Community Score Card: A tool to strengthen mutual accountability and community-police partnership

The Community Score Card is a social accountability tool to allow service seekers and security and justice providers to mutually assess, reflect, relate and collaborate.

The Nepal police force is key to providing peace, security, crime investigation and justice services to the community. It is the primary contact for victims and survivors of crime when they seek justice. In order to provide an effective service, it needs to collaborate with the community and gain the public’s support, cooperation and trust.

The Community Score Card was introduced in 2017 as part of the UK government-funded Integrated Programme for Strengthening Security and Justice. It allows community members to work with service providers to mutually assess, reflect, relate and collaborate.

In an effort to strengthen community-police partnerships at the local level, International Alert adapted the tool to help bring the community and the police together. The aim was to increase mutual understanding by involving both sides in joint planning, implementation, monitoring and review.

Stressing the need for perpetual dialogue and improvement, the Community Score Card has helped establish mutual accountability between community members and the police in line with local government priorities and the police’s Community-Police Partnership programme.

The community and police worked together to prepare indicators to establish mutual accountability. This helped the local community contribute to the capacity development of the police. Community members also learned of the services that should be available under the law, and documented questions around the quality of these services. Together with the police they set action plans and commitments to improve the quality of services and then assessed the change.

They also jointly investigated harmful social norms, identifying possible causes along with their impacts on gender-based violence, then developed solutions to these.

The Community Score Card can be applied in different scenarios on different themes and issues, such as education, health and municipal services. It reduces adversity, improves service delivery and strengthens trust between service seekers and service providers.

Evaluation report

The Community Score Card tool was created under our Strengthening Access to Holistic, Gender Responsive, and Accountable Justice in Nepal (SAHAJ) project. The project aimed to address social accountability and identify causes of gender-based violence; improve capacity and accountability of the security and justice system; and enhance access to security and justice services among at-risk women, girls and the marginalised in Nepal.

The evaluation report describes the impact of the project and how its outcomes could help design future programmes that strengthen social stories and accountability, and enhance access to security and justice for women and girls in Nepal.