Citizen Action for Results, Transparency and Accountability (CARTA)


Download Final Report (9.4 MB)

Download independent assessment report (2.8 MB)

Download program flyer (3.1 MB)

The Citizen Action for Results, Transparency and Accountability (CARTA) program is a unique monitoring model that aims to provide donors and development agencies with more specific and real-time information on the impact of their projects. By building the capacity of local CSOs to conduct donor project monitoring, CARTA aims to strengthen ownership of outcomes, reduce the propensity of corruption and increase overall citizen engagement.

Donors are recognizing the benefits of citizen engagement, social accountability and participatory monitoring as means to improve the impact of development projects. However, these activities are typically supervised, framed and funded by donors themselves, giving rise to potential conflict of interest for beneficiaries and evaluators.

In theory, placing the funding, reporting, and other management functions with an independent third party will improve participatory monitoring by encouraging more effective community engagement, more honest feedback and more constructive stakeholder engagement. By the same token, building citizen capacity to demand good governance has been shown to reduce the overall propensity for corruption in development projects.

In 2011, 12 sub-grants were awarded under the CARTA program, 6 each in Bangladesh and Nepal, for a total of US$1.29 million to support 11 World Bank financed projects in infrastructure, health, education and local government (see sub-project details below).

Typically, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are directly funded by the World Bank creating a conflict of interest for beneficiaries and evaluators. CARTA’s funding, provided by the Japanese Social Development Fund, and reporting channels are independent of the World Bank and provide new opportunities to meet on-the-ground needs. The overall goal of the pilot program was to "enhance the development impact, sustainability and client ownership of pro-poor projects financed by the World Bank in Bangladesh and Nepal, by promoting civil society organizations engagement, experience and capacity to demand better governance." It built the capacity of local CSOs to monitor the implementation of donor supported projects. This program marks the first time a major development organization has permitted independently financed participatory monitoring managed by a third-party. CARTAmodel
PTF collaboratively managed the CARTA program with the Manusher Jonno Foundation in Bangladesh and Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in Nepal. Twelve sub-grants were awarded, 6 each in Bangladesh and Nepal, for a total of US$1.29 million to support 11 World Bank financed projects in infrastructure, health, education and local government. The sub-projects differed in scope, but all focused on empowering beneficiaries to demand greater transparency and accountability in resource use, delivery of services and grievance resolution. Local CSOs, government agencies and World Bank staff benefited from periodic trainings, workshops and technical support from PTF Project Advisers.
The CARTA program's final report describes results and lessons in each sub-project in more detail, but the main lessons are that:
  • There is a need to work on both the demand and supply sides while promoting social accountability;
  • The need for adopting a constructive engagement approach in order to be trusted by project implementers and national stakeholders;
  • The challenge of engaging traditionally marginalized community groups involves a greater effort by all stakeholders;
  • Citizens and CSOs need training to create levels of knowledge and skills that empower them to engage constructively with service providers.
  • Independent monitoring can be a valuable tool in catalyzing citizen engagement, not only because it builds self-reliance, but because it induces service providers to be more accountable.
  • Social accountability tools and data-collection methods that are intended for use by citizens in the future should be as simple as possible.
  • The sustainability of future citizen engagement depends on many factors—incentives, cultural factors, and power relations. Many of these take time to change; therefore short-term interventions will not likely be able to demonstrate results in the short term.

Sub-Projects: Bangladesh

Download the National Workshop Report

agro2Local Government Support Project (LGSP)

Democracy Watch/Agrogoti Sangstha

Bangladesh’s Local Government Support Project (LGSP-II) is a national decentralization plan that aims to strengthen local governance. LGSP II provides grants to Union Parishads (UPs) – the oldest and most local government system – so the community can determine which public projects serve them best. Thus, the main purpose of the project is to build the [...]

bdpc3Social Investment Program Project (SIPP-II)

Bangladesh Disaster Preparedness Center

Poverty alleviation is the greatest challenge Bangladesh currently faces. Although Bangladesh has shown impressive economic and social gains, the level of poverty continues to be a challenge with 32% of the total population living below the poverty line in 2010. The objective of the Social Investment Program Project (SIPP II) is to improve the livelihoods and quality of life, and build resilience to climate variability [...]

Reaching Out-of-School Children Project II (ROSC2)

RDRS Bangladesh

The Government of Bangladesh has undertaken a number of targeted interventions, as part of its National Education Policy (2010), to ensure one-hundred percent enrollment and completion of primary education before 2015. The Reaching out of School Children Project (ROSC-II), launched in 2004, is  [...]

brwsspBangladesh Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project (BRWSSP)

Resource Integration Center (RIC)

The Bangladesh Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program (BRWSPP) is funded by the World Bank and has a lifespan of four years, from July 2012 to June 2016. The project aims to ensure reliable access to arsenic-free, safe water in the rural areas of Bangladesh. The BRWSSP project included the [...]

rerepRural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development (RERED II)

Population Service and Training Center (PSTC)

The Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development (RERED II) is a publicly funded project aimed at increasing access to electricity through Solar Home System (SHS) in “off-grid” rural areas of Bangladesh. Although it has been recognized as one of the largest and fastest growing [...]

Sub-Projects: Nepal

Rural Access Improvement and Decentralization Project (RAIDP)

SKY-Samaj Nepal

The Rural Access Improvement and Decentralization Project (RAIDP) aims to improve services related to health, education, agriculture and good governance in Nepal. Over the project period (2005 to 2013), over 2 million Nepalis have utilized improved rural transport infrastructures and services[...]

Emergency Peace Support Project (EPSP)

Samuhik Abhiyan (SA)

The Emergency Peace Support Project (EPSP) seeks to contribute to the peace building process in Nepal by providing interim cash transfers and services to eligible conflict-affected groups. So far, interim cash benefits have been provided to 14,104 families of the deceased and 4,444 widows [...]

School Sector Reform Project (SSRP)

SKY-Samaj Nepal

The School Sector Reform Project (SSRP) is a follow-up of the ongoing “Education for All” program in Nepal. Since 2010, free textbooks have been distributed to all students up to grade 10 in community schools throughout the country. According to the project guidelines, students are expected to receive [...]

Enhanced Vocational Education and Training (EVENT)

Vijaya Development Resource Center (VDRC)

In 2011 and 2012, over 385,000 people left Nepal seeking better employment opportunities. Their remittances officially amounted to one quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP). More than 75% of migrant workers from Nepal are unskilled workers, leading to low remittance levels per migrant [...]

Poverty Alleviation Fund 2 (PAF-2)

Friend Service Council Nepal (FSCN)

PAF-2 is a development project funded by the World Bank and implemented by the Poverty Alleviation Fund in Nepal. The project objective is to improve living conditions, livelihoods and empowerment among the rural poor, with particular attention to groups that have been excluded by reasons [...]

can1Community Action for Nutrition (CAN)


The Sunaula Hazar Din – Community Action for Nutrition (SHD-CAN) Project was designed to address the risk factors of chronic malnutrition in children. From early 2014, Nucleus for Empowerment through Skill Transfer (NEST) undertook independent monitoring of the SHD-CAN project with [...]


Program Location

Program News & Updates

Program Videos

Monitoring Rural Road Construction

Solar Power Never Ends

Good Governance at the Community Level

Access to Safe Water and Sanitation

CARTA Final Workshop (Bangladesh)

CARTA Final Report (Helvetas)

Program Team

Fred Temple

Evangelina Javier

Dondon Parafina

Chingbong Lee

Willem Struben

Knud Kjaer Nielsen

Jeff Kass

Eleanor Schreiber

Barbara Kafka

Lorena Curry

Daniel Ritchie

Sarah Little

Frank McNerney

Tjaarda Storm Van Leeuwen