Issue 31 : Accountability

Welcome to issue 31 of Capacity.org on accountability. In this issue we focus on the question: what initiatives citizens can take to hold decision makers, service providers and development practitioners accountable to their commitment to reduce poverty? The articles in this issue deal primarily with two specific relationships: that between governments and their citizens; and that between national governments and the international donor community.

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Using accountability relationships to support capacity

29 October 2010

#31-feature-photo_page5This article argues that improving accountability relationships is an effective strategy for developing capacity. Effective accountability mechanisms induce public sector organisations to remain relevant and responsive to the needs and demands of the groups they serve.

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Search Terms:
knowledge-sharing
community empowerment
advocacy
civil society
Thomas Theisohn (Independent consultant)

The strength of partnerships

29 October 2010

#31-practice_ANSA-photo_page14African institutions for public accountability

Africans are not recognized for the work they do to promote social accountability in their countries. A new pan-African platform allows them to share their experiences, learn new techniques and disseminate information, and encourages new initiatives.

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Search Terms:
web portals
civil society
knowledge-sharing
africa
Craig A. Schwabe (Director of the Geographic Information Systems Centre, Human Science Research Council, South Africa)

Follow the money: supporting communities to speak out

29 October 2010

Public expenditure tracking in Tanzania

How does a population renowned for its tolerance and acceptance of authority learn to demand acco #31-practice-photo2_page13untability from its leaders? Can autocratic leaders redefine themselves as public servants? An interesting social experiment is underway in Tanzania.

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Search Terms:
community empowerment
advocacy
africa
casestudies
Emmanuel Kallonga, Executive Director, Hakikazi Catalyst, Arusha, Tanzania
Philip Connelly, Policy research, training and information advisor, Hakikazi Catalyst, Arusha, Tanzania
Kees de Graaf, Senior Advisor, SNV Tanzania, Arusha, Tanzania

Promoting mutual accountability

29 October 2010

#31-interview-photo_Chhieng YanaraAid coordination in Cambodia

Over the last five years, the government of Cambodia has strengthened its national aid coordination process. We interviewed His Excellency Chhieng Yanara on the first Aid Effectiveness Report which reviewed the process to date.

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Interview with H.E. Chhieng Yanara (Member, Supreme National Economic Council, Cambodia)

Enhancing public control of national finances

29 October 2010

#31-practice-photo1_page12Budget watching in Croatia

The Institute of Public Finance (IPF) believes that budgets are too important to be left to elected representatives. As taxpayers, citizens should also have a say in the distribution and management of public funds.

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Search Terms:
advocacy
policy
civil society
Katarina Ott, Director (Institute of Public Finance (IPF), Zagreb, Croatia)

Citizen report cards score in India

29 October 2010

#31-tools&methods-photo-page10 Monitoring public service delivery

After more than a decade of monitoring by civil society organizations, the city of Bangalore in southern India has made progress in improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of its public services.

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Search Terms:
civil society
community empowerment
casestudies
toolkits
Asia
Samuel Paul, Chairperson, Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore, India
Gopakumar K Thampi (Executive Director, Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore, India)

Strengthening accountability: can civil society have an impact?

29 October 2010

#31-policy-photo-page7Public spending: Holding governments accountable

Ten years ago a small number of civil society organizations began experimenting with methods to monitor and influence government budget policies and expenditures. Have these initiatives had an impact?

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Search Terms:
advocacy
casestudies
civil society
Paolo de Renzio, Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute; London, UK
Warren Krafchik (Director, International Budget Project; Washington, USA)

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