Civil Society has started a number of initiatives.
CEW-IT is a loose consortium of 5 partners members operating in 29 Districts in Uganda ; RWECO, PAC, ACORD, CEFORD, DENIVA. Consortium started last year with 4 members to monitor the electoral process and now is involved in monitoring governance and social accountability. The monitoring is done by both traditional methods and use of ICT. For more details about CEW-IT http://cewit.or.ug
Transparency as used in science , engineering , business , the humanities and in a social context more generally, implies openness, communication, and accountability . Transparency is operating in such a way that it is easy for others to see what actions are performed.
Accountability is a concept in ethics and governance with several meanings. It is often used synonymously with such concepts as responsibility , answerability, blameworthiness , liability , and other terms associated with the expectation of account-giving. As an aspect of governance , it has been central to discussions related to problems in the public sector , nonprofit and private ( corporate ) worlds
In leadership roles, accountability is the acknowledgment and assumption of responsibility for actions, products , decisions, and policies including the administration , governance, and implementation within the scope of the role or employment position and encompassing the obligation to report, explain and be answerable for resulting consequences.
What initiatives has the Ugandan government has put in place to promote Transparency and Accountability?
In an attempt to bring services more closer to the wanainchi and in conformity with LG Statute of 1993, the 1995 constitution provided for the decentralization of power to local government as lower governments and administrative units
The LG Councils have political, legislative, judicial, and administrative power and they are corporate bodies with perpetual power of succession with power to sue and be sued in their corporate names
Uganda conducts elections every 5 years and the last being held this year in May. Regular elections are tailored to give citizens opportunity for other leaders to come on board. It’s a check in itself for performance
This has been incorporated in the LG structure. This has brought together all stakeholders in the budgeting and planning process.
Involvement of the special interest groups
6) Institutions for Accountability (IGG, OAG, PAC )
The Institutions are setup by an act of Parliament. Each performing a specific task;
IGG: Core Mandate is to eliminate corruption, promote and foster the rule of law and principles of natural justice in public offices and enforce the Leadership Code of Conduct.
OAG: The Office of the Auditor General is headed by the Auditor General of Uganda. The Auditor General is an independent authority appointed under Article 163 of the Constitution of Uganda. The scope of his powers, duties and responsibilities are derived from the Constitution 1995 of the Republic of Uganda , the National Audit Act 2008, the Public Finance and Accountability Act 2003 and the Local Authorities Act 1997.OAG Core role is to audit and report to the public and thereby make an effective contribution in improving public accountability"
National Anti-Corruption Strategy: CSO anti corruption CSOs eg ACCU – a national anti corruption convention in in the process
Monitoring and reporting of service delivery (PETS, Scorecards (parliamentary, LG etc)
Transparency International Indices
Social Accountability Forums at Village, S/C, District and National level)
1) National Anti-Corruption Strategy: CSO anti corruption CSOs
This is a strategy developed by CSO to hold corrupt officials accountable by voicing what they have done, and also sometimes taking them to courts of law. A recent example is the return our money campaign case in the constitutional court
2) Monitoring and reporting of service delivery (PETS, Scorecards (parliamentary, LG etc)
The Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) is a quantitative survey of the supply side of public services. The unit of observation is typically a service facility and/or local government i.e. frontline providers like schools and health units. PETS key use is trace the flow of resources from origin to destination and determine the location and scale of anomaly.
Score Cards at various levels: community, LG and parliament
Score Cards are qualitative monitoring tools that are used for local (community), national(parliament/ president) and LG level for monitoring and performance evaluation of services, projects and even government administrative units by the communities themselves. The community score card (CSC) process is a hybrid of the techniques of social audit, community monitoring and citizen report cards. Like the citizen report card, the CSC process is an instrument to exact social and public accountability and responsiveness from service providers. However, by including an interface meeting between service providers and the community that allows for immediate feedback, the process is also a strong instrument for empowerment .
Transparency International Indices show mainly the level of corruption among government bodies. This statistical indices help citizenry to raise concerns based on the results published. For Example: East African Bribery Index 2009: The Kenya Police is the most corrupt institution in East Africa. And in 2010, Uganda police was the most corrupt institution in East Africa:
4) Social Accountability Forums at Village, S/C, District and National level)
This are mainly organized by CSOs. Leaders are questioned by the citizenry on issues of accountability and issues they promised during elections. CEW-IT is currently what is termed as Neighborhood Assemblies (NAs), Manifesto Days based on its current project of Citizens Manifesto in action.
Communities have of also organized themselves to raise concerns over issue that affect them. Some of these have been through non violent means. Strikes, #walk2work, demos – Mabira campaign, Traders strikes (KACITA)
The NGO Quality Assurance Certification Mechanism (QuAM)
QuAM is a voluntary internal self assessment and regulation mechanism initiated to strengthen the internal governance of NGOs by supporting them to enhance their capacity to uphold accepted standards and ethical conduct.
Legitimacy, Transparency and Accountability issues for civil society organizations can be monitored through QuAM