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How transparency and accountability can make development work

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Transparency and accountability can energize development by creating opportunities for people to know, connect and act, and by providing incentives for those in charge to be more responsive and deliver. Transparency and accountability enables citizens to reclaim government and make services work for them.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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How transparency and accountability can make development work

  1. 1. How transparency &accountability can make development work: Rakesh Rajani
  2. 2. For millions of poor people in East Africa, the best thingthat’s happened in recent years may be…
  3. 3. radio(FM stations everywhere)
  4. 4. TV(many stations, growing coverage)
  5. 5. newspapers(15+ dailies)
  6. 6. andmost significantly mobile phones(16m subscribers)
  7. 7. Why?
  8. 8. H
  9. 9. H
  10. 10. When it doesn’t work,we do more of the same, harder
  11. 11. So what can be done?5 stories from Tanzania
  12. 12. 1. education quality
  13. 13. many schools, but money does not reach them and there is little learning
  14. 14. evidence and advice provided over 6 months to ministers, policy-makers, etc but nothing happened
  15. 15. until we supported five journalist to investigate, Made headlines& letters to editors & radio call ins
  16. 16. Result:The Minister of Education personallyvisited 4 of 5 districts covered in the newsInstructed districts to release fundsSchool committees followed-up on use ofthese funds
  17. 17. 2. teacher’s wellbeing
  18. 18. teachers are at the heart of education, butlive in terrible conditions and get paid very late
  19. 19. forcing many to have second and third jobs morale low, absenteeism high
  20. 20. policy makers informedsome teachers and NGOs protested but nothing changed
  21. 21. until research on conditions was publicized an advert was broadcast on national TV & discussed on dozens of talk shows
  22. 22. Result:Teachers’ welfare rose to the top of thepublic agendaOverdraft deal worked out with leadingbanks, so that teachers are paid on timeIncreased resources allocated to teacherhousing in subsequent budgets
  23. 23. 3. reproductive health
  24. 24. thousands of women continue to die in childbirth and get injuries such as fistula this is knownbut little happens
  25. 25. WD set up a referral system using maps focusing on prevention and treatment and let everyone know
  26. 26. made wall posters for every clinic & other public places & distributed themthrough government & newspapers
  27. 27. and through radio
  28. 28. enabling people to speak outabout realities on the ground locally
  29. 29. and nationwide through radio and TV
  30. 30. Result:More women demand to deliver athospitals and being treated rightThousands of women with fistula treated,some after 30+ years of suffering from theconditionNational referral network under Ministryof Health established
  31. 31. 4. public money
  32. 32. lots of money unaccounted & improperly usedGovernment auditor reports problems, year after yearbut nothing happens
  33. 33. until audit findings were simplified, color coded, ranked & publicized all over media & distributed countrywide
  34. 34. Result:For the first time people across the nationknew findings and could discuss themThe President convened an unprecedentedtwo-day meeting of all Government CEOsParliament now takes reports moreseriously; energized its oversight role
  35. 35. 5. energy
  36. 36. Country had a power crisisLed to a corrupt generator procurement deal In the past they got away with it
  37. 37. but this timepeople knew whats going on through newspapers
  38. 38. and radioand mobile phone
  39. 39. causing enormous public pressurecompelling Parliament to instigate a probe
  40. 40. Result:Prime Minister and 2 ministers resigned,established principle that even top leaderscan be held accountableThe Richmond generator deal wascancelledRestored public faith in parliament
  41. 41. what can we learnfrom these experiences?
  42. 42. Core problem often not lack of resources, but how resources are usedEvidence and policy advice alone don’t lead to changeGood policies are often in place, but they are not implemented What is needed is openness and sustained public engagement
  43. 43. Because it allows people to:• know whats going on• appreciate rules of the game• be inspired by what others are doing• connect with others• engage with local government and services• exert pressure on leaders to respond
  44. 44. The challenge is to sustain change,to make this part of everyday life,institutionalized in daily practice,simple, regular, reliablea matter of courseat scale
  45. 45. An example of howwe are doing it at Twaweza
  46. 46. Daraja: Raising the Water Press
  47. 47. For millions of people in Tanzania getting water is a daily struggle
  48. 48. Dissatisfied Citizens• An underperforming sector with unmet demand• An opportunity? Citizens’ motivated for action
  49. 49. A Sustainability Challenge Functional Waterpoints Only All Waterpoints (including• Only 54% of rural water-points non-functional points) functioning in 33 surveyed districts
  50. 50. An Equity Challenge• Distribution of WPs highly unequal• Targeting of new funds? Nzega District Less than half (40%) of new funding going to wards with below average coverage Average coverage
  51. 51. SMS-based feedback mechanism Citizens Database Popularising informationMedia partnerships for Media accountability Local Government
  52. 52. H
  53. 53. Conclusiontransparency and accountability can energize developmentby creating opportunities for people to know, connect and act and by providing incentives for those in charge to be more responsive and deliver
  54. 54. Development doesn’t work when itplaces faith and funds in unaccountable governments, orruns short-lived boutique projects that reach very fewTransparency and accountability work can take the best of the latter to fix the former & enable citizens to reclaim government and make services work for them

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