Centre for Local GOVERNANCE ADVOCACY

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Social Accountability


Social Accountability

Citizens’ understanding of their rights and their ability to participate in public policy making, participatory budgeting, public expenditure tracking, citizen monitoring of public service delivery, citizen advisory boards, lobbying and advocacy campaigns, could go a long way in helping government to accelerate service delivery and also promote good governance. Social accountability has emerged as an important weapon in the fight for better governance and service delivery.
Social accountability has variously been referred to as the extent and capacity of citizens to hold the state and service providers accountable and make them responsive to needs of citizens and beneficiaries. Social accountability generally combines information on rights and service delivery with collective action for change. Social accountability usually relies on civic engagement, in which citizens participate directly or indirectly in demanding accountability from service providers and public officials.
 
Social accountability strengthens citizens-clients to monitor and exert accountability by increasing citizens’ access to reliable information on their entitlements and the performance of services, and their ability to take actions based on that information to demand accountability.
Examples of social accountability tools and mechanisms include participatory budgeting, public expenditure tracking, citizen report cards, community score cards, social audits, citizen charters, and right to information acts.  Social accountability has been recognized as a way to reduce poverty via empowerment of the poor.
Accountability in Ghana is skewed towards supply accountability with little or no demand for accountability by citizens. CLGA in its operations capacitate citizens and citizen groupings on various social accountability tools. CLGA believes that social accountability holds considerable promise for achieving better governance and service delivery.
CLGA is currently implementing the Ghana Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) Project in the Suhum Municipality and the Birim South, Birim North, Fanteakwa, Kwaebibirem districts. CLGA is also implementing Public Policy Advocacy and Social Accountability Project in the Suhum Municipality.
Projects

• Public Policy Advocacy & Social Accountability (PPASA) Project
Recognizing that public accountability is skewed towards supply accountability on the part of duty bearers, the Public Policy Advocacy & Social Accountability Project (PPASA) has been designed to focus on strengthening civil society and empowering citizens to partner national and local authorities along all the public policy cycle to facilitate efficient service delivery. The Project seeks to encourage citizens’ participation in governance through engagement with national and local authorities in the public policy formulation and implementation process.
 
By seeking to promote active citizens’ participation in public policy dialogue to promote vertical accountability, the project seeks to support  the achievement of participatory democracy and local governance under article 35(6d) of the 1992 constitution which states that ‘the State shall take appropriate measures to make democracy a reality by decentralizing the administrative and financial machinery of government to the regions and districts by affording all possible opportunities to the people to participate in decision-making at every level of national life and in government’.Additionally the project will raise awareness amongst citizens on their rights, obligations and roles in local level plan development and implementation. This can be extended to cover local level budgeting and issues of resource mobilization in a transparent and accountable manner. The project is to solve development challenges by creating ties between citizens, civil society, decision makers (at local and national level) for efficient service delivery and improved accountability.This project is been implemented in the Suhum Municipality in partnership with CDD-Ghana and funded by the French Government.

The Ghana Strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) Project
GSAM Project is a five year USAID funded project which focuses on strengthening citizens’ oversight of capital development projects to improve local government transparency, accountability and performance in 100 districts in Ghana.  The project involves a day-to-day technology assisted monitoring of development projects in 50 districts focused on capital goods  related projects including the building of schools, clinics, roads, water pumps etc. The project also involves the use of scorecards as part of a public information campaign to educate citizens on the development programming of its MMDA government and demanding accountability. The main objectives of the project are:

1 Increase the availability of accessible information on MMDAs capital development project performance in 100 districts.
2.Strengthen CSOs and citizens’ capacity to monitor MMDAs development projects in 50 districts.
3.Increase the use of citizen-generated information on MMDA capital projects in 50 districts.

The projects supports local civil society organizations to monitor and disseminate information to citizens on capital development projects of selected District Assemblies to enable citizens hold their local authorities accountable and demand improved service delivery.
The Centre for Local Governance Advocacy (CLGA) is partnering the GSAM Consortium (CARE, IBIS, and ISODEC) in the implementation of the project in the Birim South, Birim North, Fanteakwa, Kwaebibirem and Suhum districts.