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The Community Scorecard (CSC) methodology is flexible and can be applied in various settings. Still, effective implementation of the CSC can be undermined if certain core principles and features of the methodology are not followed. Here are considerations for first-timers to the CSC process, based on lessons of experience.
Effective implementation of the CSC process requires at least some level of initial buy-in and willingness to participate on the part of the company, service providers, relevant external actors, as well as community members.
Achieving impact and building trust will depend on having a real and demonstrated commitment to following up on CSC findings. Don’t move forward with a CSC unless you are prepared to take the findings seriously and take action on the collectively agreed priority recommendations for improvement.
The success of the CSC process depends on the willingness of all stakeholders, including the company, to share information, engage in dialogue, and follow-up on agreed actions. Is your company ready for a CSC?
Are you ready to………
CSCs generate useful data, but because criteria are not standardized and assessments are subjective, data from different community scorecards are not necessarily designed for purposes of aggregation or comparison. Even if the same service is assessed year after year, CSC indicators are designed to be dynamic, so they may change over time. Trends in overall satisfaction, even if based on a different set of indicators, can still be tracked, but the comparison is not perfect.
Understanding of the local context, including a solid understanding of stakeholder relations and power dynamics, is critical for ensuring effective participation in and support for the CSC process. It also helps to identify and manage gender issues and other considerations to ultimately ensure the CSC process is as inclusive as possible.
While the implementation of the CSC process is relatively simple, it often requires the support of trained—and neutral—facilitators. Companies should consider engaging external partners such as local NGO staff or consultants for this purpose. For the first CSC, it’s a good idea to hire a specialized CSC trainer/coach who can spend a few days building the skills of the facilitation team and ensuring that they have the knowledge and ability to effectively implement all steps of the process.
In addition to financing, IFC offers advisory services that help its infrastructure clients connect with the communities where they operate. Our work creates a foundation that enables communities and companies to share value and sustain good relationships.