A new generation of strategies for government accountability is needed, one that fully considers entrenched, institutional obstacles to change. Vertical integration of coordinated civil society policy monitoring and advocacy is one such strategy. Engaging each stage and level of public sector actions in an integrated way can locate the causes of accountability failures, show their interconnected nature, and leverage the local, national and transnational power shifts necessary to produce sustainable institutional change.
This case study summary is one of seven that reflect on civil society monitoring and advocacy initiatives in the Philippines – all of which aim to improve government accountability in different sectors – through the lens of vertical integration.
The study looks into the advocacy campaign of the Disaster Risk Reduction Network Philippines (DRRNetPhils), which was directed at the passage, implementation and review of the 2010 Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) Act. It examines the interaction of various initiatives and actions at different levels of policy-making, from the local to the national, introducing experiences and lessons from the campaign. It shows how using the vertical integration approach could be useful in framing and analysing similar monitoring and advocacy campaigns.
Lessons for vertically integrated campaigning:
- One of the challenges of building the coalition and cultivating champions in government was the lack of coordination among government agencies. Before the act was passed, although the campaign was vertically integrated, government approaches to DRRM were not. A vertically-integrated civil society campaign can provide poorly integrated government agencies with a model for well-integrated ways of working
- DRRNetPhils was a mechanism for both horizontal and vertical integration: internally, it organised itself to build muscle for legislative advocacy, while externally it mirrored the coordination of local and national initiatives.