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WORKSHOP “Building an Asian community of practice on monitoring and budget analysis” 9 - 11 July, Phnom Penh, Cambodia The use of Social Indicators for.

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Presentation on theme: "WORKSHOP “Building an Asian community of practice on monitoring and budget analysis” 9 - 11 July, Phnom Penh, Cambodia The use of Social Indicators for."— Presentation transcript:

1 WORKSHOP “Building an Asian community of practice on monitoring and budget analysis” 9 - 11 July, Phnom Penh, Cambodia The use of Social Indicators for advocay and monitoring: the Social Watch experience.

2 Advocacy A strategy of political influence that defends and pushes an issue or agenda in a certain space of power. An strategy that is aimed at changing not only the laws and regulations related to those issues but the way they are understood by the rest of the society. These strategies develop from social or development actors and imply a wide view of politics, beyond the borders of political parties. And they also involves a series of relations with other actors such as the state, media, interest groups, etc.

3 Stages 1.Define a clear political objective: As a result of a broader agenda. 2.Identify other actors, their agendas and interests. 3.Establish strategic alliances, and their costs. 4.Planning attainable advocacy actions and measuring their impacts.

4 Why do we want to advocate a certain issue? (substantiation). What do we want to advocate for? (expected results).

5 Different types of advocacy actions Lobby: It implies making pressure on a particular person or group with certain relative power for it to guide its actions or make decisions according to our political objective. Awareness raising: the action is aimed to put the issue on the public agenda or to raise awareness on the issue among a certain group of persons or actors.

6 Mobilization: it implies that citizens meet in a public space to transmit their common defensive or offensive position.

7 Tensions on the road towards advocacy a)Tensions among actors b)Local-global tensions c)Tensions among types of strategies d)Tensions among different advocacy spaces

8 Local-global tensions Global agendas affect regional agendas, which affect national and local agendas and vice versa. Interconnection of advocacy agendas at various levels Allows the collective action of actors in different levels

9 The agenda of the founders prevails over those who are working at a local level. Communication rationalities Information flows

10 Linking the local with the global: the SW Report Every year, the report analyzes in depth a different matter. The discussion on the issues is strongly related to the global agenda and to the subjects and frameworks that are being discussed internationally at this time. The choice of the subject is made on a participatory process basis in which members share their opinion on the relevance each matter proposed has for their national advocacy agendas.

11 The international perspective is complemented with the production of national and regional reports. The prevailing idea in the production of indexes and tables is that of linking levels, producing comparable information internationally but also enabling a local reading.

12 Key moments to make its contents known are the launchings which take place globally and in each country, where most of the attention is focused on the results of the national chapter. The launchings are vital to convey the way in which Social Watch understands the problems affecting development (and the alternatives for their solution) to people in key places and to raise awareness among public opinion on the relevance of addressing certain situations that are socially unfair.

13 Reaching the goal: challenges for advocacy –Challenges in alliance articulation and building –Challenges in identity and legitimacy building – Challenges in the production of policy-oriented contents –Challenges in impact, efficiency, systemizing and resources

14 Legitimacy Definition: the recognized right to influence in the formulation and implementation of policies. Main sources: Political and technical. The ability to advocate will be determined both by an organization’s political legitimacy as by its technical legitimacy.

15 More and more, the legitimacy of an organization or group of them has to do with their technical capacity. With the ability to produce valid, relevant and useful information. The communication of results can play a role as important as the results themselves.

16 Challenges in the production of policy- oriented contents CSO members are more focused on the promotion of equity and justice, the promotion of social change or the empowerment of certain social groups. Researchers, in general, will focus their efforts in the production of elegant theory, the generation of valid data and the production of replicable results.

17 Delimiting the problem in such a way that both the resources contributed by researchers and by activists are involved. Setting shared values, goals and expectations. Identifying the institutional arrangements that may favor or hinder communication. Learning from the problem collectively but also from the collective learning process.


19 Social indicators What are they? What is their utility? How to choose them? A social indicators system The work of Social Watch

20 Social indicators are tools for discussion and policy-making in diverse fields and arenas both within countries and at an international level. Although their construction does involve technical elements, indicators can and should be accessible for appropriation and criticism by the community. So they can give strength to advocacy practices…

21 What is a social indicator? A social indicator is a tool to measure an abstract social concept (of theoretical or programmatic interest). It translates some aspect of social reality into tangible figures. It is a construction based on a certain methodology that yields information about an aspect of a real situation and its changes. Social indicators are conventionally adopted and their use becomes generalised and legitimised through user perception of their utility (in social, economic and political fields). Indicators both show and hide aspects of social life… what do we need to show to make inequalities visible?

22 They are tools that provide information on a situation or process of interest Assist in policy decision-making, the setting of goals, initiative result evaluation and the monitoring of progress, regression or stagnation Provide evidence and figures to facilitate an independent monitoring of initiatives Can function as an early warning system to prevent the development of critical situations Enable the identification of vulnerable groups or risk situations. What is their utility?

23 Data become an indicator in response to a question about reality and such questions arise from a certain view of that reality. From the concept / problem to the indicator: Conceptually define the problem or area to be studied Define the dimensions and sub-dimensions of the analysis Identify pertinent indicators in each dimension Examples of concepts the dimensions and variables of which need to be defined: –Social development –Poverty –Equity Construction and selection of indicators

24 Concept, dimensions, indicators (CONCEPT) Gender equity (DIMENSION) Education (INDICATORS) Literacy gap Primary enrolment gap Secondary enrolment gap Tertiary enrolment gap (DIMENSION) Economic activity (DIMENSION) Empowerment

25 The collection of data and criteria for constructing and selecting indicators The information needed to construct the indicators can be collected directly (PRIMARY SOURCE) or come from a collection made by others (SECONDARY SOURCE). Some criteria: –Relevance –Clarity –Social legitimacy –Validity –Reliability –Specificness –Sensitivity –Durability –Exact in calculation methodology, robust and statistically validated –Availability –Systematic collection –Timely –Comparability –Disaggregatability

26 Indicators and Indexes Indicators (univariated) e.g: Infant mortality rate, Literacy rate, PBI Indexes (summary measure of several indicators) e.g.: HDI, BCI, GEIBCI An index is a single composite value that expresses how a variable behaves when data from the various indicators is considered together. For the synthesis of indicators it must be decided which is the most conceptually and operatively appropriate criterion to reduce data to a single value. This can include mathematical calculations and/or logical processes. A very much used criterion is the simple or weighted sum of the indicators’ values (in this case it is important that all indicators are measured in the same scale)

27 What is a social indicators system? Many dimensions are needed to characterize a social phenomenon. An indicators system is a group of indicators that capture an aspect of social reality. Examples a system of health indicators a system of housing indicators a system of labour market indicators

28 Social indicators system

29 Ex. Social indicators system

30 The work of Social Watch



33 The position of countries in each thematic area  The situation a country, according to each indicator, is given by the latest available value for that indicator. The average values of each thematic area are classified to create four country categories: –Countries in better situation –Countries above average –Countries below average –Countries in worse situation A fifth group is also presented (Countries with insufficient data to summarise the area).

34 ¿Progress or regression? Rate of change The rate of change for each country is obtained by considering the variation in the values of the indicator over the time period within which the measurements are made. The quotient between the variation in the indicator and the time period reflects the rate of change for the item in question. Five categories: –Significant progress (countries progressing at a higher rate than the average rate of progressing countries) –Slight progress (countries progressing at a lower rate than the average rate of progressing countries) –Stagnant (countries not showing significant progression) –Slight regression (countries regressing at a lower rate than the average rate of regressing countries) –Significant regression (countries regressing at a higher rate than the average rate of regressing countries)



37 BCI:Basic Capabilities Index A synthetic index focused on the minimal or basic capabilities essential for social development Under 5 mortality rate Births attended by skilled personnel Children reaching 5th grade


39 Gender Equity Index A synthetic index for the analysis of gender equity. Dimensions and indicators: Empowerment (% of women in technical positions, % of women in management and government positions, % of women in parliaments, % of women in ministerial posts). Economic activity (income gaps, % of economically active women (excluding the agriculture sector)). Education (literacy rate gap, primary school enrolment rate gap, secondary school enrolment rate gap, tertiary education enrolment rate gap).

40 SOCIAL WATCH’s GEI Education gap Economic gap Empowerment gap


42 To sum up… Social phenomena / problems can be measured –Dimension I Indicator I Indicator II Indicator III … –Dimension II –… (Indexes) SW work –The use of indicators for measuring social development / progress and regression –Synthetic indexes (BCI, GEI) as advocacy tools

43 Group work Advocacy –Is the practice an advocacy action according to the definition given? –Does it have a clear political objective? –Who are the other actors involved? –What alliances were formed? What other alliances could be useful? –What advocacy actions were taken? Suggest other actions to complement those. –Which were the reasons that originate the action? and the expected results? –What was the strategy of communication implemented? What other means could be used? –Does the practice include indicators to diagnose the problem and\or evaluate and monitoring the results?

44 Group work Social indicators –What are the dimensions involved? –What indicators could be use to measure those dimensions? –What kind of sources should be necessary to gather (primary or secondary)? –What are the advantages or disadvantages of using indicators in this case? –What would be the contribution of using indicators? –In which stage of the practice should be better to use them? (Diagnostic, advocacy actions, evaluation and monitoring)

45 Thank you! Split into groups! Have a cup of coffee! We are not singing!

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