Itft social accountability

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Itft social accountability

  1. 1. Social Accountability Reiner Forster, SDV January 25th, 2005 Enhancing citizen voice and client focus in governance and service delivery Note: This interactive learning module, designed by Social Impact, was commissioned by the World Bank’s PREM Poverty Group and developed in collaboration with SDV, WBI and the PREM Public Sector Group. Supported by a concept paper, it is a generic introductory-level module which may be adapted to suit different target audiences and time frames.
  2. 2. What is Accountability? • Accountability is the obligation of power- holders to account for or take responsibility for their actions. • Power-holders: holding political, financial or other forms of power, e.g. public officials, private employers, donors, service providers, traditional leaders, NGOs. • Key area: government or public accountability • builds on the implicit ‘social contract‘ between citizens and public officials. • obligation of public officials and the right/ entitlement of citizens
  3. 3. What are public officials responsible for? • Their conduct—they must obey the law, rules, procedures and not abuse their powers. • Their performance—they must serve the public interest in an efficient, effective and fair manner. • All states have some form of mechanisms to promote or ensure accountability of public actors.
  4. 4. How can accountability be ensured ?1. Rules and Regulations – administrative procedures, audits, code of conduct… 2. Bring in Market Principles – privatization or contracting out to private sector and NGOs 3. Independent Agencies – ombudsman, vigilance committees … There has been vary- ing success with these. What has been learnt is that suc- cess often depends on direct parti- cipation of the people 4. “Social Accountability”
  5. 5. What is Social Accountability?SAc is an approach towards building accountability • that relies on civic engagement, • where ordinary citizens and/or their organizations participate directly or indirectly in exacting accountability SAc mechanisms can be initiated and supported by the state, citizens or both, but very often they are demand-driven and operate from the bottom up. SAc mechanisms include many actions and tools that citizens, NGOs and media can use to hold public authorities accountable.
  6. 6. Social Accountability Mechanisms include... Social audits  Independent budget analysis by CSOs/ Think Tanks  Public budget hearings  Citizen juries  Civil society monitoring of performance of public agencies  Investigative journalism  Right to information movements  Election Watch
  7. 7. Why is Social Accountability important ? Social Accountability Good Governance Development Effectiveness Empower-ment
  8. 8. WDR 2004: Making Services Work for the Poor Poor people Providers Policymakers A framework of accountability relationships Voice Service Compact Client Power Social Accountability Mechanisms
  9. 9. Social accountability Civil society Democracy & citizenship Participatory development Decentralization & public sector reform Transparency/ Anti-corruption Rights Related Concepts in Democracy and Governance
  10. 10. Expenditure Management Cycle Budget Formulation Porto Alegre, Brazil Performance Monitoring Citizen Report Cards India and Philippines Budget Review & Analysis Gujarat, India Expenditure Tracking Uganda Civic Engagement
  11. 11. Community Scorecards Process Community Gathering Performance Scorecard Self-Evaluation Health Staff Interface Meeting Feedback and Dialogue Immediate Improvements Issues for Follow-up Accountability Transparency More drugs available Preparatory Groundwork Better Services Instit. Reforms
  12. 12. Building Blocks of SAc Advocating and negotiating change Rallying support and building coalitions Going public Building an information/ evidence base Mobilizing around entry point
  13. 13. SAc Critical Success Factors1. Political context and culture  2. Access to information  3. The role of the media  4. Civil society capacity  5. State capacity  6. State-society synergy  7. Institutionalization 
  14. 14. Potential Benefits and Risks of SAc Benefits • Improved governance • Poverty reduction • Citizen voice and empowerment at the macro level, especially for the poor • Enhanced transparency • Reduced corruption • Strengthened social capital • Strengthened public sector reforms and decentralization Risks • Raised citizen expectations • Lack of sustainability or institutionalization • Mechanisms may not result in service improvements • Depth of citizen involvement may be superficial • May involve a small group of “well behaved” NGOs, professionals and centrist politicians
  15. 15. Final Thoughts 1. Social accountability has potential to improve the responsiveness of governments and other power holders to the needs of local people – especially those with ‘less voice’. 2. There is a wide range of social accountability mechanisms arising from specific needs, power relations and a desire for improving services. All sectors/regions have some relevant experience. 3. Each social accountability mechanism has a specific social, political and economic context with attendant benefits and risks. The success of one mechanism in a local context in no way

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