ANSA-EAP Project Report 2008-2011
Social accountability is the focus and the reason for ANSA-EAP and it came into being at an opportune time - when the deepening commitment to the cause of participation, transparency and accountability is most palpable. There is now a widening and deepening thinking and initiative towards getting "citizens" as counterpart and counterpoint to government as one of the two key drivers of governance reform.
The last four years was a journey of learning for the entire ANSA-EAP network. Together with partners who have been immersed and involved in development reform and change, we collectively labored to clarify the contribution of "social accountability" to the multiple approaches, concepts, and interventions aimed at good governance, anti-corruption work included.
We realized that the value of social accountability is broadening the spectrum of citizen- government relations to include constructive engagement through citizen monitoring. This to us is a means emphasizing the importance of building on what has been achieved, and improving on these, as well.
Thus, ANSA-EAP as a regional initiative placed value on working with existing networks and CSOs or citizen groups already working in their countries. The thrust was mainstreaming—integrating social accountability thinking and approaches into existing practices and initiatives.
We were aware that for this to work, we needed a shared framework—one that resonates with the existing context while inspiring stakeholders towards innovation and change, especially for the distinct and diverse EAP context.
Sustainability is a challenge facing ANSA-EAP but this does not only mean financial resources or funding. The crux of sustainability is the extent to which social accountability becomes a habit, a reflex, and a practice for a growing community of CSOs, citizen groups, government officials and workers, development partners, private sector and even media. As we wrap up the startup phase of ANSA-EAP, we also move towards consolidating and multiplying our wins over the past few years. We are correcting missteps and filling the gaps to provide effective and efficient service to partners.
Some of the other challenges we face are inherent in the growing awareness of the costs, benefits, and risks embedded in social accountability work. It is ANSA-EAP's hope that we are better able to face them with the knowledge, tools, linkages, and experiences we continue to gain and now have at our disposal.
To move forward, ANSA-EAP will aim to establish presence and stronger partnership in other countries in the region, as well as gain more partners internationally to widen and deepen the network links across other agents and stakeholders in good governance work. We will pursue the integration of SAc and the role of communities in the extractive industry; the application of social media and social mobilization in providing for the Check My ... Platform for citizen monitoring; and deepening the work of citizen monitoring in public procurement. The cadre of SAc champions already seeded and growing in the convener groups, partner networks, and network fellows will be the vehicle for an expanded, more competent and effective community of practice.
Angelita Gregorio-Medel, PhD
ANSA-EAP Executive Director