CYSD endeavors to make the State responsive to the inclusive development agenda. Towards this end, the organization has been drawning up its action agenda for capacity development of legislative and bureaucratic actors, facilitating multi-secotral development dialogue, and trying to involve vibrant civil society organizations, including media, in an informed discourse. The Budget Watch process of CYSD has influenced policy makers to allocate greater resources to critical areas of health, education, development of women and children, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes welfare, and agriculture and food security. Finally, the Centre has been continuing its engagement with youth and children as focus group and approach them as active citizens of the country.
In its constant attempt, CYSD has been conducting research into policy and practice level gaps in the areas of participation, transparency and accountability; facilitating and collaborating with academic community to take up research in the areas of interactive governance, climate change and livelihoods of highland tribal communities. The organization is engaged in producing status reports on health of PRIs and ULBs and citizen’s reports on implementation of gaps in government flagship schemes for rural and urban poor. It also document creative approaches of exacting social accountability, grievance redressal, etc. using Right to Information creatively.
Moreover, the organization is conducting regular virtual learning exchange programmes for community of practice and also wider cross-section of stakeholders. CYSD leverages its training infrastructure by prioritizing the agenda for capacity development and workshops and make rational provisions for determining the external programmes exclusive of CYSD’s involvement. It develops public platform of sharing workshop and training reports and invite the clients to contribute with their reports.
Since last 15 years, CYSD has been tracking social sector budget allocations / utilization, demystifying the budgetary complications in easy to refer format and disseminate it among various stakeholders. The organization is undertaking sample district / sub-district level analysis and monitoring to unearth the local impact of the current PFM regime. More importantly, it sensitizes legislators, intelligentsia and media groups at different governance levels on budgetary process and nuances with regard to public expenditure and the interest of poor. Moreover, CYSD advocates for the source institutional mechanisms for budgeting that solicit citizens’ perspective in general and poor’s views in particular. For an informed discourse on social sector funding, CYSD builds constructive democratic dialogue around state budgeting and financial mechanism.
CYSD persistently facilitating capacity building of Civil Society actors on leadership, community facilitation skills and programme efficiency and effectiveness. The organization builds a right perspective on development among media groups through regular interactions, workshops and media engagements. Also, CYSD provides a strong information and research base that can leverage greater and effective media action on social sector issues and participate and contributes to electronic and print media features to highlight the agenda that matters.
The organizations has been making sincerely effort to systematically share the research and knowledge products with the State actors; organizing exposure visits of the State actors to Community of Practices; supporting institutionalized training / communication programmes through State / non-state resource institutions; and extending technical support for preparation / consolidation of participatory local development plans by PRIs / ULBs at different levels, and making sustained efforts for due implementation of these plans
Facilitating development dialogue among development stakeholders to build a greater coherence in development perspective and financial is core to CYSD work. It builds campaigns and multi-stakeholder networks across CSOs and other bodies for an effective participating governance and inclusive development model.
CYSD is on the verge of approaching the children as a core group of programme participants as future citizens of the country instead of treating them as add on to the adult group intervention. The organization is working towards ensuring children’s right to safe and qualitative education, supplementary food nutrition and access to basic health services. Efforts are made to create enabling environment for child centric programming by building coherent perspective of early childhood care development, nutrition and sanitation as collective agenda and community concern. Furthermore, the organization is creating learning forums for school children to build citizenship and good governance perspectives.
Odisha Budget and Accountability Centre (OBAC), a unique centre in Odisha has been working for the last 15 years as a policy and budget research unit of CYSD. OBAC has been engaged with numerous activities, like i) policy and budget analysis of social sectors like public health, elementary education, Scheduled Tribe & Scheduled Caste Development, women and child development, Water & Sanitation, food security and agriculture & livelihood; ii) evaluate the allocation, expenditure and implementation of major flagship programmes in a pro-poor lens; and iii) generate information and education materials and educate the citizen/community on policies, programmes, entitlements and participation in Panchayat planning.
The centre has also been striving to influence the policy makers of the state by lobby and advocacy. The centre has been very active in legislative advocacy by reaching out them with questions during the Assembly sessions. Media advocacy is also used through featured articles & news. District Budget Watch Group (DBWG) has been set up in tribal districts of Odisha like Koraput, Kalahandi, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Nuapada and Keonjar. These DBWGs are helping the centre to generate charter of demand for the district and those demands are raised at the state level pre-budget consultation in which ministers, legislators and officers of the government, media, civil society organizations, researchers and academicians participate.
The centre has roped in with various academicians, researchers and civil society activists by forming advisory bodies for different thematic areas of research. These advisory bodies are guiding the centre from time to time for carrying out the research and producing excellent research products for the wider dissemination in the state.
The centre has produced a number of research and education materials which have been a resource base for the citizens to understand debate and assert their entitlements. Some research documents like gender budgeting (analysis of budget and policy from women perspective), generation of revenue from potential sources (Coals and Mines) are well recognized by the W&CD Department and Finance Department of Government of Odisha. The analysis of ICDS at tribal dominated districts and budget provisioning for Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) in districts of Odisha have identified a number of issues, which have been communicated to the policy makers of the state. This apart, in order to strengthen the village level community monitoring of development programmes, the centre undertakes capacity building programme for the community and CSOs in the state.
Moreover, to make the budget making process participatory, the centre has been undertaking a unique initiative to spread budget literacy on technicalities of budget and state budget making process among the youth, researchers, academic institutions, policy makers and citizens of the state.