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Social accountability : civil society and the human rights to water and sanitation

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The Watershed programme supports civil society organisations (CSOs) both on normative content (and claiming their rights if not yet met) as well as supporting CSOs to engage in the procedural part/principles of human rights to water and sanitation. The social accountability approach used by Watershed is based on the principles of access to information, non-discrimination, accountability and participation. The role of CSOs includes holding government to account for their obligation to ensure that everyone’s human rights are fulfilled, protected and respected. For this Watershed uses the Social Accountability Model developed by Water Witness International. Conclusions and reflection are provided on how this model has been used in Kenya and Bangladesh. Presentation by Esther de Vreede, Simavi, at the WASH Debate “Dialogue and dissent: Looking at the role of civil society in achieving SDG 6 by 2030”, in The Hague, the Netherlands on 26 June 2019.

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Social accountability : civil society and the human rights to water and sanitation

  1. 1. Social accountability: Civil society and the human rights to water and sanitation WASH DEBATE, 26 JUNE 2019 Esther deVreede, Simavi Programme Director
  2. 2. “Watershed empowering citizens” Strategic partnership (2016- 2020) between Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IRC, Simavi,Wetlands International andAkvo focusing on building the capacity of civil society to advocate for inclusive and sustainableWASH and proper water resource management. Supporting local CSOs in Bangladesh,Ghana, India, Kenya, Mali, and Uganda. Facilitating L&A in Netherlands and global/international platforms.
  3. 3. Watershed & Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Normative content of the right (criteria) Procedural aspects (HR principles)
  4. 4. Obligations of governments and holding them to account FACILITATE PROVIDE PROMOTE FULLFILL PROTECT RESPECT
  5. 5. The Social Accountability Model How social accountability works Participation and inclusion, expression of voice, meaningful engagement, deliberation and advocacy Duty bearers informed and incentivised to act transparently and with integrity to implement and improve performance Claiming and monitoring of rights, access and tenure within an open and responsive system SERVICE DELIVERY, ACCESSTO GOVERNANCE, RESOURCES & INFORMATION Processes at play in delivery of social accountability aims (after Robinson 2016) IMPROVED GOVERNANCE & DEMOCRACY EMPOWERED CITIZENS & CIVIL SOCIETY
  6. 6. CSOs holding government to account in Kenya
  7. 7. CSOs holding government to account in Bangladesh
  8. 8. Conclusions and reflections •Scaling up (district -> national) •Public & private sector accountability •Capacity building -> technical advisory

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