Development Partners to Support Bridging Phase of ESAP2

The European Union, Austria Development Cooperation and Irish Aid are to support an important bridging phase of Ethiopia Social Accountability Program. This was disclosed at the 13th PBS Joint Review & Implementation Support (JRIS) and Joint Budget and Aid Review (JBAR) Mission that was held from November 16-19, 2015 at Ghion Hotel. In his opening remark, State Minister of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC), Ato Ahmed Shide acknowledged some of the most important result areas to which the PBS program has contributed to include reduction in the under 5 mortality rate, dramatic increase in gross and net primary school enrollment, increased access to clean water in rural areas, strong progress in improving local government transparency, strong and robust public financial management and contribution to the expansion of Financial Transparency, Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) and Social Accountability (SA).

  

During the JRIS/JBAR meeting Mr. Francisco Carreras Sequeros, Head of Operations with the European Union Ethiopia stated the EU’s continued support to Social Accountability; he said his organization alongside Austria Development Cooperation and Irish Aid is supporting an important bridging phase for Social Accountability. A close coordination has already been initiated with USAID which has shown great interest to support SA.

Demele Yesmaw, Social Accountability Expert with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) briefed participants on the progress of Social Accountability in Ethiopia. He mentioned that in all the participating 223 woredas, implementation is at the stage of monitoring Joint Action Plans (JAPs). According to the expert, across the board capacity building targets on SA tools and practices have been surpassed with 35,668 citizens trained to demand for better services and 15, 537 service providers and local government officials trained on SA until the end of September, 2015. Elaborating on the upcoming SA bridging phase, Demele said activities during the phase will include continuing implementation in participating areas, strengthening dialogue at all levels and scaling up implementation in new kebeles within existing woredas. 

  

Rolf Hunink, ESAP2’s team leader, mentioned that the results seen in different woredas have significant variation. As a result, he said, the SA approach during the upcoming bridging phase will be different and tailor made for each region. The team leader said, “We depend heavily on the regions and also on our implementing partners to come up with tailor-made approaches where to focus on and it is possible that in one of the regions or one of the woredas, the focus will be more on strengthening Social Accountability Committees whereas in another woreda, more emphasis will be on public relations and communications. We should not copy paste what has been done in other regions but take the best out of it and make our own model.”

The sessions for the November 2015 JRIS/JBAR mission were categorized under three broad blocks: Strategy, Results and Lessons, Program Management and Leveraging Capacity Support for Service Delivery (Cross Cutting Priorities). State ministers, Members of parliament, representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, development partners, representatives from federal and regional governments and other relevant stakeholders attended the meeting.

 

Over the last several years, the PBS JRIS/JBAR Mission has served as a major platform for dialogue and discussions on achievements and challenges of decentralized basic service delivery between the Ethiopian government and the Development Partners (DPs) supporting decentralized basic service delivery in Ethiopia.