During the trial we assigned a provisional monthly payment of C$1200 (approximately US$ 55) to each brigade in order to pay for the costs of supplies, transportation, communication and refreshments for their household visits, training sessions and other meetings. This was a contribution towards the maintenance of the brigades’ collective efforts, not a stipend for any individual.
The purpose of the funding was to develop capacities for evidence-based planning, which requires some resources. While these funds initially came from outside the communities, the aim was for the community (brigades and leaders) to progressively generate its own resources until it reaches full autonomy and sustainability.
Each brigade’s coordinator accounted for this funding. She or he first submitted the accounts to the neighbourhood leadership and then to CIET, using a predetermined format with the supports for each individual expenditure attached.
Detailed accounting was taken as evidence of the brigades’ work and the means used to accomplish it; it allowed us to plan for subsequent activities and it helped ensure transparency in the collective effort.
Decentralisation of CIET’s financial accounting system thus helped to strengthen the role of the brigade’s elected coordinator who becomes the link between the brigade and the organisation’s accounting system.