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Accountability and Voice Mechanisms Istanbul, August 2008 Dafina Gercheva, CDA UNDP Bratislava Regional Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Accountability and Voice Mechanisms Istanbul, August 2008 Dafina Gercheva, CDA UNDP Bratislava Regional Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Accountability and Voice Mechanisms Istanbul, August 2008 Dafina Gercheva, CDA UNDP Bratislava Regional Center

2 The terminology: Defining Public Accountability and Civic Voice CD input to A&V mechanisms Policy Statements Illustrative Actions CD Strategy: Accountability and Voice Mechanisms (A&V)

3 The focus is on two aspects of A&V: a)Vertical/social accountability mechanisms: enable citizens, CSOs and other non-state actors to hold government officials and service providers accountable. Elections are the most obvious form of vertical accountability. Other forms include: direct civic engagement; participatory planning and budgeting, etc. b)Horizontal accountability mechanisms are embodied in the checks and balances internal to a state. It is carried out by public institutions and agencies which are design to oversee and sanction other state institutions. These institutions might include the judiciary, parliament, anti- corruption and human rights commissions and ombudsman The terminology: Defining public accountability and Civic Voice

4 Accountability: indispensible pillar of democratic governance which underpins the allocation and use of power and resources, hence compels the state, private sector and civil society to focus on producing pro-poor development outcomes Primary goal of governance and governance reform The terminology: Defining public accountability and Civic Voice

5 Accountability: Denotes a relationship between a rights holder (citizens) and a duty bearer (such as government departments, municipalities, ministries, or other public service providers) Complex concept involving the need for responsibility for “ govt. behavior”- the process; and responsiveness (what govt. provides to citizens)- the outcome The terminology: Defining public accountability (cont.)..

6 Voice: Denotes an action and refers to the expression of preferences, opinions and views Mechanisms for expressing voice are key to ensure that preferences and views are expressed, heart and acted upon Evidence suggest that people are best positioned to hold government accountable if they have a strong potential and capacity to “voice” their demands The terminology: Defining civic voice

7 Voice: Voice mechanisms are presented as policy options available to governments or development agencies that are looking to enhance citizen influence over public entities Voice mechanisms facilitate voice expression, which enhances accountability in the governance process Voice mechanisms and tools can be informal or formal: public demonstrations; protests; advocacy campaigns; working with media, participatory planning and budgeting, etc. The terminology: Defining civic voice

8 A & V mechanisms bind the supply side and demand side of public goods and services by defined rules, rights and responsibilities A & V mechanisms are closely related but are not the same and it does not follow that voice necessarily leads to accountability or vise versa. How and if the voice leads and contributes to accountability will differ with the political context Voice mechanisms that ensure accountability to the poor and disadvantaged lead to: - Deepened democracy and increases state legitimacy; - boosted incentives for improved performance and quality service delivery; A&V mechanisms

9 The fundamental question is: How can civic voice ensure the accountability of public institutions, and how can one improve the performance of the state to adequately meet citizen’s needs? Developing capacities of governments and citizens is a strategic entry point for promoting democratic governance, inclusive growth and human development The selection of most relevant and appropriate CD actions is determined by the CD assets and needs emerging from the CA A&V CD Strategy

10 The input to A&V mechanisms from the lenses of CD is the systemic and comprehensive approach that is applied This approach brings together the following 3 elements: - demand driven: primacy given to national ownership and priorities, sustainability, national execution and use of national systems; - outcome and impact based: mid and long-term focused - rigor “open systems”: links the enabling environment with the organizational and individual level of capacity A&V CD Strategy

11 Corruption undermines and erodes capacity and long-term development and must be addressed through legal, institutional and educational means. Accountability between the state and communities should be given priority. This will promote mutual engagement on achieving development results. Accountability between donors and countries for development finance calls for a transformation of aid relations and aid coordination mechanisms. This will enable greater national leadership, multi-stakeholder engagement and transparency in aid relations. The deliberate and sustained engagement of civil society in national policy and budget dialogues is critical to the success of national development and poverty reduction strategies. Policy Statements

12 Development partners can not work directly on A&V, instead they can enhance A&V indirectly by developing country’s capacities at the enabling environment, organizational and individual level Efforts to enhance the enabling environment for A&V tend to focus on improving the formal “rules of the game”: - support for drafting new civil society legislation; - advocating legal reforms for freedom of information; - supporting the creation of watchdog organization (e.g. ombudsman, AC commissions) Illustrative CD Actions

13 Working on A&V capacity at the organizational level can entail support to both the supply side of service delivery (the systems and processes of public institutions), and the demand side (e.g. capacity of civil society). Capacity development of supply side, government bodies might entail improving the capacity to generate, analyze and disseminate information; establish internal checks and balances including performance management systems; and strengthen technical, fiscal and programme management systems. Enhancing the capacity of demand side (non-state organizations) might include strengthening the capacity of these groups to conduct research and analysis, advocacy, and networking and coalition building. It also might include support to improve the internal governance, participation and transparency of these organizations. Illustrative CD Actions

14 Working on A&V capacity at the individual level includes: enhancing the capacity of civil servants to be client-oriented, responsive to citizens’ needs, capable for providing quality services and engaging in consultative planning and budgeting processes through (equipment; training; TA; knowledge transfer; coaching and mentoring; leadership development, etc.) strengthening the capacity of citizens/clients to exercise their voice (increasing awareness of issues, rights and opportunities for civic engagement and empowerment; enhancing ability to turn this awareness into action Illustrative CD Actions

15 Support to civic education and public information campaigns Support to the design of client voice mechanisms (e.g. CRC, CSC) Support to the analysis and design of social auditing practices (e.g. independent budget analysis, PETS) Support to institutional performance management (e.g. MPM) Support to public oversight mechanisms and bodies (e.g. NHRI, Anti-corruption agencies, etc) Illustrative CD Actions

16 Information can be empowering and supporting access to and distribution of is one key entry point in CD for A&V Right to Information legislation, when properly implemented can improve access to information and thereby strengthen the enabling environment for civic voice and public accountability Civic education and public information campaigns can be used to improve citizen’s awareness of their legal rights and entitlements which can enhance their ability to take advantage of opportunities to make claims and demand policy entitlements Civic education and public information campaigns

17 Legislation must be followed by implementation. Building public awareness of the right to information, promoting an informed civil service on the implications of the legislation through targeted CD support, developing efficient and well- organized information management system and procedures, and effective redress machinery (e.g. Ombudsman) are key. Effective civic education/public information campaigns impact on civic disposition (confidence), knowledge (on rights and entitlements), and skills (for informed participation). Factors contributing to sustained impact include the willingness of government to act on issues identified, active and sustained interest from CSO, effective and context specific communication strategy. Civic education and public information campaigns

18 Citizen Report Cards are participatory surveys that provide quantitative feedback on user perceptions on the quality, adequacy and efficiency of public services. They go beyond just being a data collection exercise to being an instrument to demand public accountability through the extensive media coverage and civil society advocacy that accompanies the process. Community Score Cards are qualitative monitoring tools that are used for local level monitoring and performance evaluation of services, projects and even government administrative units by the communities themselves. The 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. Client Voice Mechanisms

19 Local urban observatories (LUO): Bring together city officials, citizens and businesses to ask the question ‘how well is my authority achieving results that matter?’ Data can be collected by conducting basic household surveys LUO also use analytical approaches such as Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to map the data collected. Graphical presentation helps planners and policy-makers to better understand where the poor live, areas of environmental pollution, living conditions and needs. Client Voice Mechanisms

20 Institutionalization is key, examples include: Performance-based budgeting (Philippines) Governance rating system (Ukraine) Link to internal management and incentive systems (Bangalore) Institutionalization efforts depends heavily on political commitment, but can also provide needed impetus for reform. Impact factors have included the availability of non-partisan and professional driving organization; capacity to execute and analyze survey and to facilitate interface process; capacity to mobilize advocacy strategy and foster debate and engage with key partners (public and CSO). Client voice mechanisms

21 Social Audit (SA) - entails the participatory review of official reports and works of expenditures SA is an assessment of performance (outputs) and of the integrity of the process that leads to the performance and the impact of such performance (outcomes) SA tends to focus on budget analysis (e.g. improving pro- poor budget allocations) and expenditure tracking (how the government spends funds with an aim to identify bottlenecks, abuses of public funds and capture of public services). Social auditing practices

22 Public Expenditure tracking surveys (PETS) - quantitative surveys of the supply side of public services. The unit of observation is typically local government and/or a service facility and the survey collects information on facility characteristics, financial flows, outputs (services delivered), accountability arrangements, etc. If carefully and competently collected, the PETS data can serve as powerful diagnostic tools in the absence of reliable administrative or financial data and are complimentary to qualitative surveys on the perception of users to service delivery (such as CRC or CSC for example). Social auditing practices

23 Ideally SA come about as a collaborative effort between the government and local community, whereby the government takes advantage of local knowledge to verify that the contents of official reports and works of expenditures fit the realities on the ground. Impact factors include the nature of the political environment (e.g. access to information, right to assembly) and the budget process, level of literacy, CSO capacity to produce accurate and timely analysis, develop relationships and partnerships with the media, other organizations in civil society, government and the international community. Social auditing practices

24 Performance management systems can be powerful mechanisms for boosting incentives for improved performance and increased responsiveness. Performance: IPM is a system of regularly collecting information on the outcomes of public sector programs, organizations or individuals (e.g. through outsourcing CRC as in Philippines), and using this information to increase efficiency and effectiveness in public service delivery. Responsiveness: Provides public officials with regular feedback on effectiveness of their services. Provides the public with information on how government is spending tax money. Makes public agencies accountable for results to elected officials and the public. Increases citizen trust in government. Institutional Performance Management

25 IPM is a necessary tool to identify poor performance and to justify corrective actions, but does not tell you why performance is good or bad, what should be done to improve it, and how to improve it. Follow up needs to include service improvement plans: investments, restructuring, capacity development, partnership development (outsourcing). UNDP support to local public service delivery and MPM in Western Balkans Institutional Performance Management

26 Horizontal accountability is embodied in the checks and balances internal to the state. It is carried out by state institutions and agencies, which are designed to oversee and sanction other state institutions. These institutions might include the judiciary, parliament, anti- corruption and human rights commissions, and Ombudsman institutions. Public Oversight mechanisms

27 Entry points for UNDP in supporting capacity development of these organizations for A&V include: Supporting governments in establishing these institutions in line with internationally agreed principles and standards (Paris Principles) and based on best practices and lessons learned globally. Supporting the institutions in developing effective organizational management systems, processes and procedures needed to fulfill their mandate (e.g. Kazakhstan) Supporting the institutions in developing capacities for effective engagement with the public (e.g. Moldova) and other government bodies Developing public awareness of these institutions and the recourse mechanisms available through them (e.g. anti- corruption campaigns Bulgaria). Public Oversight mechanisms

28 Thank You

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