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Accountability : an advocacy perspective


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This presentation introduces policy influencing principles (policy influencing continuum and CLASP principles) and different levels of accountability in the context of the Watershed - empowering citizens programme. A distinction is made between social, financial and political accountability. Within the Watershed programme, there are three levels of accountability: local/national, international and The Netherlands. Budget tracking in Bangladesh and the Sanitation & Water for All (SWA) multi-stakeholder platform are examples of the first accountability two levels. In the Netherlands, Dutch civil society organisations (CSOs) are tracking the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) aid commitments of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A key message is that both monitoring services and monitoring budgets / financial flows are important for evidence-based advocacy.
Presented by Roel Blesgraaf (Simavi) on 6 July 2016 at the IRC event: "Accountability tools to improve WASH service delivery", in The Hague.

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Accountability : an advocacy perspective

  1. 1. 7/6/2016 1 ACCOUNTABILITY AN ADVOCACY PERSPECTIVE ROEL BLESGRAAF, PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER WASH IRC EVENT THE HAGUE July 6, 2016 CONTENT 1. Introduction 2. Policy influencing 3. Different levels of accountability a) Local b) International c) Netherlands 4. Key messages
  2. 2. 7/6/2016 2 INTRODUCTION Watershed, 5 year programme (2016 -2020) to: - improve WASH governance, responsive to the interest of marginalised groups, - by strenghtening local civil society organisations. 2+4 countries: Kenya + Uganda (main), Ghana, Mali, Bangladesh, India POLICY INFLUENCING CONTINUUM Source: Policy influencing concepts, MDF, October 2014 ☺ ☺ lobby advocacy activism harmonyharmonyharmonyharmonyviolenceviolenceviolenceviolence boycot, strike media lobby meeting expert meeting position paperpetition demonstration non-violent actions
  3. 3. 7/6/2016 3 POLICY INFLUENCING PRINCIPLES CLASP principles: 1. Credibility: Why would people trust us, believe in us? 2. Legitimacy: Who or what gives you the right to interfere? 3. Accountability: How can you be transparent towards decision makers, back donors, constituency, and beneficiaries alike? 4. Service-oriented: How are you being helpful, and do you focus on win-win solutions? 5. Power: What is your power base and how do you use it? DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ACCOUNTABILITY Accountability is key concept in Watershed: 1. Social:Social:Social:Social: accountability that relies on civic engagement, participation of citizens, communities and/or civil society organizations. 2. Financial:Financial:Financial:Financial: reporting on allocation, disbursement, and utilization of financial resources. 3. Political:Political:Political:Political: has the government delivered on electoral promises, and responded to societal needs and concerns? Source: Social Accountability for SRHR - what does it involve? Renu Khanna, SAHAJ, April 2014
  4. 4. 7/6/2016 4 DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ACCOUNTABILITY To be effective, WASH advocacy is almost always needed at different institutional levels. Top-down vs bottom-up. Examples of accountability at three levels: a) National + local: budget tracking in Bangladesh b) International: Sanitation and Water for All partnership c) Netherlands Source: Social Accountability for SRHR - what does it involve? Renu Khanna, SAHAJ, April 2014 GLOBAL REGIONALEUROPE DUTCH NATIONAL LOCAL / DISTRICT LOCAL / DISTRICT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ACCOUNTABILITY LOCAL LEVEL – BUDGET TRACKING Budget tracking project in 6 upazilla’s in Bangladesh (March 2011 – Feb 2014) Simavi & Development of the Rural Poor (DORP) Goal:Goal:Goal:Goal: to increase governmental WASH budget allocated on basis of community needs & increase account over WASH policies and planning at nat’l & local level
  5. 5. 7/6/2016 5 DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ACCOUNTABILITY LOCAL LEVEL – BUDGET TRACKING Strategy:Strategy:Strategy:Strategy: 1. Campaigning and awareness raising: - Awareness raising among communities about their WASH rights and government budgeting process - Banners, posters and calling to pre-budget and open budget meetings using mobile mics 2. WASH budget tracking: - Pre-budget dialogues to assist the communities to better voice their needs; - Facilitate open budget dialogues between the Union Parishad and community members (this year Ups have done this without our support); - Assist Union Parishad to organize WASH budget public hearing meetings where they inform the community about the budget they proposed to national government and the budget which has been approved - Wall painting the budget at Union Parishad Offices (showing both budget and expenditure of current and previous year) DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ACCOUNTABILITY LOCAL LEVEL – BUDGET TRACKING Strategy (continued):Strategy (continued):Strategy (continued):Strategy (continued): 3. WASH service monitoring tracking: - Developing WASH budget monitoring tool - Collecting data using WASH budget monitoring tool in ‘AKVO-Flow’ and then analyse the data for evidence based WASH budget advocacy 4. Advocacy: - Collaborating with other actors who also work on WASH budget monitoring and advocate together for increased pro-poor WASH budget - Advocacy meetings with local & nat’l govt, television & radio talk shows
  6. 6. 7/6/2016 6 DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ACCOUNTABILITY LOCAL LEVEL – BUDGET TRACKING ResultsResultsResultsResults:::: - In all unions, monitoring public expenditure and people’s participation in the budget preparation process is ensured. - In two years, the realisation of the WASH budget was increased with 12-18%. - Surrounding communities and government officials see the success and are also apply need based bugetting process DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ACCOUNTABILITY NATIONAL + INTERNATIONAL LEVEL Sanitation & Water for AllSanitation & Water for AllSanitation & Water for AllSanitation & Water for All = global partnership of over 100 country governments, external support agencies, civil society organizations and other development partners working together to catalyse political leadership and action, improve accountability and use scarce resources more effectively.
  7. 7. 7/6/2016 7 DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ACCOUNTABILITY NATIONAL + INTERNATIONAL LEVEL SWA is a multi-stakeholder platform for: 1. Coordinated action: political prioritisation, promote the development of a strong evidence base & strengthen nat’l government-led planning processes. 2. Global highGlobal highGlobal highGlobal high----level dialogue: Highlevel dialogue: Highlevel dialogue: Highlevel dialogue: High----level commitments dialogue, Highlevel commitments dialogue, Highlevel commitments dialogue, Highlevel commitments dialogue, High----levellevellevellevel Meeting during World Bank spring meeting.Meeting during World Bank spring meeting.Meeting during World Bank spring meeting.Meeting during World Bank spring meeting. 3. Implementing the aid effectiveness agenda in the WASH sector 4. Strengthening mutual accountability DIFFERENT LEVELS OF ACCOUNTABILITY NETHERLANDS LEVEL NL is main WASH-donor globally - Dutch CSO’s holding the MFA to account: - Continuous tracking the planning, budget and reporting cycle of the Dutch MFA to monitor both WASH services (e.g. FIETS sustainability) and budgets for WASH. - Form input for blogs (“Minister Ploumen moet op herkansing”), position papers (e.g. 11 recommendations for Ploumen), questions from MP’s - Aimed at sufficient WASH budget, pro-poor focus (who rather than how many) & sustainability of WASH services
  8. 8. 7/6/2016 8 KEY MESSAGES 1. Lobby & advocacy spans a wide range of actions, both in terms of attitude (violence – harmony) and geographic level (local – nat’l – internat’l) 2. Accountability has different forms: social, financial & political. Important to understand they are interlinked! 3. Accountability over WASH implies on the one hand monitoring services (who gets what level of service) and on the other hand monitoring budgets / financial flows. Both are important for evidence-based advocacy.