social accountability en Weekly wire: The global forum <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><div> <strong><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="178" src="" style="float:right" title="" width="180" /></a></strong><strong>These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</strong></div> <p> <br /><strong><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Mary Meeker’s 2017 internet trends report: All the slides, plus analysis</a></strong><br /><strong>Recode</strong><br /> Kleiner Perkins Caufield &amp; Byers partner Mary Meeker is delivering her annual rapid-fire internet trends report right now at Code Conference at the Terranea Resort in California.  Here’s a first look at the most highly anticipated slide deck in Silicon Valley. This year’s report includes 355 slides and tons of information, including a new section on healthcare that Meeker didn’t present live.</p> <p> <strong><a href=";id=271&amp;Itemid=591" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Evaluating Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals</a></strong><br /><strong>GlobeScan</strong><br /> For this iteration of The GlobeScan/SustainAbility Survey (GSS), we chose to focus on the progress made on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or the Global Goals). These goals were agreed by the United Nations member states together with civil society and business in 2015, and set forth the agenda until 2030. These goals are new, and progress was expected to be limited. We asked more than 500 experienced sustainability professionals to evaluate the progress that has been made on each Global Goal, rank their relative urgency and also share insights into the priorities within their own organizations. We also wanted to know how companies specifically are responding to the SDGs and where they see opportunities for the greatest impact. Polled experts unanimously agree that, so far, society’s progress on sustainable development more broadly and the SDGs specifically has been poor.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:11:00 +0000 Darejani Markozashvili 7737 at Holding the state to account <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="women at a community meeting, Mumbai India" height="213" src="" style="float:left" title=" Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank" width="320" />In a democracy, a critical element in the engagement between citizens and state is “accountability”. There are several definitions—one among them <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">from the World Bank</a> reads: “Accountability exists when there is a relationship where an individual or body, and the performance of tasks or functions by that individual or body, are subject to another’s oversight, direction or request that they provide information or justification for their actions”.</p> <p> Citizens and civil society organizations seek accountability from the state. Where this builds on broad-based civil society engagement, we hear of “social accountability” whose advocates believe that a regular cycle of elections alone are not enough to hold the state to account. For instance, a decline in the quality of public services or cases of denial of (social) justice call for mobilization outside of the electoral cycle. But how does the state respond?</p> <p> When the state is under sustained pressure to reform, it could take one of these positions: (1) respond to civil society using physical force and/or its legal prowess; (2) stoically “do nothing”; (3) formulate a response that emphasizes form over function; and (4) undertake genuine reform. These options represent a sliding scale of state response, and on any given issue, the state might change its position over time, depending on how the context evolves.</p> <p> The reality is that more often than not, status quo rules: the space for citizens seeking accountability relies primarily on the willingness of the state. It is not in the nature of states to do this of their own volition, and often, a sustained campaign by a strong coalition of interests is required to influence them.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 25 Aug 2016 17:56:00 +0000 Suvojit Chattopadhyay 7497 at Learning the lessons of land protection from Africa’s justice advocates <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="Looking out onto irrigated fields, Nigeria" height="187" src="" style="float:left" title="Photo by Arne Hoel / World Bank" width="280" />Rural communities across Africa face a variety of threats to their customary and indigenous land and natural resource claims. The drivers of these threats are diverse: increasing foreign investment, national elite speculation, rising population densities, climate change, and national infrastructure mega-projects, to name a few.<br />  <br /> The introduction of such external destabilizing influences often sets off a cascade of resulting intra-community challenges. In most communities, the challenges are multiple and overlapping: the divisive tactics of investors may pit community members against one another; state infrastructure development may claim the communal areas communities depend upon for their livelihoods and survival and create intra-community conflicts over scarce resources; elites seeking land may make back-room deals with leaders, undermining community trust of local leaders.<br />  <br /> Land rights advocates and practitioners are frequently called upon to support communities facing such issues. However, when practitioners engage deeply with these communities, it often becomes clear that a multiplicity of factors and trends have weakened the communities’ ability to respond effectively to the conflict or threat – therefore requiring use of a variety of simultaneous strategies to ensure successful outcomes. The threats and trends are often directly and cyclically linked, with negative trends exposing communities to additional threats.</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:07:00 +0000 Rachael Knight 7303 at Enthusiasm, Confusion and a Bit of Clarity: Where are We Going with Social Accountability? <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" height="210" src="" style="float:right" title="" width="280" />The debate around social accountability is not short of energy, enthusiasm or ideas. It has gone through many phases over the last 20 years and has become increasingly sophisticated as its evidence base has grown, a trend reflected in discussions at the recent <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">ODI-World Bank conference on “New directions in governance”.</a> Despite this progress is being held back by a lack of clarity on some issues and a narrow focus on the demand side. This blog argues that we need to broaden our thinking beyond a focus on civil society and citizens alone to engage much more strongly and strategically with the state and its divisions, aims and capacity.<br /><br /> One basic issue that raises tensions is <strong>whether or not social accountability works – </strong>a question that can be endlessly misinterpreted. Often when we talk about social accountability not working what we are actually saying is that external projects to support social accountability have not delivered what we expected them to deliver. Without this caveat, debate on what works can raise hackles amongst activists and SA proponents as it is taken as an attack on the idea of social accountability itself. In fact there is broad agreement that social accountability is a good thing in principle and can produce results. However the need to assert this point of principle is should not hold back attempts to identify where evidence is still needed – particularly on whether external agents can contribute to SA, how they can do so and under what circumstances.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 18:24:00 +0000 Joe Wales 6839 at Expanding Budget Literacy in Nepal <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" height="346" src="" style="float:left" title="" width="240" />In mid-July, when the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Government of Nepal’s FY15 budget was announced</a> live on TV, radio and social media, most Nepalis were keen to watch the latest game of the World Cup. However, in a country with a <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">literacy rate of only 57%</a>, where almost half of Nepalis can neither read nor write, analyzing complex GoN budgetary information would not have been their priority. The <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">World Bank’s Program for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN)</a>, however, is hoping to change that and educate people how the GoN budget affects their lives.<br />  <br /> PRAN, together with Institute for Governance and Development (IGD), has recently developed ready-to-use, neo-literate flip charts outlining the importance of the government budget, its priorities, and its processes. These new IEC materials have been officially approved by the Government of Nepal for use nationally. Used effectively, they can help Nepali citizens become much more aware of what is rightfully theirs.  <br />  <br /> Since 2011, PRAN has promoted increased social accountability and transparency in Nepal. PRAN seeks to educate communities about their local budget process and content.  As part of this effort, these new flip charts will serve as an awareness-raising tool by offering a detailed visual explanation of how the budget is designed, reviewed and approved.<br />  </p> </div></div></div> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 15:25:00 +0000 Deepa Rai 6811 at Transparency & Social Accountability: Where’s the Magic? <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" height="212" src="" style="float:right" title="" width="280" />Are citizens receiving the greatest development impact for their development dollar? This is the basic principle at the heart of <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">International Aid Transparency Initiative</a> (IATI), a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to improve the transparency of aid, giving citizens in developing and donor countries the information they need to hold their governments to account for use of those resources.<br /><br /> Last week, as Publish What You Fund (PWYF) released their second <a href="" rel="nofollow">Aid Transparency Index</a> (ATI), which assesses adherence of the world’s major donors to their IATI commitments, the question turned from one of how institutions performed on the index to one of how aid transparency enables effectiveness, accountability and social change in real terms.<br /><br /> Kicking off the conversation, Duncan Edwards of the Institute of Development Studies <a href="" rel="nofollow">challenged</a> the basic assumption that because better data/information is accessible, citizens, governments and institutions will use it in their decision making processes. The common narrative in open development projects is flawed, Edwards claims, it simply cannot be proven that to “provide access to data/information –&gt; some magic occurs –&gt; we see positive change.” <br /><br /><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">AidData</a>, along with several other voices, <a href="" rel="nofollow">countered</a> that while open data is certainly<em> not</em> <em>sufficient</em> to provoke positive change it is a necessary baseline to <em>catalyze</em> better development outcomes. <br /><br /> Transparency can only lead to greater social accountability if citizens understand what data means and if there is genuine public debate about a country’s development spending. The panelists at the October 24<sup>th</sup> Brookings Institution <a href="" rel="nofollow">launch</a> of the 2013 ATI report suggested how transparency can catalyze positive change:</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 31 Oct 2013 16:53:00 +0000 Kate Henvey DeMoss 6515 at When do Transparency and Accountability Initiatives have impact? <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="" style="float:left; height:218px; width:240px" />So having <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">berated ODI</a> about opening up access to its recent issue of the Development Policy Review on Transparency and Accountability Initiatives (TAIs), I really ought to review the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">overview piece</a> by <a href=";rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=2&amp;cad=rja&amp;ved=0CDgQFjAB&amp;;ei=qL0lUpCeKIvuiAfw_YHIBA&amp;usg=AFQjCNEZN4_xFupq5JNC7JmHdd5CJsg1uQ&amp;sig2=Xux_Sj_MrZbuLapWUp5kdQ&amp;bvm=bv.51495398,d.a" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">John Gaventa</a> and <a href=";rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;sqi=2&amp;ved=0CC8QFjAA&amp;;ei=wb0lUp-sJ8TJkwXXzYGwCg&amp;usg=AFQjCNG8df_-S0r4huQDFL1g0GnfQvfvKw&amp;sig2=KAKut9NO2SzhkBob6r_Taw&amp;bvm=bv.51495" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Rosemary McGee</a>, which they’ve made freely available until December.</p> <p> The essay is well worth reading. It unpicks the fuzzy concept of TAIs and then looks at the evidence for what works and when. First a useful typology of TAIs:</p> <p> ‘Service delivery is perhaps the field in which TAIs have been longest applied, including <a href=";rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;ved=0CDQQFjAA&amp;" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Expenditure Tracking Surveys</a>, <a href=";rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=3&amp;cad=rja&amp;ved=0CEEQFjAC&amp;;ei=_r0lUvOsOK2WiQeB14HgBg&amp;usg=AFQjCNEHe_AMtIIyepibfCtWDPl3vr7SxQ&amp;sig2=jYEsf1diS7GO5yY2DxjEQQ&amp;bvm=bv.51495398,d.aGc" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">citizen report cards</a>, score cards, community monitoring and <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">social audits</a>.</p> <p> By the late 1990s, moves to improve public finance management the world over led to the development of budget accountability and transparency as a sector in its own right…. An array of citizen-led budget TAIs has developed, including <a href=";rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=3&amp;cad=rja&amp;sqi=2&amp;ved=0CEsQFjAC&amp;;ei=B78lUoyMO8KrkAXW7ICICg&amp;usg=AFQjCNE66Fv4-wxCrodgAv_EL9eioV-rwA&amp;sig2=KcpvP3mGiTorXdpfnwtbsA&amp;bv" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">participatory budgeting</a>; sector-specific budget monitoring (for example, gender budgeting, children’s budgets); public-expenditure monitoring through social audits, participatory audits and tracking surveys; and advocacy for budget transparency (for example, the <a href=";rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=2&amp;cad=rja&amp;ved=0CEYQFjAB&amp;;ei=R74lUuenOqq6iQfv4YCwDA&amp;usg=AFQjCNFh954MW-CdbDo7c9Ij2nFfUddfvw&amp;sig2=FVsz8eNyvu3CwpilNVVgTQ&amp;bvm=bv.51495398,d.aGc" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">International Budget Partnership</a> (IBP)’s Open Budget Index). Many of these initiatives focus ‘downstream’ on how public funds are spent; less work focuses on T and A in revenue-generation, although this is growing with recent work on tax justice.</p> </div></div></div> Thu, 12 Sep 2013 14:10:00 +0000 Duncan Green 6466 at Ascending the CSO Engagement Continuum I – Policy Dialogue <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="" style="float:left; height:255px; width:340px" />Of all the steps on the World Bank – civil society engagement continuum, policy dialogue has experienced the greatest advances over the years. As highlighted in the latest edition of the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">World Bank–Civil Society Engagement Review of Fiscal Years 2010–12</a>, this interaction expanded over the past three years via a wide range of issues and events including Food Roundtables, book launches, and CSO conferences. It was the unprecedented number of CSO representatives who attended the Annual and Spring Meetings in recent years, however, which most clearly exemplified the growing intensity of the policy dialogue.<br />  <br /> Not many years ago, CSO voices at the Annual Meetings were more likely heard outside the security perimeter protesting a variety of Bank policies. Today, CSOs are coming inside in growing numbers to actively participate in the weeklong Civil Society Program. While only a handful of CSO representatives attended the Annual Meetings a decade ago, by 2011 this number had surpassed 600. CSOs came to dialogue with the heads of the Bank and the Fund, hold bilateral meetings with Executive Directors, engage the media, network with other CSOs, and organize policy sessions. Several participatory methodologies and new events embedded in the Civil Society Program have improved the quality of WB - CSO civil society participation at the Meetings:</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 27 Aug 2013 16:51:00 +0000 John Garrison 6450 at New Report Highlights Significant Advances in World Bank – CSO Relations <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><img alt="" src="" style="float:left; height:234px; width:180px" />The World Bank just released a new report -- <a href=",,contentMDK:23459805~pagePK:220503~piPK:220476~theSitePK:228717,00.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>World Bank–Civil Society Engagement Review of Fiscal Years 2010–12</em></a> -- that documents important advances in its relations with civil society over the past three years. It illustrates how these relations have evolved in many areas ranging from policy dialogue and consultation, to operational collaboration. It is the most comprehensive of the Civil Society Review series since its first edition in 2002. <p> The growing number of CSO representatives who attended the Annual and Spring Meetings most clearly exemplifies these intensifying relations. While less than 100 CSO representatives attended the <a href=",,contentMDK:20094168~menuPK:220438~pagePK:220503~piPK:220476~theSitePK:228717,00.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Annual Meetings</a> a decade ago, by 2012 over 600 participated in the weeklong Civil Society Program. The World Bank also held nearly two dozen consultations at the global level on sector strategies, financing instruments, and research studies over the period, conducting more than 600 public consultation meetings throughout the world and gathering the views of some 13,000 stakeholders. The World Bank also continued to actively engage specific constituencies, such as trade unions, foundations, and youth.</p> <p> The Review also highlights important examples of operational collaboration in the areas of health, education, disaster recovery, and environmental protection. At the country level, innovative joint initiatives were undertaken—such as establishing a regional network on social accountability in Jordan, monitoring World Bank projects in Nigeria, and earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti. The report shows that there was civil society involvement in 82 percent of all 1,018 new projects funded from 2010 to 2012.</p> </div></div></div> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 17:00:00 +0000 John Garrison 6441 at Is It Time for a New Paradigm for "Citizen Engagement"? The Role of Context and What the Evidence Tells Us <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <strong><img alt="" src="" style="float:left; width:280px; height:226px" />The meteoric rise of "citizen engagement"</strong><br /><br /> Almost all development agencies promote some form of citizen engagement and accountability, often framed as 'voice', 'demand-side governance', 'demand for good governance' or 'social accountability'.   The current World Bank president, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Jim Yong Kim, recently put it</a> that, <em>"citizen voice can be pivotal in providing the demand-side pressure on government, service providers, and organizations such as the World Bank that is needed to encourage full and swift response to citizen needs"</em>.  There has, in turn, been a mushrooming of useful operational guidance on different "<a href=" and Tools 06.22.07.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">tools</a>" for social accountability - i.e. steps, inputs and methodologies - that guide discrete interventions, ranging from citizen score cards to participatory expenditure tracking.<br /><br /> One might, however, be forgiven for thinking that some of the debates on citizen engagement need an injection of realism; especially as contextual factors can make or break a "tool's" implementation.  A review of experience to date would be one good place to start.</p> </div></div></div> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:57:00 +0000 Simon O'Meally 6316 at Grievance Redress Mechanisms – Do they work? <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=280 alt="" src="" width=280 align=left>Among many tools that enable gathering of project beneficiaries’ concerns and solving them are Grievance Redress Mechanisms (GRMs). Although the mechanisms themselves are not new, World Bank teams are increasingly encouraged to systematically include GRMs in their projects to increase beneficiaries’ participation, solve project-related disputes and ensure that projects achieve their intended results. As such, GRMs have been a topic of debate among World Bank staff.&nbsp; GRMs are also called dispute resolution and conflict management/resolution mechanisms and they are considered to be one of several social accountability mechanisms. The topic is, therefore, not only timely at the World Bank but should also be of interest to development practitioners generally.<BR></div></div></div> Wed, 10 Oct 2012 14:08:34 +0000 Shamiela Mir 6119 at Paralegals and Social Accountability: Who knew? <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=162 alt="" src="" width=240 align=left>Social Accountability is getting more and more innovative these days. A recent event organized by <A href=",,menuPK:3282947~pagePK:149018~piPK:149093~theSitePK:3282787,00.html" target=_blank>Justice for the Poor (J4P)</A> showcased a pilot program in Sierra Leone where a group of development practitioners are exploring new ideas on social accountability and how legal empowerment tools, such as community paralegals can play a complementary role by helping communities navigate the murky waters of administrative accountability and hold the government and the healthcare service providers accountable.</div></div></div> Thu, 13 Sep 2012 15:41:12 +0000 Shamiela Mir 6096 at Rights and Development <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=187 alt="" hspace=0 src="" width=280 align=left border=0>There is increasing convergence between the goals that human rights advocates aspire to, and the development work of the World Bank. This was the consensus reached at a panel discussion on Integrating Human Rights in PREM's work, organized as part of the Conference organized by the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) network on May 1 and 2, 2012. The panel included <A href="" target=_blank>Otaviano Canuto</A>, Vice President of the Network, and other experts at the Bank working on labor, justice, poverty, and governance issues from a rights-perspective. It was moderated by Linda van Gelder, Director of the Public Sector and Governance group.</P> <P>The panel showcased innovative ways in which a human rights perspective is being integrated into the Bank's work. In <A href=",,contentMDK:23116898~pagePK:146736~piPK:146830~theSitePK:226301,00.html" target=_blank>Vietnam</A>, the governance team has engaged the country in looking at how right to information can further transparency and how awareness of rights can make the state more responsive to citizens.&nbsp; A team in PREM is looking at the Human Opportunity Index as a means of assessing inequality of opportunity among children. The <A href=";theSitePK=8258025&amp;piPK=8258412&amp;pagePK=8258258" target=_blank>World Development Report on Jobs</A> emphasizes the concept of ‘better jobs’ that improve societal welfare, not just ‘more jobs’. Several of these programs are supported through the <A href=",,contentMDK:22312165~pagePK:41367~piPK:51533~theSitePK:40941,00.html" target=_blank>Nordic Trust Fund</A> that furthers a human rights approach to development issues.</div></div></div> Wed, 16 May 2012 18:32:19 +0000 Anupama Dokeniya 5989 at "Check My School" and the Power of Openness in Development <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=269 alt="" hspace=0 src="" width=180 align=left border=0>There has been a lot of buzz lately around open development, and new initiatives seem to be popping up everywhere. My colleague <A href="" target=_blank>Maya</A> talks about what open development means exactly in her <A href="" target=_blank>blog</A>&nbsp;and <A href="" target=_blank>Soren Gigler</A> <A href="" target=_blank>discusses</A> openness for whom and what.&nbsp; Soren points out that “openness and improved accountability for better results are key concepts of the Openness agenda.” However, he cautions that openness is not a one-way street.&nbsp; For positive impact, citizen engagement is crucial and it’s important to “close the feedback-loop” through the facilitation of information flows between citizens, governments, and donors.</P> <P>In light of this, a prime example of a successful initiative with an innovative citizen-feedback mechanism is <A href="" target=_blank>“Check My School”</A> (CMS) in the Philippines. Launched by the <A href="" target=_blank>Affiliated Network for Social Accountability East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP)</A> just a little over a year ago, it has managed to get real results on the ground.&nbsp; The results and lessons learned were shared at an <A href="" target=_blank>event</A> held last week at the World Bank. The speaker was Dondon Parafina, ANSA-EAP’s Network Coordinator.</div></div></div> Thu, 10 May 2012 18:00:54 +0000 Johanna Martinsson 5985 at Can the Bank and CSOs Bridge the Trust Gap? <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=186 alt="" hspace=0 src="" width=280 align=left border=0>This was a question asked by numerous participants during a consultation meeting held in Washington on February 29 on the Bank’s proposed Global Partnership for Enhanced Social Accountability (GPESA).&nbsp; They noted that this lack of trust comes from a longstanding view that the Bank tends to favor governments in detriment of the broader society in many developing countries.&nbsp; Others noted that the lack of trust comes from the perception that the Bank is not accessible and does not effectively engage civil society in some countries. This contrasts with the view, expressed by several participants, that the Bank has made important strides in opening up and reaching out to civil society at headquarters over the past decade and that this positive momentum should guide GPESA implementation.</div></div></div> Tue, 13 Mar 2012 16:56:54 +0000 John Garrison 5920 at