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The Challenge for Accountability and Legitimacy Civil Society Perspective (OSI)

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Presentation on theme: "The Challenge for Accountability and Legitimacy Civil Society Perspective (OSI)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Challenge for Accountability and Legitimacy Civil Society Perspective (OSI)

2 OSI Mission The Open Society Institute (OSI), a private operating and grantmaking foundation, aims to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform. On a local level, OSI implements a range of initiatives to support the rule of law, education, public health, and independent media. At the same time, OSI works to build alliances across borders and continents on issues such as combating corruption and rights abuses

3 Accountability (OSI) Advocacy, Monitoring and Accountability has been defined as the independent assessment of public institutions and their compliance with laws and possible abuses of power; The analysis and reporting on the current practices and policies of these institutions, and the advocacy of reforms to these policies and practices.

4 Types of Support Various entities and individuals of the Soros Foundations Network (SFN) are supporting and/or involved in the Publish Watch You Pay (PWYP) campaign and activities related to this campaign (e.g. Revenue Watch). Our engagement varies widely – from advocacy activities on a global level and coalition building in geographical regions, to grant support for international NGOs or specific projects in individual countries.

5 Large Grants to INGOs For Capacity Support to CSOs Global Witness PWYP RWI IBP TIRI

6 Publish What You Pay The basic messages are clear: Companies must disclose the payments they make to government and other public authorities by way of taxes, royalties, fees, etc, so that citizens have a basis to hold their governments accountable. Such disclosure ought to be required by regulators so that there is a level playing field and individual companies that may be more amenable to transparency are not prejudiced.

7 Revenue Watch Institute Revenue Watch was established in 2002 to improve accountability in natural resource-rich countries by equipping citizens, governments and other interested parties with the information, training, networks, and funding to improve transparency of government revenues and expenditures. Through direct support for research, publications, and advocacy; and grants distributed internationally to build the capacity of the resource revenue transparency movement. Activities were capacity building and research - builds the capacity of civil society, the media and the public to monitor how governments are collecting and spending revenues from the production and sale of natural resources; and with policy makers to build their capacity to operate more transparently and accountably. Producing analytical and investigative reports, as well as overall theoretical and practical resource guides and tools for those involved in these issues: governments, investors, civil society, media, and the public- at-large.

8 Why Civil Society Organizations Legitimacy – participation of the citizenry – represented by CSOs – in Accountability and Transparency processes. Linkage to the critical mass of citizens to ensure ownership and legitimacy. Legitimacy & Sustainability – Functional if built with the people – demand for accountability and transparency.

9 CSOs Needs Defining and having the Space for engagement into the Transparency and Accountability processes – Access (Information, Participation, Influence/reach). Government – Executive and Legislative. Donor Agencies – Policy formulation and Advocacy for CSO participation. Capacity Building – skills and sustainable institutions. Funding – medium to long term (minimum of five years).

10 CSO Strategies (What Works) Partnership – Private Foundations – Access and Building Synergies with CSOs. Advocacy with Governments, Multi/bi-laterals, Private Foundations, Private Companies for CSO support/space Provision of Funding, Capacity and Resources Coalition Building/Leadership – Post Conflict and Hostile Environment – Lack of Capacity

11 SFN Strategies Support for monitoring development projects; budget allocations and expenditure tracking; Social and economic justice; Corporate Responsibility to Oil Communities; Regulation of EITI processes; liaise with Oil Companies for development of the capacities of local groups; coordinates and facilitates access and capacity by CS groups and consensus building with Oil companies and engagement with govt; Advocacy on the promotion of a PWYP amendment to the Transparency Obligations Directive (TOD) that deals with the disclosure requirements of companies listed on European stock exchanges and calls on EU member state governments to be more proactive in their involvement in international transparency initiatives. Drafting and passing the law on access to public information; Monitoring government spending on poverty reduction and social development; suggesting policy recommendations; Increasing the role of the Parliament and the civil society groups in the budget; CSO coalition building; Capacity building for the media and parliaments; Providing updates to policy makers. Promoting citizens participation and oversight; Capacity building for legislative and judicial arms of government;

12 SFN Strategies Legal remedies for spoliation and corruption in natural resource extraction. Budget and Revenue Groups - budget analysis and transparency issues, freedom of information and anti-corruption campaigns. Civil society capacity to access this kind of information and influence policies related to extractive industry revenues and their distribution among different levels of government. Dissemination of research findings by publishing regional and national reports and holding workshops with civil society leaders. Increased transparency of concessions and other government decisions with regard to major exploration and production licenses; Well researched discussions on the contribution of the sector to the development of the country and priority issues for the sector growth; Increased participation of local communities in the decision making process and enjoying benefit from utilization of local wealth. Revenue Legislation

13 CONCERNS Donor willingness to provide longer-term ongoing support. Many donors want to support innovative ideas, pilot project, one-off initiatives, etc. Very few are willing to support initiatives that may take five or more years before they affect change. The limited number of civil society organizations and/or coalitions with the capacity (financial and institutional) to address the multiple facets of the problems. Civil Society Organizations Transparency and Accountability Another problem is the limited access to government held information or the lack of reliable information produced by government. Another possibility would be donor collaboration. Donors that focus on providing government with resources and tools could focus their funds on helping governments produce and provide the information in an effective manner, so that it can be used to monitor performance and accountability. This could be linked to civil society initiatives funded by other donors. Would like more coordination and consultation - among civil society groups and donors

14 Recommendations The provision of more financial and technical resources to key organizations & coalitions. These resources would provide the organization will the stability needed to strategize effectively. Complement CSO Funding with Funds for Citizen’s Awareness Campaigns – Accountability Projects. Facilitating Access to Information – FOI Legislation. Promoting Dialogue between CSO and /Donor Agencies and developing Coordinating Mechanisms. South-South Cooperation

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