USAID Program Has Not Done Enough To Promote Civic Participation and Public Accountability in Pakistan

Audit Report
Report Number
G-391-17-001-P

USAID/Pakistan established the Strengthening Citizen Voice and Public Accountability Program (Citizens’ Voice) to increase Pakistanis’ engagement with their government and its responsiveness to them. The mission awarded a 3-year contract to the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability (Trust), a Pakistani organization, to administer the $45 million program.

OIG’s audit sought to determine whether USAID implemented Citizens’ Voice in a way that promoted achievement of program goals. OIG found that changes made to the contract before award put the program at a disadvantage. The mission cut the amount of funding and the duration of Citizens’ Voice by 40 percent during the design approval phase and did not adjust the expected results or the number of target grants to reflect this significant change in approach. Although the Trust achieved some short-term successes awarding grants to support civic engagement, many of its grants targeted the easily doable rather than making long-term changes to civil society in Pakistan.

OIG made five recommendations to maximize the program’s potential, improve USAID/Pakistan’s contract management and monitoring, and increase training of civil society organizations.

Recommendations

Recommendation 1

To help maximize the program's potential to achieve results, we recommend that USAID/Pakistan conduct an assessment of progress made on achieving the Strengthening Citizen Voice and Accountability Program's goals; determine if adjustments to program activities, work plans, or the contract are necessary; and if so implement any actions that can be done before the program ends.

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$0
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Recommendation 2

To help maximize the program's potential to achieve results, we recommend that USAID/Pakistan implement a final review process by technical offices before awards are made to verify that they agree with the program's design.

Questioned Cost:
$0
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Recommendation 3

To implement key components, we recommend that USAID/Pakistan implement a plan to increase its monitoring of the Strengthening Citizen Voice and Accountability Program, including making visits to grantee activities as security conditions permit and using the mission's monitoring contractor.

Questioned Cost:
$0
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Recommendation 4

To implement key components, we recommend that USAID/Pakistan require the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability to implement a plan to add more training in how to be effective civil society organizations, as well as a process to evaluate the impact of the training for ongoing and future grant cycles.

Questioned Cost:
$0
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Recommendation 5

To implement key components, we recommend that USAID/Pakistan review the budget for the Strengthening Citizen Voice and Accountability Program to determine if the award should be amended to reflect a reduction in scope for the public accountability component of the program (component 3), and if so, make the amendment accordingly.

Questioned Cost:
$0
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