Social Accountability Knowledge
ANSA-EAP does research on the framework of social accountability in the region, and information generation for awareness building through the conduct of scoping studies, case studies, and success stories. ANSA-EAP gives strong emphasis to developing a shared understanding of social accountability in East Asia-Pacific consistent with the region's diverse cultures.
ANSA-EAP has produced a range of knowledge proucts. In the 4th quarter of 2010, ANSA-EAP began preparing two major social accountability publications. The first is a collection of specially commissioned SAc issue papers. The second is a study that maps SAc initiatives in ANSA-EAP’s four priority countries.
The first publication, which will be released in mid-November 2010, focuses on the SAc dimensions of various governance topics or concerns. Intended for policy makers and citizen group leaders, the issue papers offer agendas for further investigation and discourse. So far, working papers (or pre-publication drafts) of the following have been completed:
- SAc and Community-Driven Development
- SAc and Infrastructure (Roads)
- SAc and Public Finance Management
- SAc and Public Education
- SAc and the Youth Sector
- SAc and Information Communication Technology
Preliminary work has been done on the following topics:
- SAc and Islam
- SAc and the Private Sector Response to Anti-Corruption Initiatives
- Capacity Building for SAc
- SAc and Freedom of Information.
The second publication, scheduled for release in March 2011, is a mapping of SAc initiatives in the four ANSA-EAP priority countries of Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, and the Philippines.
“Mapping”—as defined by ANSA-EAP—is distinct from “scoping” and “profiling” by defining the stakeholders; their practices, approaches, and tools; the area of their operations and their partners; and the length of time they have been doing SAc activities.
The main function of the mapping is to focus the services (such as capacity building through learning-in-action and linking networks) that ANSA-EAP provides to its partners.
The publication will include specialized mapping studies that ANSA-EAP is currently undertaking, including a mapping of the policy environment for SAc in East Asia-Pacific, and a mapping of public finance management.
Program to Enhance Capacity in Social Accountability (PECSA)
ANSA-EAP provided major technical and resource support to this World Bank initiative to improve the capacity of Cambodian citizens engage constructively with government through appropriate and effective use of social accountability methods.
PECSA had three basic components: the Social Accountability School, the Mentoring, Coaching and Exposure Visit, and other capacity building activities. From March 2008 to March 2010, three runs of the Social Accountability School (SAS1, SAS2, and SAS3) and the two rounds of the Mentoring-Coaching and Exposure Visit (MCEV1 and MCEV2) were implemented. In addition, coordination work with partner institutions and two supplemental capacity building activities, namely gender budgeting and specialized training in expenditure-tracking, were accomplished.
In terms of program beneficiaries, a total of 196 attended the three runs of SAS, 14 underwent the two runs of the MCEV, and 38 joined the two specialized trainings. Among the SAS graduates, 76 Cambodians or 39% received diploma certificates indicating satisfactory absorption and learning appreciation of the various inputs about social accountability.
The sharing of competence, experience, and technology from different countries was prominently cited and appreciated by the participants. Participants—especially of SAS3—said they gained better understanding of decentralization and de-concentration, which are recent changes in governance in Cambodia, using the frame of social accountability and practical tools like social audit, citizen report card, expenditure tracking, local grievance/dispute resolution mechanism, and participatory planning.
PECSA succeeded in raising the participants’ awareness and basic knowledge and understanding of the necessary skills in social accountability. It has contributed toward the emergence of a pool of social accountability champions within the civil society and government sectors in Cambodia.
Mentoring Partnership with Oxfam Great Britain in East Asia
An ANSA-EAP mentoring partnership with Oxfam Great Britain in East Asia (OGB) supplements live training methods with an online “classroom” to build a Community of Practice on Social Accountability (SAc-CoP). SAC-CoP is a learning program that helps OGB share knowledge about and builds capabilities in social accountability to five OGB country teams from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
ANSA-EAP mentors OGB groups through a series of online instruction modules collectively called “Social Accountability 101.”
Since September 2009, when SAc-Community of Practice was launched, participating OGB groups have benefited from a series of learning and capacity building modules. Modules are taken up over a period of about two months, with an instructor engaging participants in weekly “live” chats and providing synthesis.
Module content and related learning events included the following:
- Week 1--In-country Discussion on Program Design Framework
- Week 2--Cross-country Online Discussions on Program Design Framework + First Live Chat
- Week 3--Deepening on Social Accountability Tools (Part 1)
- Week 4--Online Peer-Assist on Select Social Accountability Tools (Part 2) + Face-to-face Learning Workshop
- Weeks 5 to 8--Finalizing Project Proposals and Cross-Learning between and among OGB country teams and partner organizations + ANSA-EAP and OGB-East Asia Knowledge Fair on Social Accountability
So far, ANSA-EAP has documented a number of good practices in building a Community of Practice on Social Accountability.
- SAc-Community of Practices activities are designed to combine various learning and networking activities. This helps to sustain active participation and to complement the strengths and offset inherent weaknesses of various learning and networking methods.
- Through the online mentoring, the members of the practice group have interacted with experts and practitioners who have done similar projects in social accountability. A face-to-face workshop organized by OGB in Decembers 2009 gave members a chance to share knowledge with and learning from colleagues from other country offices and partner organizations.
- SAc learning modules are flexible in terms of schedule and content; this accommodates the dynamic context and ever changing circumstances of the OGB country teams.
- SAc learning sessions brought in experienced and well-rounded resource persons and facilitators designated or invited by ANSA-EAP.
ANSA-EAP publishes a “Learning Brief” to tell the story of how social accountability is being mainstreamed in large, well-established nongovernment organizations like OGB. The Learning Brief summarizes the key learning outcomes and findings of ANSA-EAP and its partner organizations from joint learning and capacity building programs to promote social accountability in East Asia and the Pacific.