQA, programme officers from ICLD visit the partnership municipalities to interview public officials, politicians, and relevant stakeholders.
– Conducting discussions in the environments in which the parties have implemented the project plans approved several years previously deepens our understanding of the individual projects, of the contexts, and of the programme as a whole.

Many of the parties report, in turn, that the visits draw attention to the partnerships, thereby reinforcing their legitimacy within their own organisations. The MP unit has conducted IQAs every year since 2014, focusing on selected results areas.
– The 2014 IQA focused, for example, on Improved structuring of municipal services that meet the local population’s needs and Improved methods of providing information to and engaging in dialogues with the local population, and the links between these factors. Find the full IQA 2014 and IQA 2015 report on the bottom of this page.

In 2015, the focus was on the core area of Equity/inclusion, while the focus in 2016 was on Transparency.
– The unit conducted two IQAs in November 2016 – one in Yogyakarta in Indonesia and one in the Cau Giay district of Hanoi in Vietnam. Cau Giay is a progressive district and invests a bigger share of its budget in education than any other district in Hanoi. The district has a sustainable learning partnership with Umeå municipality in line with this approach.
One of the things to emerge from meetings with politicians and public officials in Cau Giay was that the substantial interest in the partnership project had resulted in more of the local residents attending meetings with the city district’s governing body (known in Vietnam as a People’s Committee).
– The content of the meetings has also changed and more proposals to include equality and democracy in education are now being put forward, says Rikard Eduards.
Kollage med fem personer som arbetar i stadsdelen Cau Giay i Hanoi.

ICLD Programme officers conducted interviews with partnership members from Cau Giay Department of Education. From top left: Trinh Thi Dung, Nguyen Thanh Tinh, Le Thi Kim Anh, Pham Ngoc Anh and Nguyen Thi Tao who is also the partnership coordinator.

This fits in well with a new law requires members of People’s Committees to enable such dialogues with local residents.
– This increasingly regular and expanded interaction has resulted in greater transparency and participation.
The full report on the 2016 IQA will be published in 2017.