Presentation on theme: "Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. Social Accountability Strengthening accountability relationships from the bottom up."— Presentation transcript:
Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. Social Accountability Strengthening accountability relationships from the bottom up
Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. What is social accountability? How does it differ from accountability? Accountability… for what? by whom? to whom? how? when? and on what basis? Accountability – describes a principal-agent relationship between two actors where agent A is accountable and has to explain and justify his or her actions to principal B, at the risk of sanction if the explanation is found lacking Accountability involves answerability and enforceability Many ‘accountabilities’ - ‘upward’ and ‘downward’ In relation to government accountability – vertical accountability (elections); and horizontal accountability (institutional checks and balances – supreme audit institutions, parliaments, courts, and government procedures) Accountability instruments can be ‘ex-post’ (after the fact) or ‘ex-ante’ (before the fact) - what is ‘the fact’? “Accountability is all about delivering on a promise.”
Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. What is Social Accountability : an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement civil society organizations participate directly in demanding accountability Civic engagement Demand driven Bottom up Process not tool!
Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. This is Social accountability Citizens working together to ensure their governments are meeting their community’s needs and managing their resources effectively and transparently. This new approach to citizens’ action actually involves systematic analysis and intelligent use of data: is about getting and using critical information about budget, expenditures, corruption, performances etc. in a way that can generate sound evidences of poor governance.
Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. Why is ‘social accountability’ important for poor people/women? Poor/women/youth often have no access to vertical accountability instruments Corruption, capture, and clientelism cause for most horizontal government accountability instruments to fail even in well intentioned states Institutional biases (language, cultural attitudes, norms) also work against children Citizens do not enjoy de jure accountability over their governments. Service delivers are contractually accountable to managers; and respect de facto accountability of donors
Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. 1.Better governance 2.Better (pro-poor) policies and programmes 3.Empowerment Why do it?
Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. What has social accountability resulted in? Among citizens: Increased awareness of and interest in citizens’ roles in more accountable governance Increased capacities to engage in accountability work Increased accountability engagements with government Coalitions and networks strengthened Increased partnerships with media Among governments: Increased recognition of the value of contributions of citizens and CSOs and the need to involve them in governance processes Increased responses to citizen demands Reform of systems and procedures of government Introduction of corrective actions
Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. CS often not recognised by the state as an accountability actor Criticism of government as ground for harassment/violence Absence of basic freedoms (information, association, expression, etc.) A certain level of technical skills are required (elite capture?) Frontline providers are only partially responsible Confrontational nature raises the issue of conflict sensitivity Challenges
Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. The Community Score Card (CSC) Participatory Budgeting Independent Budget Analysis The Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) Social Audit Public hearings Citizen Report Cards (CRCs) Information Campaigns Community radio A Citizen's charter Social Accountability tools