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G-Watch is an independent national action research organization that works to promote dialogues in the Transparency-Participation- Accountability (TPA) field. It ultimately aims to contribute in the deepening of democracy through the scaling of accountability and citizen empowerment.

Latest Resources

Browse our latest documents and publications covering G-Watch Monitoring Manuals, Governance Reform Studies, Political Democracy and Reforms (PODER) Publications, and Vertical Integration Research.

Reversing Accountability: Learning from Accountability Frontliners’ Observation of the DSWD Social Amelioration Program Validation

This paper learns from G-Watch accountability frontliners that conducted the observation of the SAP validation by looking into and analyzing their reports and notes, and by undertaking informal online reflection-assessment sessions with them. The quick undertaking of G-Watch accountability frontliners to observe DSWD’s SAP in the midst of a pandemic shows that (a) citizens can continue to check government processes even in a crisis situation as “accountability frontliners,” though safety measures need to be set up and prior engagement with concerned government offices is deemed most facilitative, (b) citizen oversight of a supposed accountability mechanism in a government program is critical especially during a pandemic not only to check whether the mechanism is operating efficiently and effectively, but also to reveal possible distortion on the ground of the accountability intent of the mechanism, and (c) transparency, participation and accountability mechanisms in government could totally serve purposes that do not advance citizen empowerment, but instead check or control citizens, reversing accountability relationship between government and citizens critical in democracy.

 
Result and Analysis of G-Watch’s Online Survey on the State of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) Implementation

Government Watch (G-Watch) is currently conducting a monitoring of citizen entitlements under the COVID-19 response. This endeavor asserts the need for governments to pay attention to providing what citizens are entitled to during emergency/ crisis situation. Often, this is overlooked and a cause of abuse where delivery of services and assistance becomes an opportunity for corruption and abuse of authority, instead of a way to ensure welfare and protection of the people.

 
Strengthening the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) as an Accountability Mechanism in Local Governance (#SKasGWatch Project)

This report shares the highlights of the pilot implementation of the Strengthening the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) as an Accountability Mechanism in Local Governance or the #SKasGWatch Project and the documentation of its final activity, the learning exchange in January 2020, that brought together the project team and lead volunteer-monitors in the three pilot sites for an assessment and reflection. Implemented from November 2018 to January 2020, #SKasGWatch is an initiative of Government Watch (G-Watch) in collaboration of Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) and Accountability Research Center (ARC) that aims to enable the SKs in engaging key poverty reduction programs of the government to advance the accountability and responsiveness of poverty reduction programs.

 
Pitfalls of Aiming to Empower the Bottom from the Top: The Case of Philippine Participatory Budgeting

This paper explains why and how a reform program that opened up spaces for participatory budgeting was ultimately unable to result in pro-citizen power shifts that transformed governance. The study reviews the design and implementation of Bottom-Up Budgeting (BuB), the nationwide participatory budgeting (PB) program in the Philippines, which ran from 2012 to 2016 under the Benigno Aquino government. The findings underscore the importance of institutional design to participatory governance reforms. BuB’s goal was to transform local government by providing more space for civil society organizations (CSOs) to co-identify projects with the government and to take part in the budgeting process, but it did not strengthen CSO or grassroots capacity to hold their Local Government Units (LGUs) accountable.

 
Filling a Gap in Governance: The Case of Balangay as a Useful Application of Digital Technology

This short paper briefly looks at Balangay and how it was developed as a useful application of digital technology to address a specific governance problem of Legazpi City. It also examines the challenges that Legazpiitfaces in enabling strategic collective action to promote responsive and accountable governance. 

In a nutshell, Balangay is a cloud-based information system that aims to provide “prompt, reliable and understandable information” regarding various natural disasters that may threaten the Legazpi City, such as typhoons, flooding, landslides, earthquakes,and volcanic eruptions. It comes in the form of a web and mobile app that is meant to help prepare the City’s residents for any possible calamity.