National Social Watch is a broad based network of civil society organisations, citizens and communities to build a process of monitoring governance towards professed goals of social development, particularly with respect to the marginalised sections of our country. It monitors the institutions of governance and their commitment towards citizens and principles of democracy.
National Social Watch (NSW) process is the collective response of a number of development organisations, social action groups, and citizens to ensure that there is a critical engagement with the process of governance. This is a part of the initiative to make democracy meaningful and participatory.
The innovative approach of the NSW process is unique in terms of looking at the functioning and efficiency of the key institutions of governance - executive (in terms of policy and practices), the judiciary, the legislative represented by the parliament), and the institution of local self-governance. Every year the National Social Watch report would undertake the monitoring of the institutions of governance and democracy through the lenses of fundamental economic and social values such as rights, development, freedom, and security. The report examines the sensitivity, efficiency, and efficacy of the institutions of governance in ensuring three fundamental rights - health, education, and livelihood (food and work).
NSW also envisages to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). It would strive towards furthering the ownership of the MDG - from state owned to citizen owned through a vigilant and responsive civil society coalitions. It would weave state based, and local civil society actions into a nation wide movement. It would seek to actualize the MDG as National/Peoples' Development Goals.
How are you a part of National Social Watch?
The NSW is people's process. It can only be successful in its vision and mission of taking governance to the grassroots through active and voluntary participation of the masses, not as passive voters but as a proactive 'civicus'. You can contribute to the process as a responsible stakeholder, voicing your concerns through the wider platform of social watch. The National social watch report would serve as a useful tool, equipping the citizens to ask informed questions.
The key contributions of the NSW process includes the annual social watch report, which impacts a wide cross section of the society in its scope, scale, and quality. It has also promoted a broad based coalition of actors which includes civil society organisations, sensitive parliamentarians, 'engaged' media, policy makers, and the academia. The coalition provides the space and scope to a wide array of actors to engage in participatory monitoring of the institutions of governance. NSW is a platform and a forum where the above actors can come together, dialogue, debate, and reflect to ensure that people have a stake in governance and governance is pro-poor.
NSW has been formed primarily to establish citizens role in monitoring the performance of the institutions of governance, making them more accountable and transparent to promote effective governance in the realm of social development in India. NSW is associated with the international Social Watch (www.socialwatch.org) process which is a civil society response to pursue the agenda of World Social Summit held in Copenhagen that the state should pursue and demonstrate changes in social development parameters beyond the economic development.
It is envisaged that NSW would publish report every year on the performance of the institutions of governance so that voice of the civil society gets recognized in the development processes. s The social watch report would serve as a useful tool, equipping the citizens to ask informed questions. NSW will work towards making the social watch coalition a peoples' process. NSW will make it successful in its vision and mission of taking governance to the grassroots through active and voluntary participation of the masses, not as passive voters but as a proactive 'civicus'.