Remarkable results of Social Accountability presented at ESAP2’s third LB workshop

The ESAP2 third learning benchmark (LB) is stimulating the Social Accountability  movement  deliberating on results ESAP2 has registered so far.

In his welcoming speech at the first round LB held on 23rd and 24th of February, 2015, in Adama Oromia Rolf Hunink, Team leader of ESAP2 said, “the overall objective of the workshop is to facilitate learning from ongoing practices and achievements of SAIPs, citizen groups and local governments/service providers across issues that are important for the future of social accountability. The team leader further reiterated that more sector involvement, sustained CHSOs involvement and a facilitated process and roadmap for institutionalization of social accountability will be highlighted during the workshop. The workshop also created a platform to present updates about the linkage of Financial Transparency and Accountability (FTA) with Social Accountability.

  

In his opening speech Senior Advisor with COPCU- Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) , Melaku Kifle said, “ESAP2 has achieved promising results and the government will provide the necessary support for the strong  collaboration between FTA and SA  which are complementary  and to improve basic service delivery.”

SA coordinator with the MoFED  Demele Yesmaw,  stated that the Management Agency together with SNNP BoFED trained 137 regional and Zonal PFM teams on social accountability.  He further highlighted FTA-SA linkage updates on capacity building, participatory planning & citizens-state constructive collaboration, joint monitoring and documentation and information dissemination. The Harari region was brought forward as a case in point in terms of the FTA-SA linkage progress by Nuredin Mohammed, FTA Focal Person with  the Harari Bureau of  Finance and Economic Development who explained the region’s involvement in the training of stake holders on FTA-SA mechanisms and the establishment of regional linkage coordination committee. According to Nuredin, the Harari region has met all of the indicators in terms of FTA-SA linkage although the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is yet to be undertaken by the region.

  

Citizens and Civil Societies Participation and Capacity Building  Directorate Director  of Ministry of Civil Service Tsehaynesh Atsme, shared with participants the ministry’s engagement in enhancing good governance in Ethiopia. She mentioned that various institutions together with citizens have held discussions on problems of service provision to devise short term and long term solutions. The representative expressed that the ministry had organized two national good governance initiative platforms which have facilitated discussion to help address citizens’ problems.

    

The most important highlight of the day was the session where selected citizens and serviced providers (innovators) shared their experiences on significant changes brought about through social accountability. Behailu Shiferaw, a participant from the Oromia region of Metehara and a service provider at RtG said, “the health center in our area was not functioning and women were forced to wait in line to give birth one at a time in a tent. There were no midwives. After SA, however, the health center started providing service, mid wives were hired and an ambulance was provided to the service the community. In addition, 180,000 birr was allocated by the city administration to curb problems on drug supply among other changes.”

 

Subsequent to that, participants went through brief training on the use of communication tools to help them explore the various ways of promoting social accountability. Dubbed “Communication clinic”, this part of the learning benchmark involved the use of theatre, participatory videos, radio, pictures and most significant stories for SA.

 

A first time attendant of the learning benchmark, Menbere Zenebe, the Program Director of KMG Ethiopia said he was enlightened by the organization of the workshop. He said, “the methodology for each session of the training was participatory with numerous group works which allows for each participant to voice their opinion.”  Meskerem Kebede, a program coordinator with OSD-PDN network, pointed out that it is her third time to attend the learning benchmark. She said, “as the project is approaching its final quarters, the training on sensitization was what captured my interest the most. I plan to use what I have learned here to create linkage between government bodies as well as NGOs to work on the sustainability of social accountability.”

Lucia Nass, Social Accountability Expert and Lead facilitator of the LB said, “  The good experiences that were shared have helped people to cast their mind into the future. Also, a lot of important suggestions were made which will be considered in the SA institutionalization options paper that we are preparing for the upcoming high level PBS review meeting. 

The second and third rounds of the learning benchmark will continue in the coming days in Adama, until its completion on March 05, 2015. The learning benchmark is expected to bring together a total of 500 participants from Social Accountability Implementing Partners (SAIPs), citizens, service providers, representatives from MoFED, BoFEDs, Ministry of Civil Service, sector ministries and development partners.