ESAP3 Design Document completed – JRIS

ESAP3 Design Document completed – JRIS

Six years down the lane, the Ethiopia Social Accountability Program (ESAP2) has covered 43.7% of the kebeles in 223 woredas in Ethiopia, creating transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in its track. The bi-annual Promoting Basic Services (PBS) III – Joint Review and Implementation Support (JRIS) meeting was held from 14 – 16 November 2017 at the office of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) in Addis Ababa, highlighting this and other progress updates of the ESAP2 program. In its third day of deliberation, the event focused on citizen engagement. Chaired by Yoseph Abdisa from the World Bank, the three components of PBS – Social Accountability (SA), Financial Transparency and Accountability (FTA) and Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM) presented their progress updates.

Focusing on the status of the ESAP2 program, Ato Demile Yismaw from MoFEC said, “75% of the citizens in participating woredas feel service provision is responsive to their basic needs compared to 33% at the start of the project while 56% of citizens report that service providers actively sought their views compared to 38%.”

The current ESAP Bridging Phase which will be finalized in December 2017 will be followed by an extension that will start in January, 2018. It was disclosed that the Design Document for the third chapter of the program, ESAP3, has been finalized following continuous discussions between government and development partners. The ministry is preparing Terms of Reference to recruit a Management Agency, which will be advertised in the future. Meanwhile, the government in its discussion with donors has clarified the program’s objectives, components and funding modalities. 

Speaking about the third phase of the program and what it has in store, Ato Demile said “More focus will be given to deepening and expanding SA under ESAP3. Putting into consideration our implementing capacity and the availability of funds, we plan to cover 500 woredas in a period of 5 years. We will also take additional steps towards institutionalization and sustainability of social accountability.” Capacity building and systems strengthening support will also be provided to councils, sectors/service providers and local CSOs, among others.

The program is currently led by a Steering Committee of 9 members comprising of development partners, CSOs and government representatives. An agreement was reached for the Ministries of Women & Youth Affairs and Labor & Social Affairs to join the committee as new members considering their role in social protection. 

During discussions on the updates, Ato Yoseph Abdisa from the World Bank said, “The government should rely on its own media outlets at regional and federal level to disseminate messages about SA, FTA and GRM. This would ensure the sustainability of the programs and uninterrupted dissemination of messages even in case of lack of funding for airtime and the closing of PBS.”

The Joint Review and Implementation Support (JRIS) meeting has an objective of discussing overall progress, challenges and best practices in the delivery of decentralized basic services in Ethiopia.