ANSA-EAP Co-Facilitates WBI Online Course on Social Accountability Tools
The World Bank Institute (WBI) invited ANSA-EAP staff to deliver the second part of its module on participatory performance monitoring (PPM) last July 3 to 22. Topics included social audit, procurement monitoring and other PPM tools (citizen feedback, citizen jury, integrity pacts, public deliberations, etc.). The module was part of WBI's online Core Learning Program on accountable governance, focusing on Social Accountability Tools. Around 50 participants from government and citizen groups in Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi participated in the course.
A key insight during the exchange between the participants and ANSA EAP facilitators was that establishing the enabling conditions for social accountability work remain an important concern among SAc practitioners in Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi. The participants cited lack of a supportive policy environment, government champions and citizen access to information as significant problems in conducting initiatives on social audit, procurement monitoring and other participatory performance monitoring tools. They also mentioned the weak capacities of citizen groups to process data and use such data in engaging government. Engagement may also have followed highly conflictive modes in the past, and practitioners nowadays have a hard time changing such patterns.
The online interaction with the participants via WBI's Moodle platform also highlighted the value of exchanging ideas among SAc practitioners from different regions, in Africa and East Asia and the Pacific. They have a lot to learn from each other in terms of starting and carrying out SAc projects, and finding more creative and innovative ways of doing so. The WBI online course for instance pointed to the possible adaptation and application in some African countries of the strategies for accessing information from government that have been used by citizen groups in the Philippines and other East Asia and Pacific countries. Entry points for SAc initiatives, and sustaining active and evidence-based citizen monitoring and engagement with government, were key concerns of the participants in the online course and provided key areas for discussion and cross-learning.
Another highlight of the online discussion was the video conference held last 13 July which was meant to cap the exchange on PPM and provided a venue for direct, real-time interaction between the participants and facilitators. During the said video conference, the ANSA EAP team provided a quick overview on the results framework for PPM tools, and a presentation on procurement reform efforts and monitoring experiences in the Philippines.