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Social Accountability Practices and Citizens’ Engagement in Local Governance: Issues and Challenges.

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Presentation on theme: "Social Accountability Practices and Citizens’ Engagement in Local Governance: Issues and Challenges."— Presentation transcript:


2 Social Accountability Practices and Citizens’ Engagement in Local Governance: Issues and Challenges


4 5 monkeys were placed in a cage with bananas on the top of a ladder in the middle of the cage

5 Every time a monkey went up the ladder, the other four got punished by soaking with cold water.

6 After a while, every time a monkey went up the ladder, the others beat up the one on the ladder.

7 After some time, no monkey dared to go up the ladder regardless of the temptation.

8 One of the monkeys was substituted. The 1 st thing this new monkey did was to go up the ladder. Immediately the other monkeys beat him up. After several beatings, the new member learned not to climb the ladder without knowing why.

9 A 2 nd monkey was substituted, and same thing happened. The 1 st monkey joined the rest to beat the 2 nd monkey. A 3 rd monkey was changed and the same was repeated (beating). The 4 th was substituted and the beating was repeated and finally the 5 th monkey was replaced.

10 What was left was a group of 5 monkeys who got used to beating up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder, even though they were not punished with cold shower.

11 If monkeys were asked, why they would beat up all those who attempted to go up the ladder….. “I don’t know – that’s how things are done around here”

12 Social Accountability - Practice

13 SA: Conceptual Framework Accountability Obligation of power- holders/service providers to account for or to take responsibility or actions; government responsiveness – citizen’s expressed needs: i.Conduct to obey law and not abuse powers; ii.Performance in serving public interest in an efficient, effective and fair manner Social Accountability Building accountability based on civic engagement – participation of citizens and CSOs in exacting accountability: i.Government accountability – whether citizens are able to hold Government/power holders/service providers accountable

14 SA: Conceptual Framework Accountability Supply-driven: Political checks and balances, adm. rules and procedures, auditing requirements, law enforcement (courts/police) Top-down or internal to state/government – horizontal mechanisms: political, fiscal, administrative and legal mechanisms Social Accountability Demand-driven: strengthening capacity of citizens to directly demand greater accountability and responsiveness from public officials/service providers; Bottom-up or external to state – vertical mechanisms: citizens’ engagement in informed, direct and constructive manner

15 SA: Conceptual Framework Accountability E.g: Constitution; executive, judiciary and legislative branches of govt.; investigative journalism, auditing requirements, financial rules, corruption prevention agency) Social Accountability E.g: independent pro- accountability agencies such as vigilance commission, social watch, privatisation of public institutions, contracting or outsourcing public service for market- based accountability;

16 SA: Conceptual Framework Social Accountability Contemporary mechanisms: participatory public policy- making, participatory budgeting, public expenditure tracting, citizens’ monitoring and evaluation of public service delivery; formal/informal rewards and sanctions Traditional/conventional mechanisms: citizen or CS- led actions – public demoncstrations, protests, advocacy campaigns, investgative journalism, lawsuits, etc

17  Conceptual Framework  Social Accountability  Objectives/benefits:  Improved Governance: efficiency, transparency, accountability, participation, feed-back, M&E  Increased development effectiveness: improved public service delivery and informed policy design  Empowerment: expands freedom of choice and action of (poor) people

18  Conceptual Framework  Social Accountability  Pillars or enabling environment:  Organized citizens’ group  Govt. champions who are willing to engage;  Social and political context and cultural appropriateness  Access to information

19  Conceptual Framework  Social Accountability  In a nutshell:  SA – Govt. keeps the door open for people’s participation, and citizens are willing to engage with government (enabling conditions/pillars);  SA impact is greatest and sustainable when SA mechanisms are institutionalized (embedded within & systematically implemented – internal & external mechanisms are combined);

20  Conceptual Framework  Social Accountability  In a nutshell:  CSO and media are effective in SA in Local Governance:  Seeking voice in local development planning and budgeting process;  Holding LGs accountable in the allocation of local resources;  Enhancing local revenues;  Tracking use of local resources and impact of local policies and programmes

21  Policy and Legal Framework  Social Accountability Decentralisation 1981 & 1991 Constitution 2008 Democratisation 2008 LG Act 2009 LG Rules and Regulations 2012 Rules of Law

22  Policy and Legal Framework  Social Accountability  Decentralisation (1953, 1981 & 1991) Devolution of administrative, political and fiscal responsibilities to LGs Division of responsibilities between central & LGs

23  Policy and Legal Framework  Social Accountability  Constitution 2008 Citizenship (A-6); Fundamental Rights (A-7): life, liberty & security; freedom of speech, opinion & expression; information; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; freedom of media & information dissemination forms

24  Policy and Legal Framework  Social Accountability  Constitution 2008 (A-9): creation of civil society free of oppression, discrimination & violence; equal, transparent & fair justice; minimize inequalities & concentration of wealth; eliminate discriminations and exploitations;

25  Policy and Legal Framework  Social Accountability  Democratization 2008 Democratic Constitutional Monarchy: democratic system and values Political Parties – people empowered to choose their own leaders through elections Parliament (King, NA & NC) – Legislative body Executive: provide good governance Judiciary Constitutional Bodies: ACC, RAA, RCSC, ECB

26  Policy and Legal Framework  Social Accountability  Local Governments (A -22)  Decentralisation and devolution of power and authority to elected LGs:  Direct participation of the people in development and management of their own social, economic, political and environmental wellbeing  Take care of the local interests by providing forum for public considerations on local issues

27  Policy and Legal Framework  Social Accountability  Local Governments (A -22)  Provide democratic and accountable governance system for local communities;  Ensure provision of sustainable services;  Encourage involvement of communities and community organisations in local governance;

28  Policy and Legal Framework  Social Accountability  LG Act 2009 & LG RR 2012  Election of local leaders of their own choice; removal of a LG member or dissolution of the LG;  LG members shall not only be transparent & accountable, but also promote, institute and enhance transparency and accountability mechanisms;

29  Practices in Bhutan  SA Practices in Bhutan I. Participatory planning, prioritizaton and budgeting:  LDPM – 6 steps

30  Practices in Bhutan  SA Practices in Bhutan 1. Assessment and Identification 2. Prioritization 3. Differentiation between Dzongkhag and Gewog Plans 4. Activity Planning 5. Implementation 6. Monitoring and Evaluation

31  Practices in Bhutan  SA Practices in Bhutan Tools: 1.Development mapping 2.Citizen Report Card 3.Priority Box and Matrix 4.Pair-wise Ranking 5.GNH Check 6.Modified SWOT analysis 7.LG mandate checklist 8.Planning Hand for Notes

32  Practices  Social Accountability II. GT/DT Sessions/Zomdus & Implementation:  LGs office issue notifications for DT/GT dates and venues through public media & other means, and call for agendas; members consult public through Zomdus in the constituencies at a public place open to people;  Not less than two-thirds of total number of members of LG forms quorum;

33  Practices  Social Accountability  LG sessions are open to public to participate as audience  A LG member, subject to the provisions of the constitution, maintains the right to speak freely in the proceedings of the LG or any Committee there of;

34  Practices  Social Accountability  LG may require a Govt. official concerned to address/submit information/explanation on a matter under discussion;  Chairperson may invite Govt. official as observer during sessions;  Chairperson would not refuse to take matter presented for consideration; or, do so with sufficient grounds

35  Practices  Social Accountability  All questions are decided by majority of votes of the members present by voting, unless provided specifically  DT/GT chairpersons issue notifications on resolutions of DT/GT sessions and ensure information to public on activities of the DT/GT;

36  Practices  Social Accountability  Any member who does not concur with a resolution take the right to enter his/her dissenting opinion;  GTs announce call for tenders, contract awards and values, & projects under implementation through public media

37  Practices  Social Accountability  LG office maintain records of proceedings at each session  DT/GT member ensure active participation of public in FYP & annual plan/programmes formulations

38  Practices  Social Accountability  Implement plan activities without delay, in consultation with the public;  LGs publish FY & annual plans, including annual programmes and budgets, and made available to public

39  Practices  Social Accountability III. Public Hearings  LG Chairpersons shall submit annual report to LG sessions including: o Implementation status of planned activities; o Financial statement of preceding year; o Statement of funds received (revenue, income, subsidy & expenditure);

40  Practices  Social Accountability o Tenders & contract awarded works, goods and services; o Latest annual audited statements; o Commercial investments and returns; o Property inventory; o Land and building with duration of lease and rental

41  Practices  Social Accountability IV. Notice Board:  LGs office have public notice boards, visibly and prominently displayed at the entrance of LG office - Agenda for the next session, annual budget and work plan, call of tenders and other relevant information must be displayed:

42  Practices  Social Accountability V. Information Dissemination:  LG members ensure that people of respective constituencies are informed of various plans, policies and programmes of LG  LG members apprise the people of their constituencies of the resolutions adopted in the sessions of their respective LG

43  Practices  Social Accountability VI. Others:  DT/GT Chairpersons’ Conference  Annual Dzongdags’ Conference  GAO’s Symposiums

44 Issues and Challenges Issues and Gaps Internal, top-down and horizontal Supply-driven & not demand-driven Poor engagement of citizens Capacity building of citizens (right holders & duty bearers) Lack of strong organised citizens’ groups Weak CSOs and Media Challenges Break the barrier – political, social and cultural appropriateness Service providers & users; benefactors/saviours & beneficiaries Champions for access to information Institutionalization of SA mechanisms  Social Accountability


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