CITIZEN ACTION INVOLVES COMMUNITIES – NOT only us moving this project. You can do so much even if you are far away from us, living and witnessing the daily gut issues in your small village.


Inform yourself

Information and knowledge is power – and as citizens, the more we understand about how local government works, the more we can properly monitor and engage with it and be sure it is always working for the public good. Communities that can understand the authority, structure, finances and processes of their LGUs can be an active and positive partner in the pursuit of more effective public policies and service delivery. Click here to visit the CANA Learning Zone.

 

Organize and focus

We all know it: One person by themselves cannot change things or hope to get government to listen and engage – no matter how good their ideas may be. But a group of concerned citizens well-organised and focused on trying to achieve specific objectives and with a clear plan on how to attain them has a much greater chance – especially when that group represents and speaks for the wider community and exploits the power of communication – including radio, new and social media.

 

Monitor and Engage

Understanding and organising are the first two critical steps. As a citizen and a taxpayer it is your right – to ensure that public money – your money is being spent correctly and effectively. Local Government officials and administrators do not have any God-given right to their jobs. They are in place to work always in the interests of the public. Is your LGU doing the best job it can do given the money it has got? Ultimately, nobody can really make LGUs accountable, effective and transparent but you and your community. So monitoring what government is doing on your behalf is crucial and there are so many different ways to do it, things to demand and things to look out for. Monitoring doesn’t have to be difficult – but it should be public. The more people share their findings and the more people group together, the more effective we will all be. You can monitor behavior and decision-making - just as you can monitor budgets and spending. Most importantly you can also help monitor to ensure that public services that are promised and legislated for really happen and get to the people who need them most. And monitoring is just the start: Once we are clear about what we have found – for good or for bad – it is the time to engage. The idea behind CANA is to turn us ordinary Filipinos from passive spectators into active drivers of positive change. Many LGUs will be very supportive of the work played by local citizenry – just as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILGU) is. Click here to read more about the developing partnership between the DILG and CANA.

 

Report and Share

All too often, good initiatives are set up without any real thought about citizen participation. For CANA, citizen participation is essential and is the means whereby together we can all better understand, organise and advocate for change. Government is too important to be left to either the government, to the media, to religious groups or to NGOs to try and improve by themselves. It requires everybody coming together and playing their part whoever they are. Power and authority rests in We the People – and so CANA is setting up systems and simple to use crowd-sourcing technology that allows ordinary people to find their role and take part. Just as CANA is working to help set up citizen action groups that will learn and share from each other, so we are setting up the CANA website so people can publicly report and share in real time via texting and social messaging as well as email.

Launched as a project CANA will evolve into a national network of grassroots community organisations that thinks and acts locally but reports, shares and drives change nationally. Report and share your information on accountability: It is your CANA. Make your government work for you!