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Case Studies on Successful Civil Society Initiatives to Measure Budget Impact: Hakikazi Catalyst uses PIMA Cards in Tanzania

By: Vivek Ramkumar

In 2003, the International Budget Project organized a conference in Mexico that brought together budget advocacy organizations from 40 countries. One of the presentations was made by the Public Affairs Centre from India, which has successfully implemented citizen report cards to evaluate public satisfaction with government service delivery. After attending this conference, the director of a Tanzanian economic and social justice advocacy organization, Hakikazi Catalyst, decided to adapt the citizen report card methodology to his country context and developed the PIMA card.

Hakikazi’s PIMA cards (pima means “measure” in Swahili) provide a simple, flexible evaluation tool that enables communities to gather qualitative and quantitative information on inputs (what funds did the community receive?), outputs (how were the funds used?), and outcomes (how did the projects affect the community?) of government expenditures on poverty-reduction strategies.

Between 2003 and 2007, Hakikazi completed two budget monitoring exercises using the PIMA card process. The main objective was to determine how the government’s poverty reduction strategies are being funded and implemented at the local level and whether they are actually improving the welfare of poor communities.