2018 G-Watch National Meeting and Learning Exchange

G-Watch will be holding its National Meeting and Learning Exchange in Cebu City. The said event will bring together key leaders of G-Watch sites/ hubs and partners all over the country for an annual updating and strategizing, as well as key ally civil society organizations and government offices for learning exchanges. 

This year's edition of the annual event hopes to achieve the following:

  • To give updates on the G-Watch reboot processes by the G-Watch Center and the related local activities of G-Watch local core groups/ leaders and civil society organization partners.
  • To plan for G-Watch network’s upcoming national campaign on the State of TPA (Transparency-Participation-Accountability) and simultaneous local monitoring initiatives of core local sites of G-Watch. 
  • To seek feedback on G-Watch Center and Accountability Research Center (ARC)’s action research on citizen engagement in key poverty reduction programs (participatory budgeting, community-driven development and conditional cash transfer).
  • To take stock of the current status of the citizen engagement and monitoring of key poverty reduction programs
  • To take up selected learning agenda key in G-Watch reboot process and in enhancing the capacity of G-Watch leaders to more effectively exact accountability. 

In going through the reboot process, national anti-poverty programs have been reaffirmed as priorities for action and research. These include participatory budgeting, the conditional cash transfer program, land rights and community-driven development. Focusing on monitoring large scale social programs is premised on the fact that these have been identified by G-Watch’s many local and regional civic partners as beneficial to ordinary citizens especially the marginalized sectors and are therefore best protected, enhanced/ improved and utilized as platforms in further advancing citizen empowerment. 

G-Watch has an extensive track record of leading national independent policy monitoring initiatives, which faced challenges of scale and sustainability. This makes scale and strategic-integrated-holistic approaches in citizen action for accountability on poverty reduction programs central questions in G-Watch reboot. Recent empirical research has shown that integrated and ecosystemic approaches to doing TPA is more promising in achieving lasting results.

However, how to replicate and scale up the application of an approach in such level that will tilt the balance of power towards social justice and inclusive and sustainable development in today’s context is an enormous challenge. Creating alliances at all levels from international to communities will be key, as well as developing vehicles and strategies that will push this agenda forward to make it happen. Given the complex process of organizational change in the multiplicity and difficulty of challenges in today's context, learning becomes a central strategy in G-Watch reboot. It is a kind of learning that not only aims to adapt, but to achieve transformation. 

One approach that is being explored by G-Watch is citizen movement-building for accountability. 

The specific learning agenda for this year is movement approach to accountability. By end of one-day learning exchanges that will be participatory and reflective, the following should have been learned by the participants:

  • articulate in their own words and given their own local context the relevance and use of movement approach to accountability;
  • use of the Enhanced Scaling Accountability Matrix (the Matrix used in Isaac, et.al. 2017); and
  • understand the different choices on tactics and approaches and analyze the strengths and limitations of these given their current advocacies/ context.