The Policy and Institutional Environment of Programme 135 Phase II 04/08/2008
The development of phase II of Programme 135 (P135 II) is taking place in a complex and evolving institutional and policy environment. Clarity over the policy and regulatory environment and over the structure of institutional responsibilities is essential if a clear consensus is to be reached amongst all stakeholders on the most effective structure of the programme and donor support to the programme. This report sets out a description of the policy and institutional environment as an input to the development of the programme. It is not intended as an analytical piece, but is more of an inventory in character and leaves others to draw their own analytical conclusions from the information set out here.
2. Programme 135 Phase II Objectives and Principles
The starting point for the discussion presented here is the basic characteristics of P135 II as defined in the Government of Viet Nam (GoV) documents that are the legal basis for the establishment of the programme. The Objectives of P135 II are specified in Decision 07 and as such can be taken as definitive and not subject to further discussion or amendment. They provide a framework for the development of the Circular and Guidelines that are the focus of the current project, as in effect these documents are intended to act as a means to operationalise the programme objectives found in Decision 07. The objectives as defined in Decision 07 are:
Radically accelerate the production, promote the agro-economic structural shift in the direction of market-driven production; sustain the improvement of spiritual and material living conditions of the ethnic people in extremely difficult communes and villages, and narrow the development gap between ethnic groups and other regions.
By 2010, basically there are no hunger-stricken households in the targeted areas, the number of poor households drops below 30% based on the poverty line specified in the Prime Minister’s Decision No 170/2005/QD/TTg dated 08 July 2005.
Production development: improve skills and train the people of ethnic minorities on new production practices, accelerate the agro-economic structural shift, increase income, and sustainably reduce poverty.
By 2010, over 70% of households will obtain an average income per capital of over 3.5 million VND per year.
Infrastructure development: Essential infrastructure facilities shall be provided to villages in line with population and production planning for improvement of living conditions of the people, production development and income generation.
Specific targets: 80% of communes have car road connection to the village’s centre; over 80% of communes have small-sized irrigation works to water 85% of the total acreage of paddy fields; 100% of villages have enough schools, classrooms and semi-boarding schools where necessary; 80% of communes are provided with electricity in residential areas; demand for communal houses is basically met; 100% of villages have health clinics with adequate facilities.
Improvement of the socio-cultural life of the people in extremely difficult villages: over 80% of households use clean water; 80% of households have electricity; fatal diseases are prevented and put under control; over 50% of households use hygienic latrines; over 95% of children at school ages are enrolled at primary schools and 75% enrolled at secondary schools; over 95% of the people in needs of legal assistance receive the legal assistance free of charge.
Capacity strengthening: provide village cadres and commune heads with skills and knowledge on professional and administrative management, poverty reduction, raising legal awareness as well as enhanced knowledge on investment management and skills of operation management in order for them to fulfil their assigned tasks. Strengthen capacity of the community, and promote community’s effective participation in supervision of investments and other activities implemented in the areas.”
These objectives define the scope and focus of P135 II. The Project Document further details these issues, with the four specific objectives listed above becoming the four main components of the programme.
The Programme Development Principles as stated in Decision 07 are:
- The Socio-economic Development Programme for extremely difficult communes is a poverty reduction policy specific for the country’s focus area of poverty. The Programme shall provide support in a focused manner, targeting the poorest villages and communes.
The emphasis on poverty set out in this principle, and including the focus on the poorest communities within the target communes, defines the basis for both the targeting of programme activities and the assessment of programme results. Critical to programme effectiveness will consequently be the institutional processes through which this targeting and assessment of results is achieved.
- The State provides support by adopting specific policies, mobilizing adequate resources that are well - balanced in correlation with the state budget.
- Promoting the creativeness, self-help and self-reliance spirit of the entire community and the efforts of poor households to escape poverty.
- Exercising the principles of democracy and transparency, enhancing the decentralization to grassroots levels and promoting the ownership of people directly involved in the Programme.
- Integrating the Programme with other policies implemented in the areas; national targeted programmes and other related programmes implemented in the areas shall co-ordinate and prioritize investments for the Programme.
When taken together with the results of the reviews of P135 phase I and the scope of the programme as defined in the programme document, these principles can help to identify the key issues that need to be addressed in the preparation of P135 II. One particular feature of these principles that should be noted is that they premise a clear linkage between the specific approaches and activities of P135 II and other GoV policies and programmes, including decentralisation, socialisation and coherence with the activities of other national target programmes. This wider policy context is discussed in detail below.
3. Links to the Wider GoV Policy Framework
Early this decade, the GoV approved Programme 135 and CBRIP and NMPRP. This programme and two projects were the main instruments for poverty reduction and livelihoods improvement in remote, mountainous and ethnic minority areas. However, since the programme documents were developed and approved by the government, the policy and legal framework has significantly changed, which has affected the institutional arrangements for programme management. The overall direction of these changes has been to strengthen the role of provinces in the planning and management of state budgets for development purposes, with specific provisions that clarify roles and responsibilities under decentralisation and that enhance the role of local communities in decision making.
These changes reflect the key overall direction of government policies in this decade, which is towards decentralisation of most aspects of development planning and the implementation of state programmes. This decentralisation policy is reflected in a number of pieces of legislation issued in recent years, discussed below. The approach to decentralisation is based on the principle of subsidiarity, with the devolution of decision-making to the lowest appropriate level and actions to ensure the effective coordination of information and decision-making flows between central, provincial, district and commune levels.
Decree 24/1999/ND-CP was issued in April 1999 and regulates the mobilisation, management and utilisation of people’s contribution to construct rural infrastructure in communes and district towns. The Decree outlines the central role and responsibilities of the commune PC, including the mobilisation and utilisation of user contributions based on the approval of the commune People’s Council. After project approval for construction, the commune PC prepares a plan for the management and utilisation of funds for the infrastructure and establishes a board to supervise implementation and financial arrangements.
The Grassroots Democracy Decree 79/ND-CP, issued in 2003, aimed to increase community participation in local decision-making, especially planning and budgeting. Grassroots Democracy provides a legal instrument for community priorities to be presented to local decision-makers for inclusion in the planning process. Decree 79 increased the responsibility of commune and township administrations to use democratic principles in decision-making. However, the capacity of local officials to effectively implement this varies greatly and is often very limited.
Other recent legislation has also increased the role and responsibilities of provincial authorities in a number of areas. This includes Decree 33 and, Guideline 2215 to provincial Departments of Planning and Investment for “Rolling-out the development of the provincial socio-economic plan taking into account the Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy” issued by MPI in April 2004. The objective is to apply an integrated approach in developing the socio-economic development plan to ensure pro-poor policies that promote sustainable economic growth while ensuring social development and equity.
The Revised State Budget Law came in force in January 2004. This new law simplifies but strengthens the legal arrangements between central and local levels. Under the revised law, the provincial People’s Council approves the provincial budget, and those of its subordinate levels. Previously, the National Assembly approved provincial budgets. The revenue from an increased number of taxes is shared with provincial level. This has reduced the number of provinces from 56 to 49 that receive budget support from the centre. The law gives more explicit powers to provincial People’s Councils such as the power to develop priorities for local investments, decide and approve allocations to different sectors to implement investment decisions, and transfer funds to local levels.
To improve transparency and accountability in the provinces, central authorities issued the “One-Door” legal reforms in 2003 on simplifying local administrative procedures. The aim of the reform is to reduce the excessively complicated procedures used by local authorities. However, the reforms have not been implemented in all provinces yet, and many of the poor and non-poor are not aware of the legislation or remain unsure of ways to access local authorities. In addition, many procedures, such as land registration, cooperative and business registration and household registration books, remain under the control of the district administration.
In June 2004, the Prime Minister issued Decree 8/ND-CP outlining reforms in state management between central and provincial governments. The objective of the decree is to further clarify the roles, responsibilities and control of central and provincial levels of government and improve coordination between the levels of government. The decree prioritises reforms in budget management, land and natural resource management, the management of state owned enterprises and public services.
The broad principles embodied in Socialisation are the basis of contribution schemes in the national programmes. Socialisation involves the mobilisation of resources from all stakeholders in the public and private sectors to resolve development priorities. These priorities are decided through demand driven processes utilising Grassroots Democracy. Once priorities are decided, implementation depends on the participation and contributions from all sectors in the community including individuals, households, corporate bodies and the private sector. The focus of Socialisation is to increase local ownership and management of investments for the long-term and sustainable development of local economies.
In 2005, to improve the role of the community in decisions about infrastructure selection, implementation, supervision and monitoring the Ministry of Home Affairs issued Decision 80 on Community Supervision of Construction. However, the impact of the decision will depend on the capacity of officials and institutional strengthening at commune level. It is worth noting that the Fatherland Front has a key role in establishing and monitoring the community supervision boards. This will affect its independence from state institutions. The Fatherland Front is a mass organisation under the direction of the Party. Province level has indicated that this board was not necessary, which reflects both their capacity on understanding the village level and their political commitment for change. Presently, the Party apparatus in most communes has a deciding influence over investment decisions and the capacity of the People’s Council and Inspectorate Board is low. These institutions are not functioning as the people’s advocate, which is an important part of their mandate.
Recent legislation provides support for demand driven approaches and access to credit. This includes Decree 52/1999/ND-CP, issued in 1999 and amended in 2003 with Decree 07/2003/ND-CP on the management of investment and construction. The objective of Decree 07 is to improve the decentralization of investment management and construction. Provincial PC can authorize the district PC to appraise and decide investments less than VND 3 billion. The district can authorize commune PC to decide and control the implementation of projects less than VND 1 billion. More recently, Decree 16/2005/ND-CP dated 07/02/2005 replaced Decree 52/1999 and 07/2003 ND-CP, from which the PPC can authorize the DPC to decide on any investment not bigger than 5 billion and DPC can authorise the CPC to decide on investments not bigger than 3 billion. This succession of Decrees consequently reflects an increasing level of potential empowerment of lower levels of the administrative system to decide on and manage investments, but the rights are not automatic and are under the discretion of the PPC.
During mid-2004, the GoV issued two important decisions. Decision 62 creates the conditions for households to access credit from the Bank for Social Policy, while corporate bodies and enterprises implementing RWSS can borrow Development Assistance Funds in compliance with the Government's regulations on Investment and Development Credit. The credit limit for one household is 8 million VND with pilot activities located in 10 provinces. A significant consequence of this law is cooperatives can access loans through their membership. Decision 134 promotes assistance for ethnic minorities. An important part of this legislation is the provision of 300,000 VND/household or 0.5 tons of cement to assist ethnic households’ access clean water and sanitation. Central authorities will support minority villages with 50% - 100% of the total construction cost of the small-scale water supply works or piped water schemes.
The new Procurement Law issued by the National Assembly in November 2005 outlines the legal framework for the tendering process for consultant agencies and service provision, the process for procurement and a process where agencies can tender for a package of projects. The main objective of the law is to guarantee a public and open tendering process, and a transparent and competitive tendering system where all tendering agencies have an equal opportunity to participate in all steps of the process. The Law provides a list of project types for development that can be combined for package tendering. An important condition for package tendering is that the total of the package tender must be a least 30% of the total project budget. The maximum of a package tender for the provision of services, consultancy, is 500 million VND and the maximum for procurement or package tender for development projects as listed in the Law is 1 billion VND. When the procurement package is under 100 million VND, then a tendering process will be conducted only when it is necessary. The Law also outlines the conditions for direct purchasing, which are seen as exceptions that reflect circumstances where tendering is nor feasible. At the time of writing, a Decree was being prepared that, when enacted, will provide guidelines for the operationalization of the procurement law in all government programmes, including the new phase of Programme 135.
4. Programme 135 Institutional Structures and Responsibilities
This section spells out the institutional structure, as far as it is known, for the implementation of P135 II. Most of the content of this section is the consolidation of existing responsibilities and/or decisions that define new responsibilities but that have already been taken. There are some areas where there are uncertainties over the specific structure through which the programme will be implemented, however, and others where there is a degree of discretion in the specific forms that institutional roles will take. Where either of these situations is the case, then some proposals are advanced on what would be an appropriate structure for programme planning and implementation. This is particularly true at the sub-provincial level, which are the key to the successful implementation of the programme and which, paradoxically, are where the greatest variability and uncertainties in institutional capacities lie.
What is clear is that, firstly, many aspects of the institutional structure for programme implementation have been defined on paper but, secondly, that there are, in many instances, gaps between what is intended in existing GoV decisions and what is the actual institutional situation on the ground. In consequence, there is little doubt that the initial phases of P135 II will require substantial and sustained capacity building efforts if this implementation gap is to be bridged.
4.1. National Level Institutional Setting
Decision 07 sets out a specific designation of responsibilities for national level institutions with regard to the new phase of Programme 135. The provisions of Decision 07 are the basis for the description of institutional mandates and relationships set out in this section.
National Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) is the Programme Standing Agency. This means that CEMA had an overall responsibility to guide the development and implementation of P135 II so as to ensure that the programme is able to meet its goals and objectives in as efficient and effective a manner as possible. This includes the coordination of activities that are the responsibility of other agencies, as described below. In particular, Decision 07 charges CEMA with the following responsibilities:
a) Support to the Government’s Steering Committee in implementing the programme and taking the lead, in collaboration with ministries, sectors and localities, in management and direction over the implementation of tasks and projects on development of essential infrastructure, services and capabilities in extremely difficult villages and communes
b) Take the lead, based on targets and tasks of the P135 II set for 2006-2010, and coordinating with ministries and sectors, to propose supporting policies to be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.
c) Take the lead in defining the list of extremely difficult villages and communes to be included in P135 II and providing localities with guidelines on review and identification of completed villages and communes to be excluded from the programme from 2008 onwards.
d) Take lead, in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and the Ministry of Finance (MoF), in providing guidelines on the mechanism for management and implementation of P135 II based on the principle of decentralization to grassroots levels, simplifying procedures while ensuring adequate levels of management.
e) Establish the Programme’s overall work plan and annual work plans, provide guidelines to provinces on implementation of the programme; review and evaluation of the programme performance
f) Take the lead in distributing funds from the State Government budget to ministers and provinces for implementation of activities under the programme; send the funding reports to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and Ministry of Finance (MoF) for consolidation and submission to the relevant authority.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment has an overall responsibility for all government planning and programmes, including P135 II, and in particular is mandated to ensure that any such programme reflects wider GoV policies and strategies such as decentralisation and the SEDP. With regard to P135 II, MPI is designated as being the responsible agency for:
a) Allocating, in collaboration with the MoF, funds from the State Government budget to projects under the programme and synthesizing alternatives of the programme budget allocations within its authority.
b) Distributing, in collaboration with CEMA, the programme’s budget to ministries and provinces respectively.
The Ministry of Finance is in charge of:
a) Allocating and distributing, in collaboration with the MPI, funds from the State Government budget to programme activities and synthesizing alternatives of the programme budget allocations within its authority. The programme budget is included as a separate component of local annual work plans, managed by the localities and utilized in line with the objectives, targets and plans of P135 II.
b) Taking the lead, in collaboration with relevant ministries, in providing guidelines on financial management and procedures for implementation of the programme’s different activities.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for:
a) Monitoring and directing localities on rural and agro-economic structural shift; planning and development of production infrastructure facilities (irrigation, forestry, etc). The approach taken by MARD is to see this within the context of its wider rural development approach for mountainous and remote localities, with an emphasis on changes to the structure of production through agricultural diversification and the promotion of off-farm economic development opportunities
b) Taking lead, in collaboration with the CEM, in providing guidelines to provinces on implementation of projects on support to production development and economic structural shift, enhancement of production levels of the ethnic minority people in villages under the programme: in other words, the preparation of the approach to and guidelines for the Production Component of P135 II
The Ministry of Communication and Transport is in charge of the development of transport facilities, a key issue for P135 eligible communities that are often in remote and inaccessible locations. In particular, Decision 07 refers to the ministry’s responsibility for providing 100% of villages with car road connection to the village’s centre and for giving directions to localities on planning the rural transport in the light of upgrading roads to meet development needs.
The specific ministry responsibilities set out above are those listed in Decision 07. In addition to this, the decision refers to the responsibility of all ministries and central agencies, in accordance with their mandates and based on P135 II’s targets, for organizing, directing and coordinating the implementation of all national targeted programmes and other GoV policies and programme in the P135 II target areas in order to achieve P135 II’s objectives. In other words, there is specific reference to the need to coordinate the implementation of the full set of NTPs and other programmes so as to ensure coherence of approaches and in order to avoid duplication of efforts. This question of coordination between different programmes has emerged as a key issue during the design of P135 II.
4.2. Province Level Institutional Responsibilities
Provincial People’s Committee (PPC)
The Provincial People’s Committee (PPC) plays a key role in the implementation of all aspects of P135, with the primary responsibility for the identification, planning, implementation and monitoring of all aspects of the programme. The PPC creates an enabling institutional environment so that the levels of government and agencies under their jurisdiction can carry out their mandate as prescribed by the GoV legal framework regarding the effective planning, implementation and supervision of P 135 II. It ensures that a minimum level of capacities and resources are maintained for the implementation of policies at all levels. This involves effective coordination and financial mechanisms, the decentralization of planning and budget management and the linking of the two, and arrangements that ensure the participation of the community in the planning process. Individual PPCs will make their own decisions on the exact structure of institutional responsibilities and relationships appropriate to their setting through allocating roles to the Provincial CEMA, the Department for Planning and Investment (DPI), Department for Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Department of Construction (DoC) and other province-level agencies and mass organizations.
The PPCs must support an increased pace of change in the decentralization process by issuing decisions and regulations that clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of officials at all levels. Initially, these decisions and regulations need to focus on improved strategic planning that makes the most effective use of resources and includes demand responsive processes, and financial and management responsibility for investments. Crucially, regulations and transparent criteria are used to develop commune ownership of P 135 investments.
The PPC decides the institutional structure for P 135 in the province under their jurisdiction. This involves decisions about whether steering committees are established at all levels specifically for P 135, whether steering committees at all levels are established to supervise all national target programmes and national programmes or whether an alternative arrangement is made. If the second option is selected, then it will be necessary to establish working groups for each programme. Guidelines will also be issued by PPC that clearly outline the membership of the committees and the roles and responsibilities of these members.
The PPC ensures an effective mechanism for the coordination of P 135 activities, which requires the establishment of clear roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, mechanisms that promote effective cooperation between stakeholders from different levels and with different interests, and clear power structures. Importantly, the PPC should provide incentives to promote the commitment of officials with political authority to ensure that decisions are implemented, and if they are not, then decide alternatives or impose penalties. The key issue is to make sure that the implementation of P 135 activities does not get bogged down because of poor coordination and that appropriate options and solutions are identified and acted on. A main objective of coordination is the effective participation of stakeholders and the most efficient use of material, financial and human resources.
Provincial Steering Committee
The establishment of a Provincial Steering Committee (PSC) for P135 II by individual PPCs should reflect the following issues:
i. The Provincial Committee is chaired by the vice-chair of the PPC with responsibility for P 135. Other members of the Committee include related departments, branches, chairs or vice-chairs of district People’s Committee
ii. The PSC is a coordination agency that makes clear the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and keeps them informed of options for decision-making purposes. It creates the conditions for the effective implementation of P 135 components at provincial, district, commune and village levels. The PSC establishes an office/secretariat/management unit which manages the day-to-day operations of the PSC. Members of the PSC are part-time
iii. The PSC is the main agency to advise the PPC on issues related to P 135
iv. The PSC has the authority to ensure that decisions are implemented or sanctions imposed
v. Transparency and accountability practices are utilized
vi. The PSC develops institutional arrangements so that sufficient budget is allocated to stakeholders for the implementation of activities.
vii. PSC supervises the use of an improved strategic planning process that makes the most effective use of resources and includes demand responsive processes, and financial and management responsibility for investments. Developing the conditions for commune ownership is a main priority
viii. The PSC establishes a system to monitor the implementation of activities, and store data and information from these activities. A simple but effective reporting system is an essential component. The Office of the PSC manages and operates this system.
ix. The PSC establishes working groups to respond to the different aspects of P 135. For example, livelihoods improvement, socio-economic development, capacity building and technical issues.
x. The PSC establishes a taskforce with key district officials who can be sent to the commune to support officials carrying out new tasks as a result of P 135. These inputs will be short-term and issue specific. Importantly, follow up visits will ensure effective take-up of the knowledge and its use. The establishment of a question and answers help deck could be considered to provide immediate responses to practical issues in the commune and villages.
xi. The PSC appraises all plans provided by the Office of the PSC and submits to PPC for final approval.
District P 135 Steering Committee
The district level will play an important role in the implementation of P135 II. Existing capacities at this level are extremely uneven, with some areas having good effective institutional strengths whilst others are extremely weak. The overall situation is one where actions are needed to strengthen capacities at the district level, with this based on clear institutional processes that reflect the important role of districts as an intermediary between local communities and communes on the one hand and provinces and national institutions on the other. A proposal for specific institutional structures at the district level is as follows:
i. The DPC establishes a District P 135 Steering Committee (DSC). This Committee is chaired by the vice-chair of the DPC with responsibility for P 135. Other members of the Committee include related divisions, mass organizations, branches, chairs or vice-chairs of commune People’s Committee.
ii. The DSC is a decision making agency that appraises the different plans for P 135 for approval by the DPC.
iii. The DSC makes clear the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and keeps them informed of options for decision-making purposes.
iv. DSC supervises and monitors the use of an improved strategic planning process that makes the most effective use of resources and includes demand responsive processes, and financial and management responsibility for investments
v. DSC provides feedback to CPC and CB on plans submitted by the CPC
vi. The DSC establishes a management and implementation unit/office. This unit coordinates the planning, implementation and supervision of P 135 activities. The unit collects data and information from communes, it aggregates this information and uses results to assess plans and revise if necessary. It manages and operates an effective monitoring and evaluation system. It provides regular reports to the DSC and advises the Chair of the DSC of emerging problems.
vii. The DSC is responsible for the effective coordination of P 135 between district, commune and village levels
viii. The DSC reports and provides plans regularly to the DPC and PSC
ix. Transparency and accountability practices are utilized
x. The DSC will provide the District People’s Council monthly reports on social, technical and livelihood issues so that it has information and analysis necessary to respond to petitions and grievances brought to it by members of the community.
Commune P 135 Board
Significant challenges exist in relation to establishing an effective institutional structure for the implementation of P135 II at the commune level. Experience from phase I of P135 and from a range of projects and programmes operating at this level demonstrate the importance of creating a structure that is sustainable, that is based on existing institutional mechanisms in communes and that ensures that all sections of the community are properly represented in the structure.
i. The CPC establishes a Commune P 135 Board (CB). This Board is chaired by the chair of the CPC. Other members of the Board include Party Secretary, chair of the People’s Council, head of the Fatherland Front, commune officials, village leaders and elders with local prestige, and leaders of mass organizations.
ii. The CPC establishes a Community Supervision Board to inspect and monitor the construction of assets during P 135. This board will be independent of the CB but cooperate closely to ensure quality of construction.
iii. The board ensures that the demand responsive approaches embodied in Grassroots Democracy are applied in decision-making. Effective targeting and local participation ensure that all members of the community are empowered and contribute to decisions about the planning, implementation and monitoring of P 135 activities.
iv. The CB makes clear to villagers their entitlements and benefits under P135 Stage 2 and differences with P 135 Stage 1.
v. CB makes clear the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and keeps them informed of options for decision-making purposes.
vi. The CB collects priorities and demands from villages, and data and information and prepares regular reports and plans for submission to the CPC and DSC.
vii. The CB carries out the monitoring and evaluation system
viii. The CB provides the commune People’s Council monthly reports on social, technical and livelihood issues so that it has information and analysis necessary to respond to petitions and grievances brought to it by members of the community.
ix. Transparency and accountability practices are utilized. All members of the community are aware of the budget allocation for all aspects of P 135.
Village P 135 Board.
Each commune contains a number of villages, and it is at the village level that local communities truly exist. This is particularly true in ethnic minority areas, where ethnic groups can be a minority within communes and communes can contain a complex mix of social and ethnic groups. The distinctive character of P135 II means that some representative structure at the village level is consequently extremely desirable for effective participation and to allow the specific needs and priorities of local communities to be reflected in the planning and implementation systems of the programme. A proposal for such a structure is as follows:
i. CPC establishes a Village P 135 Board (VB). The chair of the Board is elected by the community and appointed by the commune PC. Members of the Board include representatives from the Party, the Fatherland Front, mass organizations and elders with local prestige.
ii. The VB conducts village meetings to inform all members of the community about their entitlements during P 135 and mechanisms for grievances. Small groups meetings are organized to ensure disadvantaged groups such as women access information.
iii. The VB supports the implementation of monitoring and evaluation and demand responsive planning.
iv. The VB prepares regular reports on aspects of P 135 and submits to CB.
v. The VB assesses the demands of the community for information to support the P 135 process and informs the CB. For example, the community may demand information on improved hygiene or specific technical options such as types of latrines.
To keep it simple, this report will refer to P 135 Steering Committees but this should be understood as referring to either of the institutional arrangements.
For details see ANNEX 1. This is a proposal and not part of the present programme structure.