December 2013 Archives

Putting parking reform in gear

With civil society, the opposition and even the ruling party talking more and more about the subject of electoral and judicial reforms in the wake of July’s contested national elections, some groups yesterday gathered to call for reforms in a more modest sector – parking fees. The Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and Pacific (ANSA-EAP), the Independent...

Watchdogs of Achham

NOV 29 - She runs a comb through her white hair while humming along with the tune playing on her old Chinese radio set. This set is one of Sarita Pariyar Damai’s most prized possessions. “It is the only source of information when you’re illiterate like me,” says the 68-year-old from Jalpadevi, Achham. In fact, it was through this very medium that Damai learnt about the...

Power to the people: how open data is improving...

Following the recent Open Government Partnership Summit in London, there's a lot of excitement about opening up government data. What's really interesting is how this data can be utilised by citizens to enable them to make more informed choices and demand improved services in sectors such as health. A growing community of technologists and social activists is emerging across Africa , supported...

From Transparent Budgets to Shared Prosperity

On October 9, 2013, the World Bank released a seminal report, Inclusion Matters: The Foundation for Shared Prosperity . The issue of social inclusion is central to the organization’s efforts to achieve its twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and ensuring shared prosperity. The following month, another study, this time on the subject of accountability as it relates to transparency...

Khmers come together to pay their respects to King Norodom Sihanouk, a few months before the 2013 Cambodian elections.

Crystal Clear

"A man who is honest has nothing to hide". The last Cambodian elections have been fraught with controversy amidst widespread allegations of cheating, vote-buying and military coercion. Numerous local civic groups, as well the international community, have long been clamoring for transparency from the government. Transparency is a very important aspect of good governance, but international media...

Transparency & Social Accountability: Where’s...

Are citizens receiving the greatest development impact for their development dollar? This is the basic principle at the heart of International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to improve the transparency of aid, giving citizens in developing and donor countries the information they need to hold their governments to account for use of...

Citizen participatory audit

By Maria Gracia M. Pulido Tan It all started from a rather banal self-talk as soon as I was appointed chair of the commission: If the Commission on Audit (COA) is an “independent constitutional body” and therefore not under any of the three branches of government, from whom then should we take our bearings and to whom shall we be directly responsible? I chuckled when just as...

How citizen-led accountability can improve the...

By Jeff Hall on 13 December 2013 If private markets can produce smartphones and tablets, can aid organizations create innovations that are equally sought after? And could those innovations dramatically improve the quality of life for people in the most vulnerable and remote corners of the world? That’s what I recently hoped to find out in a remote village in Indonesia. The village is a...

Disaster aid and citizen participatory audit

by Dean Tony La Viña and Dondon Parafina Last week, it was reported by the Daily Mail, a London tabloid, that food donations from the United Kingdom (UK) intended for Typhoon Yolanda survivors have been diverted to malls in Manila by local officials. The Philippine Star quoted the report as saying that “Crucial aid sent from Britain to help the victims of typhoon-ravaged areas of...

Budget to share the wealth: official

The amount of money to be allocated to commune-, district- and province-level governments is slated to rise next year in accordance with the government’s long-gestating attempts at decentralising its power. At a workshop yesterday on local democratic development, Keo Bengvath, deputy director of the Local Financial Department at the Ministry of Finance, outlined funding for the...

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Season's Greetings from ANSA-EAP

2013 is a year of growth for the ANSA-EAP Foundation and for social accountability in the region and around the world. All this would not have been possible without the contributions of every group and individual in our network, and we extend our deepest gratitude to everyone for one whole year of fruitful partnership. In the coming year, let us renew our mission to help uplift people's lives,...

Textbooks arriving COD, NGOs claim

School textbooks paid for by the Asian Development Bank have been routed to district education offices, some of which are charging schools for books that are supposed to be free, an NGO investigation has found. The textbooks on Khmer literature, maths, geography, morality and science were found to have been distributed to schools by local education authorities, which have charged between...

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