Initiative for Public Education and Engagement for Constituency Vision and Performance Watch of Elected Representatives
From the Democracy Campaign by the Indian newspaper organisation Patrika, this presentation describes the Vision 2025 campaign in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, India, concerned with monitoring the performance of the project "Public Representatives and People's Engagement in Democratic Process." The campaign covers 520 assembly constituencies with 10 separate stakeholders in each constituency and a team of 520 correspondents to engage people in a structured format to have them share their vision about constituency and build it into a public manifesto.
The first phase, begun in March 2013 among senior editors of Patrika, determined the structure, categories, and modus operandi of the campaign. The second phase, May 2013, identified 7 core team leaders in each state, motivated them to undertake the campaign, and suggested the execution plan. In June of 2013, trainings for the entire team were carried out to clarify purpose and give ownership locally. Strategies included campaign inclusiveness, generation of resources, identifying and inviting issues and citizen groups to participate, choice of formats for news, and team coordination, among others.
The Vision campaign then held discussions in groups in each locality, including groups for children and groups of marginalised and disadvantaged voices, as well as groups of retired military, police, business, women, youth, seniors, farmers, etc. Issues for discussion include: "Education, Health Care, Services, Basic amenities, Education, Sports, Employment, Livelihood, Culture, Family, Society, Literature, Tourism, Social Security, Empowerment, Justice, Infrastructure, Industrialization Traffic and Transport, Rural Development, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Civic Responsibility and Duties, Laws, Inclusive growth, Public Representatives, Governance, Mass Media, Information Technology, Science, Environment, etc."
Print communication tools include:
- Front full page jackets with headlines such as "Wake Up , Connect and Build the Nation"
- Thematic edit pages with articles such as "Useless Public Servants: Criticizing Corrupt Practices, inefficient and arrogant system"
- Structured news formats for announcement, e.g., meeting times and venues
- Structured news formats for coverage, especially of on-the-ground meetings, e.g., "Community leaders envisioning World Class city" and "Salute Them: Disabled Children: seeking a University for Disabled, Indicators at Public Places and Jobs"
- Activity kit on "Independence Day for All"
- Targeted advertising - e.g., in a children's supplement, a short story and cartoon story, as well as an activity kit and contest
- Letters to editors - e.g., in a women's news supplement, a contest (with 3 questions on change in family institutions, in neighbourhoods, and in women’s rights) received 1,000 letters
- Patrika.com online web page - e.g., advertising in the online edition for specific groups - public servants, seniors, teachers, businessmen, etc.
- Social media and mobile (SMS) messages as well as online videos
- Radio shows on Radio FM Tadka
The outcomes include a vision document for each constituency with a plan to consolidate them into one state vision document for each of the three regions. The campaign then plans to share this as a manifesto for inclusion in political party manifestos and monitor their commitments to its inclusion. It plans to follow up with a public comment period and establish public monitoring of its implementation, as well as review implementation progress and disseminate through newspaper publications. The long-term plan is to place into public ownership the Vision campaign and its public watch on representatives in governance as a sustainable exercise in participation and monitoring of governance.
Email from Dr. Shipra Mathur to The Communication Initiative on September 22 and 25 2013.