Ethiopia embraces social accountability

Unique program aims to improve delivery of basic services

(Addis Ababa, 1 February 2013) The first round of training for Ethiopian Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), who signed contracts with the Management Agency (MA) of the Social Accountability Program phase 2 (ESAP2) started on 14 January 2013 in Addis Ababa in Ghion Hotel.

The training focused on the approaches, concepts and tools for social accountability and constructive dialogue between communities (citizens) and service providers (Government). The following social accountability tools were trained: Community Score Card, Citizens Report Card, Community Mapping, Participatory Planning and Budgeting, Gender Responsive Budgeting and Social Auditing. Emphasis was also given on the inclusion of disadvantaged groups, like women, children, people with disabilities, people living HIV, and the elderly..

In the Social Accountability training 40 staff members from different NGO’s participated.

The NGOs, that started the training are:

- Oromo Grassroots Development Initiative (HUNDEE),
- Women and Children Integrated Development Association (ILU),
- Pro Development Network (PDN),
- Progress Integrated Community Development Organization (PICDO),
- SOS Sahel Ethiopia,
- Network of Ethiopian Women’s Association (NEWA),
- Non State Actors Coalition (NSAC),
- Professional Alliance for Development (PADET),
- Vision Ethiopian Congress for Democracy (VECOD).

The Social Accountability training was held from 14 January until 19 January, and is followed by the Finance and Grant, and Monitoring and Evaluation pre disbursement training from 21 until 26 January. Consecutive trainings for Social Accountability, Finance and Grants, and M&E will take the entire month of February 2013, in Addis Ababa and Mekkele.

Working with the best trainers in the field of Social Accountability

Workneh Denekew, Sofia Mohammed, Gabe Korajian and Abeje Teffera, our core social accountability trainers, and some of the best trainers on the African continent, facilitated the training.

The Capacity Building & Training managers of the Management Agency, Mario Claassen and Bezawit Bekele facilitated the training with the focus on participation through group exercise, discussions and role plays.

Laura Campbell of the World Bank briefly introduced the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) to the participants. As the PSNP is one of the largest programs being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, the PSNP will be covered by the NGOs targeting the Agriculture Sector in Woredas, which implement the PSNP, within ESAP2 – an exciting concept of integration and collaboration.

In addition, Alebachew Belaineh, Team Leader of Financial Transparency and Accountability based in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) gave a short presentation on how social accountability relates to the Financial Transparency and Accountability program, which is also a component of the Protection of Basic Services Program.

Accountants and project coordinators of the invited grantees were capacitated with the specific ESAP2 financial and grants management during the Finance and Grant pre disbursement training. The facilitators of the training were the staff members of the MA; Zemedkun Abebe (Financial Manager), Youri Bless (Grant Manager) and Hebist Shiferaw (Senior Finance officer). During this training the MA enlightened the grantees to know their duties and responsibilities in managing the grant and what the reporting requirements are of the program.

Hailesellassie G/Michael Berhie of the Charities and Societies Agency (ChSA) and member of the Steering Committee of ESAP2, was also part of the training and gave a presentation on the 30/70 proclamation and answered questions from the participants. Procurement regulations of the World Bank were presented by Demelash Demissie of the World Bank, to inform the ESAP2 grantees on the rules of procurement for ESAP2.

The first round of training ended with the Monitoring and Evaluation pre disbursement training

Training for the M&E officers of the ESAP2 grantees,was given by the M&E experts of the MA; Tenaw Mengist (Monitoring and Evaluation Manager) and Christelle Weckend (Monitoring and Evaluation advisor). The participants learned of data collection and analysis, and structuring monitoring plans for implementing ESAP2. During the training, opportunity was given to the participants to revise their Logical Framework with the guidance of the trainers.

Another topic of the training was ‘learning benchmark’, which will be held to facilitate learning amongst and between the grantees. During the benchmark meetings, organized by the MA later this year, experiences will be exchanged between the grantees and good practices identified. Finally, Salman Alibhai of the World Bank briefly presented on how the World Bank will evaluate the impact of ESAP2 and which methods will be used for the impact evaluation.

Active collaboration of ESAP2 Training participants

The participants of all the trainings were highly dedicated and active to learn the skills and knowledge relevant for implementing ESAP2: they reflected that they did not only learn from the experts, but also from the other grantees, who have for example worked in ESAP phase 1. Specifically the participants were satisfied with the fact that ESAP2 provides capacity building training on social accountability, as in comparison with ESAP1, when such training was not provided to the grantees.

The next batches of grantees begin the trainings in second, third and fourth round with the Finance and Grant pre disbursement training, Monitoring and Evaluation pre disbursement training and ending with the Social Accountability training.