EU Delegation Impressed with the SA Results in Bishoftu Town

Members of an European Union Delegation representing headquarters in Brussels paid a visit to an SA project site in Ethiopia, more in particular the Hora school in Bishoftu, Oromia on 15 April 2015.

The team visited the improved school facilities, sat down and discussed the program with social accountability committee (SAC) members, service providers and the school community.
According to JeCCDO, the SAIP implementing social accountability in four kebles in Bishoftu including Hora School, many things have changed due to SA interventions which improved the quality of education considerably. JeCCDO’s Project Coordinator, Ms. Elisabeth Getachew while making a presentation to the visitors said, before the intervention of SA the problems regarding service delivery included less awareness of citizens about their entitlements to quality services, sub-standard service facilities, non-conducive classrooms, insufficient supply of books, and poor culture of hygiene, because of insufficient water supply and appropriate latrines for both sexes. Following social accountability, however public service providers are able and willing to respond to the needs and priorities of citizens and many of the problems are addressed through the constructive engagement of citizens, service providers and the government.

 

8th grade student Eldana Mohammed said, “one of the problems we had was a lack of appropriate toilets for girls, it was poorly built. Since it was made of corrugated iron sheets it aged quickly. It had holes all over and female students would be embarrassed to use the toilets as male students would look through the holes. I never used the toilet. Even if I wanted to, I would wait until I finished class and go home. But now we got a new toilet with better quality. The class rooms were also overcrowded, which was bad for our health, it was difficult to learn attentively when it was hot. But after the construction of new classrooms this is no longer a challenge. Through SA many of our problems have been addressed. We still need improvements, for example we need a playground.”

EU’s Fist Counselor, Head of Finance and Contract Section Mr. Augusto Piccagli said, “I like the work that has been done here. The toilet is extremely important. For a girl to spend the time in the school without any access to toilets would be impossible. We hope schools in Ethiopia will have students reaching higher levels of school and education thanks to this very small thing. The fact that all the people are involved is very important.”

 After

Director at the European Commission (Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development) Mr. Koen Doens said, “I found it very impressive. What has been realized in terms of improvement of the environment of the school is impressive. The process itself is also impressive: how the people/community feel empowered, how service providers themselves also feel this is extremely useful for them, because it keeps them on their toes, and at the same time makes citizens responsible. Ultimately this is democracy functioning the way it should function.”

SAC Chairman Dawit Bedane who explained about the implementation of SA to the Delegation said, “previously whenever something goes wrong with the service quality the community used to say God knows. But after SA the people are demanding their entitlements.”