Question and Answer

Stakeholders Explain Social Accountability

Every week we post a QUESTION & ANSWER on Facebook with one of the Stakeholders in Social Accountability: Social Accountability Partners and Management Agency, SAC members – citizens and basic service providers, and government officials from Finance and Economic and Development at various levels.

The questions are:

1: What does social accountability mean to you?

2: What is your best experience with social accountability?

3: What challenges did you face when trying to implement social accountability?

4: How can social accountability be mainstreamed?

You can also contribute your answers to the four questions by writing to us.

The persons below have already been interviewed. Read their answers by clicking on the link.

 

Yisak Alemu -Aduna Woreda SA Coordinator at Action for Environmental Public Advocacy (AEPA)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
YISAK: Social Accountability has provided equal opportunities for men and women while improving services provided by the government. Prior to the commencement of SA, service receivers were not aware of their entitlements with regards to service provision. Now service providers and service receivers are able to sit together to discuss service gaps and their solutions.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
YISAK: In Qenticho Kebele of Duna woreda, Qenticho’s health post medical professionals that are on duty had no place to stay. This had a negative impact on the service provision because patients that are in need of emergency medical help were unable to get the help they needed. Following an interface meeting held in the woreda, the woreda’s health bureau provided construction materials to set up a house for the health post community. On a different note, in that same Kebele, a road that was blocked for 18 years, as a result of certain individuals claiming that it was their property and refusing for the pavement of a way, was opened. This was done through consultation with the community and woreda officials.
 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
YISAK: we implement SA in three kebeles (Qenticho, semien otura and Hakufuna) in Duna woreda. It was pretty difficult to mobilize the community in these areas until they were able to comprehend that Social Accountability brings solid results in service delivery.
 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
YISAK: All government stakeholders and structures should take SA into account in their day to day implementations. SAC members should also take the responsibility to create continuous dialogues with the community and service providers.
 

Frew Daniel – Woreda Coordinator at SOS Sahel       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
FREW: SA is a process citizens can use to ask service providers for service improvement and service providers give the appropriate response in return.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
FREW: At the initial phase of this project, citizens were not aware that they are entitled to demand better services from service providers. For instance, in Kachabira woreda, physically challenged members of the community faced difficulties in getting services from public institutions as they were not conveniently built. They were not able to use toilets and couldn’t talk to service providers when they have to climb stairs to get to different offices. Students with similar challenges were not encouraged to go to school for fear of this inconvenience. I have seen that change tremendously through Social Accountability. Physically challenged people are now able to voice their concerns in service provision. This came as a result of our continuous awareness creation workshops. In addition to this, SA has contributed a great deal for sector offices to be transparent about the services they provide. Citizens have the opportunity to realize who is responsible for different services provided. Sector offices are posting their annual budget allocations on notice boards and raising the awareness level of citizens. With regards to service improvement, there was no water provision in Wanana Kebele. As a result of SA, 7 water points have been built. As a result, an estimated number of 3,000 people of the Kebele have access to clean water. The community contributed in building a fence around the water points. SA helped to mobilize existing resources.
 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
FREW: Initially, there was a wrong belief among service providers that SA would create disagreements between the government and citizens. That problem has been curbed following continuous training. Another challenge we have is the tight schedule of government officials which delayed the implementation of the project to some extent.
 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
FREW: SA should be scaled up to all woredas and Kebeles in the country. Sector offices should implement Social Accountability in their respective structures.
 

Asfaw Meteku – Woreda Coordinator at Action for Environmental Public Advocacy (AEPA)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
ASFAW: Social Accountability is a method we can use to improve social service provisions.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ASFAW: We implement SA in the sectors of education, agriculture, health and rural roads in Soro woreda. The tool we use is Community Score Card. Through this tool, I have seen both service receivers and service providers reach an understanding on the quality of services provided. I find this very impressive. We recently reached the JAP phase and we are seeing some results in each sector. For instance, 2-3 km roads have been constructed in three Kebeles (Huletegna jajura, Hanqota and Bona dibora). In terms of education, 2-3 classrooms of each school found in the kebeles are being re-constructed to create a more spacious room for students. There were no staying rooms for health extension workers in all three kebeles. Through the participation of the community, staying rooms are now being constructed for extension workers in all three kebeles. In the agriculture sector, there were service problems with regards to fertilizers, select seeds and pesticides. Several questions were raised from the community on these issues. As a result, members of the community have been provided the amount of fertilizers they required and it is now available in their area. They also have access to select seeds and pesticides with an affordable price, which was not the case before.
 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ASFAW: The challenges we have faced were more on the efficient utilization of our finances. There were some budget allocation delays in our organization. This sometimes had an impact on the timely implementation of the project.
 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
ASFAW: The collective results we are seeing from the implementation of Social Accountability stand witness to the fact that the project is contributing its share to the development of Ethiopia. The government as well as national and international NGOs should collaborate further and make it part of all their institutions to bring more changes.
 

Lakew Mulat – Woreda Coordinator at Addis Development Vision (ADV)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
LAKEW: Social Accountability holds decision makers accountable in terms of service delivery, resource utilization and good governance. It works on the basis of transparency to improve the accessibility and quality of service delivery and instills a sense of ownership among the community.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
LAKEW: We implement Social Accountability in Silte Woreda, Silti Zone. Alkeso Primary School has been providing service in the area for more than 18 years. However, the school had several service gaps. During an interface meeting held in the woreda, the community raised problems such as absence of water, absence of laboratory as well as sports equipment and lack of academic books. When devising a Joint Action Plan, the community took the initiative to contribute 116,000 ETB to build water points in the school premise. The woreda administration purchased 150 books to curb the lack of academic books and 12 footballs were purchased for students. Similarly, in Misrak eyeqoche Primary School, the number of dropout students is decreasing from time to time. With the help of the woreda Social Accountability Committee (SAC), 27 dropouts returned to school, out of which 15 were women and 4 were married. In addition, the community is showing much improvement in demanding better services from service providers.
 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
LAKEW: Whenever we hold meetings and training, the number of women that are present is too limited. This was unacceptable as Social Accountability is based on equally benefiting and participating all members of the society. Marginalized members of the society had low participation, which was another problem. The other challenge we faced was the diverse knowledge level of the community. When we provided training, we found out some of them to be very educated and some with no academic education at all. It was challenging to find the balance in between to deliver the proper type of training for this kind of heterogeneous community.
 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
LAKEW: For SA to be mainstreamed, it should make the community the center of its existence. We need to create a society that strongly feels about SA. The concept should further be considered in all government policies and programs with policy makers giving due emphasis to the community’s opinions. The government’s SA sustainability and institutionalization strategy should be undertaken starting from the top and reaching the grassroots level.
 

Tadele Samuel – Damboya Woreda Project Coordinator at KMG Ethiopia       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
TADELE: Social Accountability is a wide concept. Previously, the thought of asking the government about basic public services did not exist and it was unusual. SA created an opportunity for citizens to engage in this act and it provided them with the capacity to do so. SA is a method by which service providers can fully comprehend what accountability means and be aware that citizens can ask about service provision. On one end, Social Accountability has provided service receivers the capacity to demand about service provision and on the other, it has introduced what accountability is to service providers.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TADELE: Results gained through Social Accountability can be seen in two ways. The first is the attitude change we have witnessed among citizens. Citizens can do anything once they are aware of SA. They have fully understood that they can now demand about public services. SA has enabled vulnerable groups of the society, women, People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and people with physical challenges to ask about their specific needs. This is a huge achievement. Once there is an attitude change, services changes will eventually follow. The second change we have seen is in terms of service improvements. For instance, in Datodara Kebele of Damboya woreda, the health post in the Kebele had only one medical professional. After demanding the government, the community was able to get one more medical professional assigned to serve the health post. Additionally, the health post’s professionals did not have a place to stay and they used to travel from the city to provide services. When women in labor come to the health post or when children are suddenly ill, there was no way to get medical treatment. The community raised this as a problem. In order to deal with this issue, the community contributed in labor and provided some materials as well. The government contributed cement and allocated budgets for costs that surpass the community’s ability to afford. As a result, a house where health professionals can live in was constructed.
In Hanjela loamo Kebele, teachers used to travel back and forth from Damboya town to teach at Dolame Primary School. It takes 2 hours to travel from Damboya to Hanjela loamo. Parents complained that the teachers were unable to teach students after travelling for that long because they get exhausted. They said the quality of the teaching and learning process was being compromised. The community, through its own initiative, contributed wood and asked the government for budget to purchase nails and other materials. It is now under construction.
The health post in Bonga Kebele did not have adequate toilet rooms. There was one communal toilet in the Kebele but the health post did not have its own separate toilet. Patients suffered from this ordeal. After the community demanded for better services, the government collaborated with other organizations working in the area and built four separate toilet rooms for men and women.
 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TADELE: There were some problems we encountered at the zonal level. Some service providers were afraid of the SA concept itself. They did not want to be asked. As a result, the project was delayed for three months. The zonal government postponed the launching of the SA project. In Angecha woreda, we were prohibited from holding meetings and we were unable to start the project on time as planned. After clearly comprehending that this is a government project, service providers and government officials later showed significant improvements and cooperation.
 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
TADELE: The program needs to be scaled up to all areas in the country. KMG Ethiopia has implemented SA in only three woredas of the zone. Out of the 26 existing Kebeles, the project is active in only three Kebeles which means that awareness creation has not been attained by all citizens. It should be implemented on a wider scale. In addition, there should also be a way to include the concept of Social Accountability in other government programs such as Financial Transparency and Accountability (FTA).
 

Samuel Tinsae – Executive Director and project coordinator at Mih Lewetatoch Maheber (MLYAM)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
SAMUEL: Social Accountability is a strategy or method we can use to bring service receivers and service providers together so they can openly discuss service gaps and ways of improvements. Through this method, some marginalized and segmented groups of the society get the opportunity to reflect their views openly to service providers in search of a solution. SA doesn’t only help the community to voice their problems but also be a part of the change they want to see in service improvements.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
SAMUEL: We have been implementing Social Accountability in 3 selected woredas (Minjar shenkora and Semada woredas in Amhara regional state and Werejarso woreda in Oromia) since October, 2013. Our best experiences are reflected in two ways. One is in attitude change among both service users and service providers and the other is in service improvements. During the initial stage of the project, citizens were resistant to accept SA and expected the project to have some sort of material support. They didn’t have a good attitude but these problems have now been solved. The community members we work with are now able to explain what SA means since we have disseminated information about the concept. In terms of service improvement, in werejarso and semada woreda, service providers have constructed additional classrooms in different schools in collaboration with the government and the community. One of the schools in Minjar shenkora woreda had no lounge for teachers and students. Students used to sit at different places in the school compound to have lunch. So the community in partnership with the school's administration constructed lounges where teachers and students can eat. Additional books were purchased by service providers and the community in all 3 woredas. In the health sector, a health center at semada woreda, had no generator which meant that pregnant mothers were unable to get medical treatment when they are in labor. It was a major reason for the death of mothers in the area. This problem was put forward in a focus group discussion and also in the interface meeting held at the kebele and woreda level. The health center’s Head promised to take immediate action and a generator was purchased. In Werejarso woreda, the community was not able to get medicine. People living with HIV/AIDS, the elderly and other vulnerable groups were especially affected by this situation. The zonal administration was not aware that this kind of problem even existed. The SA process helped us to disseminate information about service delivery gaps to higher officials in the zone. Following discussions made during the woreda interface meeting, this problem was also resolved. These are some of the best experiences we have.
 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
SAMUEL: Although we are overcoming these kinds of problems, the main challenge we are still experiencing is the attitudinal problem of service providers. I must say it is getting better in time but there still are some service providers who consider this project a judgmental evaluation of their work. On the other end of the line, some service receivers still need to comprehend that this project is not about material donations or income generating activities for women. Through awareness raising programs and interface meetings, these problems are now becoming less of a challenge. The community, service providers and government officials have accepted the project. The feedback we are getting from both service receivers and service providers is really encouraging. They are pushing us to carry on with the project.
 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
SAMUEL: We have to build the capacity of the community and service providers. An NGO may actively work on a project in a certain area only for a short period of time. After the project is finalized however, the people that will remain are members of the community and service providers. So if we build the capacity of the community on one side and that of service providers or the government in general on the other, they can sustain the project on their own. Through the implementation of SA, we have seen that the community does not only reflect their opinions regarding service gaps but they also make contributions in terms of labor and finances. Building the capacity of the community would also mean contributing to the sustainability of SA. The project will be mainstreamed.
A special message from Samuel: I would like to thank the community we work with because without their efforts, the remarkable achievements of SA we talk about today wouldn’t have been possible. The involvement of marginalized groups in the SA process also helped to bring about considerable changes in service delivery. I also would like to thank government officials in all the woredas because their support led to intended results. I hope they will keep on extending their support. I would like to thank the Management Agency for its technical as well as financial support.
My heartfelt thanks also goes to all the staff of MLYAM rganization, especially to those working on the field. We have only one Project Coordinator working in one woreda which leaves them with so many burdens. But still, they have always been able to achieve the intended objectives in collaboration with the government as well as the community so I would like to thank them.
 

Alemtsehay Maru – Project coordinator at Cheshire Foundation Action for Inclusion       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
ALEMTSEHAY: Social Accountability is a process through which ordinary citizens or service receivers can voice their needs about basic public services and hold service providers and policy makers accountable. In Social Accountability, it is not only a limited number of service receivers and service providers that work together to bring change in public service provision but also everyone that is a part of the community.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ALEMTSEHAY: Geregera kebele, one of our Social Accountability implementing sites, hosts a health center which did not provide ambulance services to patients until recently. This had a huge negative impact on the community, particularly with regards to providing child delivery services. Mothers were unable to reach the health center and get proper medical care during delivery. There was an ambulance stationed at Addis Alem Kebele to provide services to 25 Kebeles but its capacity to reach all these areas was very low. Using public transport as an alternative to travel to Bahirdar to get better medical treatment was also difficult as it was not easy to get transportation. To address this issue, the community identified the absence of ambulance as a major problem and presented it during the interface meeting held in Gergera Kebele. Subsequently, this was taken to the woreda interface meeting and brought to the attention of woreda officials. The woreda officials’ proposal was considered by the zonal office which in turn took the request to the Regional Health Bureau. The bureau then purchased a new ambulance to the Gergera health center to serve the community in and around the kebele.
 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ALEMTSEHAY: The relationship we have with our sub-partners that implement Social Accountability has been very challenging. Our disagreement mostly emanated from lack of responsibility and attention given to the SA activities being implemented and also budget issues. In some instances, we have even gone to the point of seeking legal support to solve the problems. One of our partners terminated the implementation of the project at a very early stage and we had to carry on the tasks ourselves. The other challenge we have is we usually seek government support in implementing the SA project. However, as a result of tight schedules, some government officials usually can’t attend meetings and be available whenever we need their support. This has in times forced us to cancel pre planned meetings. The fact that our implementing sites are located too far apart makes things difficult as well. One of our sites is at Gonji Kolela, 78 km from Bahir dar while the other one is in Shashego, 250 km from the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples Region. It takes a considerably long time and money to travel to these areas to implement and monitor the project.
 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
ALEMTSEHAY: I believe we need to use and collaborate with existing structures among the community such as Idir and other CBOs. When we organize SA related events on one woreda, we should make sure to invite other government officials and citizens from neighboring woredas where SA is not being implemented. Social Accountability is a question of development and that means it is everyone’s responsibility. For instance, when I send my child to school, I expect him to get a high standard education, so this is my responsibility. Providing quality education is also the responsibility of the Ministry of education, it is the responsibility of students, teachers and other community members.
And we also need to ask ourselves, how sufficient is what has already been done to scale up SA to other woredas? I don’t think this is enough. The program needs to continue further before it gets to the stage where it doesn’t need the management agency’s support. It needs to get to a certain stage to be taken up by the community. I don’t believe it is at that stage now. No matter how bright the light is at the moment, SA will eventually fade away if it’s not continuously charged by a managing body which oversees its implementation.
 

Gelalcha Negassa – Project coordinator at Siqqee Women’s Development Association (SWDA)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
GELALCHA: Social Accountability is a process by which citizens exercise their entitlements, voice their demands from the concerned government and put forward their questions regarding service improvements. SA is a platform where citizens have the opportunity or the chance to come forward with their questions formally, sit together with the concerned people and clearly discuss their problems and demand the services they used to get. SA facilitates or creates that platform or opportunity for them. So far so many things have been done because we have managed to make the community channel their questions regarding their demands formally. In the past, people may have felt dissatisfied with services provided but they don’t know how to put that question forward. They were not organized. In addition, SA is a tool. We use different tools in SA. For example, when we use Community Score Card, it enables the community to know what service standards are, to identify service problems and to rate or score service provisions. I remember once in a meeting, one of the participants said, “We have good governance principles but they are just on paper. As a result of SA, those principles got flesh.” That means they became functional. They said they have recognized that these principles should be translated to action and to bring service improvement.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
GELALCHA: I once attended an interface meeting in Bambesa wereda. One of our implementing partners, Good Samaritan, is working on the health sector in the area. One of the issues raised was the water problem in Sonka health center located in one of the Kebeles. Following an intense discussion, service providers promised to take the responsibility and do it from their own budget. Two months later, I was able to see that they have constructed a shallow well and it is under process to supply water for the health center. Previously, there was a shallow hand dug well in that compound and it was not functional. Because of that, the health post was not working to its full capacity. The entire Kebele is going to benefit as a result of this.
Another experience I would like to mention the case of a health center that is serving two Kebeles in Bambase woreda. Because of frequent power interruptions, its laboratory was not fully functional and delivery time and minor operation times were constrained. Service receivers say they are often sent to private clinics. The issue was a topic of hot debate during an interface meeting that was organized to address these kinds of problems. The health center agreed to provide a generator from its own budget and last time I went, a generator was purchased and installed and the health center is now providing services without any interruption.
 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
GELALCHA: We experienced challenges from the initial stage of implementing SA. It was difficult to sign an agreement particularly in Benishangul Gumuz zone because as an NGO, we were not supposed to work on rights issues. It was prohibited but we clearly explained the purpose of the project. In addition, the Ministry of finance and Economic development wrote a letter that CSOs are allowed to engage in SA and that it is in line with the government’s program. Following that, we were able to sign the agreement. The second challenge we faced was during the roll out training we provided. Some service providers were hesitant to accept SA because they feared it might create conflict between citizens and the government.
We explained that government is not there to solve all problems but it must be transparent and must discuss with the community about problem and solve them in collaboration with citizens. So that challenge was solved with awareness creation programs and continued sensitization workshops. The other challenge we have is the busy schedules of government stakeholders which makes it inconvenient for them to attend review meeting, planned training and other activities. From the internal point of my organization, staff turnover is also another challenge.
 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
GELALCHA: Social Accountability must be sustained because it has shown the community their entitlements and has made them assertive. They can now easily go to the government and demand for service improvement. One of the main strategies to sustaining SA is strengthening Social Accountability Committees. Putting citizens in the driver’s seat is a major step in this whole process. With the involvement of citizens SA can be sustained. But citizens alone cannot sustain it unless they are linked with Civil Society Organizations, community based organizations, and government structures in different sectors. The SAC is serving as a bridge between service providers and the community. So technically equipping the SAC and even equipping the community so that they have the concept of what we have been doing for replacement of the committee, identifying problems, consolidating, organizing forums and meetings to discuss about their problems and development issues is necessary. So the first thing is awareness creation, the second is technically capacitating the committee and mobilizing the community towards the sustainability of SAC in the area.
 

Yonas Lemma – Project Coordinator at Hiwot Integrated Development Association (HIDA)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
YONAS: Social Accountability is a process. In this process, service receivers demand the government about the kind of services they should receive in terms of standard, quality and accessibility. Citizens are expected to demand their entitlements with regards to basic public services. Service providers are also expected to provide services in accordance with the standards set. There are different structures to implement this concept. The main issue here is that SA is a platform where service providers and service receivers create a smooth relationship and dialogue to discuss and work together on the improvement of public services.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
YONAS: Woreda 04 Kirkos Sub city is one of our intervention sites where we work on the health sector. Although a ground plus four health center has been built in the area, it hasn’t been providing service to the community for 4 solid years. The health center’s human resources department has hired some employees. Since it was not active, annual budget that was held for the health center by the Woreda administration was transferred to another health center. When we started making assessment of the health sector in the area and identified issues, the health center was raised as one issue. A health center ideally serves around 25,000 people and the fact that this health center is inactive has a huge negative impact. People in the area were forced to look elsewhere for medical services and go to hospitals they can’t afford. As part of our SA intervention, we conducted an interface meeting in the presence of the community, health bureau officials from the Woreda and the Sub city. We asked why an already established health center has not been functioning for a year. Following our discussion and a Joint Action Plan, the Sub city gave directives to the Ethiopian Power Corporation to conduct power cable installations in the health center within five days, as there was no electricity in the premise. An agreement was reached for the health center to start providing services in that same month. The Head of Kirkos Sub City took the responsibility of overseeing some of the activities personally. As a result, three weeks after we held our interface meeting, the health center opened its doors to the public equipped with the necessary medical supplies and medical professionals. After this, the Joint Action Plan and SAC committee members have continued monitoring services provided in the health center.
 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
YONAS: The project’s initial period came with various challenges. It mostly emanated from lack of understanding as to what the concept of Social Accountability was all about. Some government officials perceived it as a concept that would create arguments and misunderstandings among service providers and receivers. Initially, they were very hesitant to involve in the project to the extent of our desire. Continuous sensitization workshops contributed to clearing this sentiment and creating awareness among all stakeholders involved. Another challenge we had, was during the Ethiopian election that was held this year. It took place at a time when we were implementing the Community Score Card tool. Frequent meetings were needed for this to happen and the availability of government officials was compromised as they were very busy. On a different note, some problems that were identified by the community were very much deep rooted and tackling them and coming up with a solution in a short period of time proved to be challenging.
 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
YONAS: The first thing we should focus on is the thinking culture of the community. Through our continuous sensitization workshops and engagements, we should instill the culture of demanding service providers and holding the government accountable among the community. This is one of the factors that will contribute to the sustainability of SA. All establishments like schools and health centers should mainstream the issue in their structures. There are some schools and health centers that have started this in their own initiatives. Providing technical and institutional support to existing SAC members is also another alternative to the sustainability of SA. They need to have furnished offices to conduct their daily activities. We have conducted frequent capacity building workshops for SAC members. The skills and knowledge we leave behind with these members will help in sustaining SA. Linking SA with different government structures such as FTA is also very vital. We have seen the synergetic impact of this linkage.
 

Tesfaye Alemu – Project Coordinator at Ethiopian Women Lawyers ‘Association (EWLA)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
TESFAYE: Social Accountability (SA) is creating a constructive dialogue between citizens who are the users of public services and the service delivery unit including policy and decision makers. In this case, SA is bringing together right holders to have access to basic services through voicing their needs, preferences and choices to service providers and decision makers. In this case, the concerns and entitlements of citizens will be addressed and service providers and officials will be responsive and accountable for what they do.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TESFAYE: In Benishangul, we have been working in two woredas, namely Mao Komo and Sedal. Specifically as an example in Mao Komo woreda, citizens are very much aware of their entitlements and what they expect from officials and service providers. Access to rural roads and also primary education services are currently being improved. The community started to ask not only service providers but woreda officials and decision makers. In this case, roads connecting the woreda and different kebeles are being maintained. Women are the main beneficiaries of this road infrastructure. The community identified the problems and prioritized lack of road. Women in labor were unable to travel to the health center to get medical services especially during the rainy season. The community then acquired information from the woreda administration regarding the annual budget for the area. If they asked the woreda to construct roads connecting their respective kebeles and the woreda, they were aware that the woreda could not solve the issue immediately. So they asked the woreda administration and the regional rural roads authority to provide maintenance machineries and they agreed to contribute money to cover the cost of fuel and per diems for the machine operators. The woreda’s response was responsive and the road was constructed accordingly.
School services have improved as well. Girls usually didn’t go to school and parents preferred marrying them off as early as their age allows them. But now they are very much concerned to send girls to school and the community’s awareness has greatly improved. When it comes to the schools, the classrooms were not convenient, the seats were not sufficient, there were no toilets and even the compound’s fence was not that strong. So, the community constructed the rooms by themselves. They requested construction materials such as corrugated iron sheets and nails from the woreda administration. As for supplementary text books, they identified those that were not available and forwarded them to the woreda education office. The office then supplied the necessary text books.
 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TESFAYE: When we started implementing SA and tried to establish linkages with target woredas, every woreda official we contacted did not perceive it as a good idea. They said as long as it doesn’t involve providing physical and tangible support to the woreda, just discussing on problems has no use. We had to convince higher officials at the sub city level using a support letter. There were similar problems with the community as well. They requested us to build toilets, buy books for their schools and build water systems instead of bringing them together for a community dialogue. After we started implementing the SA tools, the community agreed that a participatory discussion and identification of problems was very vital. Previously, they were not aware of service standards and their entitlements as citizens. They realized that this is not about lack of resources but about lack of constructive engagement.
Another challenge we experienced was during interface meetings. Woreda officials were not open to hearing problems raised by the community. They were usually not available for interface meetings. Eventually however, the positive results they witnessed through SA convinced them to participate in the process. At this point in time, even if everybody understands the essence of SA, there is still a tendency to push accountability to the community rather than to service providers. They complain that the community’s participation is very low and that they don’t feel a sense of ownership. In the strict sense of the term, SA is about encouraging citizens to demand for their rights. Therefore, service providers (officials) have the responsibility to respond positively.
 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
TESFAYE: As this is a new initiative to Ethiopia, it needs a much broader engagement all over the country with the efforts of implementing partners and donor agencies. The program has to be implemented in all woredas instead of some selected woredas. Social Accountability is a process; it’s not a one-time issue. You can’t simply see the results within 2 years’ time. Results will entail attitudinal change with the government and citizens. In this case, commitment from the government, ministries and offices is very much important. Unless SA is mainstreamed to the highest level as equal as the annual government budget and plan, it will not be easy to sustain the activities. Strengthening the existing Social Accountability Committees and linking them with the woreda respective offices is important as well. Woreda administrations must institutionalize the work process by applying SA tools. Citizens themselves through various community based organizations, traditional organizations and religious based organizations need to be part of the SA implementation process in collaboration with SACs.

 

Saba Gebremedhin – Executive Director at Network of Ethiopian Women’s Association (NEWA)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
SABA: Social Accountability implies answering to citizens. It is usually assumed that when you go somewhere to ask for any service, especially in a culture like Ethiopia, people feel that they are being done a favor when they get the service in a quality and speedy manner. SA for me is identifying the obligation of service providers as well as creating demand from the community. SA is citizens’ right based approach. People have the right to ask when services provided are not good or when they are not available at all. Service providers have the obligation to answer to questions raised. It is being accountable and transparent for the services you are providing to the society. It’s not only obliging but participatory. I see it as a participatory process where the community can engage in the improvement of services. I see it as an accountability and transparency tool that ensures good governance elements as well.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
SABA: NEWA’s experience is that, it has been working in three regions in Benishangul, Amhara and Dalocha in different sectors. The sectors we are working on are very pertinent and relevant areas. For instance, if you take Benishangul in the Guba woreda, where we work on education, you see how much this region has lagged behind in terms of education especially girls’ education, so it is a very relevant issue. In the Amhara region, where we work on the agriculture sector, we have seen improved participation and empowerment of vulnerable groups, like people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). They were provided with plot of agricultural land and credit service and they have become productive. On a similar note, in Dalocha woreda, pottery and clay makers and people with disabilities were organized through SA and engaged in income generating activities through selling their products, providing shower and latrine services.
 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
SABA: In the areas where we implement SA, there is so much need for basic public services. For instance, if you go to Dalocha, they want water so when we planned to commence the SA program in that area, they expected us to simply build water points rather than creating the means for a mutual dialogue with service providers. We had to convince the society that this is more useful in terms of not immediate results but brining a lasting solution. The second challenge was the duration it took to see actual results. Some service sectors like water and sanitation need a significant amount of financial input and take considerably longer time than other projects before we are able to see results. These kinds of projects need longer dialogues and longer lobbying as the woreda administration has to get funds from the region or from the federal resource. The other challenge I see is when you bring together service providers and service receivers together, and the community starts to involve and contribute to the improvement of services. In Dalocha, what we have seen is, the community collaborated to purchase school desks and fencing the school’s premise. Service providers then started expecting the community to do everything, rather than obliging themselves to play their part. Sometimes we see a shift in accountability – the community ends up being more responsible for service provision. The community should participate of course but they shouldn’t assume the role of service providers. Another issue we have observed is that this program involves woreda officials and heads of sector offices. These officials are usually busy and it is difficult to make them participate in the SA process.
 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
SABA: We may need several projects before SA becomes a norm in Ethiopia. We may need to do it in a large scale in different parts of the country. We need to consider institutionalizing this program in terms of creating a culture of demanding for citizens’ rights. People have to know they can demand for services from any government office and that there is a way to voice their needs. We can also use local community based group structures such as Idir on a voluntary basis as a Social Accountability Committee. We need to ensure that members stay in the committee and are somehow supported so that they have their own space to meet and engage in a formal manner and be accountable to the community that has elected them. What has been done during ESAP1 and ESAP2 is not enough. There is still the need to take it to other several woredas. We further need to reach a large number of people and create awareness about SA so they can realize that this is a good way of getting basic public services.
 

Abeje Teffera – Manager, Yem Consultant Institute – Partner of VNG International and GOPA in ESAP2 Implementation       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
ABEJE: Social Accountability is a process that connects citizens with service providers by creating an open dialogue to improve service provision. Overall, SA empowers citizens and improves governance which means then, it brings development. That is the importance of Social Accountability because by empowering citizens and by improving the governance system, we can achieve our development goals and eradicate poverty. Social Accountability is part and parcel of development.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ABEJE: My specialization currently is on SA. I have been implementing the project since 2007 in ESAP1 and ESAP2 as a partner and before I was a consultant. One of the best experiences I have witnessed is in the rural roads sector in Alle Woreda, Ilu Ababora Zone of the Oromia regional state. Ilu Women and Children Integrated Development Association (IWCIDA) implements SA in Siso Benja Kebele. Due to lack of rural road, citizens were facing various challenges. Children could not go to school at an appropriate age due to the dangers faced by big rivers, women, especially pregnant ones, could not get access to health services, and there was no market access for farmers produce, among others. To reach the Woreda center, one has to travel on foot for about 8 hours. These problems were frequently raised in service users’ and providers’ Focus Group Discussions (FGD), review meetings, interface meetings and Community Score Card (CSC) joint action plan preparation workshops. Finally, service users and providers agreed to solve this problem jointly. Accordingly, the community contributed 30,000.00 ETB in cash, and free labor worth 21,000.00ETB, which totals 51,000.00 ETB. The government on the other hand allocated additional budget of 1,371,000.00 ETB. Then 1.76kms rural road was extended into the Kebele beyond Kebele administration center with a total budget of 1,422,000.00 ETB to benefit more citizens. Now, the community is much better satisfied and benefits from the rural road. Most children can go to school at the appropriate age, women are getting access to health services, and farmers got access to the market for their produces. Now, the point of disagreement is solved, and any service provider and receiver can witness that the SA approach and particularly the CSC is a powerful tool for basic service delivery improvement. 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ABEJE: I would like to focus on major challenges we experience in implementing Social Accountability. The first one is the localization of SA tools. We have different SA tools but the ones that are mostly known in our country are Community Score Card and Citizen Report Card. In this regard, we have spent almost seven years in implementing these SA tools especially the two tools I just mentioned. They were enhanced to fit the local standard level. But when we take the others like Public Expenditure Tracking, Gender Responsive Budgeting and Social Auditing, they are important tools but still need to be localized so that the stakeholders can understand them easily for implementation. We should work more in improving and localizing these tools, especially the ones related to budget. Our second challenge is that currently ESAP2 is being implemented in 223 woredas but it covers only 4 or 5 kebeles in each woreda. This means we are not covering the entire kebeles in these woredas. So it is important to scale up the project to the remaining kebeles. Otherwise, our coverage is very small and at this point it would be difficult to talk about institutionalization. The third challenge is, there is a deep rooted exclusiveness of vulnerable groups in Ethiopia due to the existing culture. Even though ESAP2 has brought most vulnerable groups in the FGDs and in the interface meetings, we have to work even more intensively to bring the voices of these groups to light.  


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
ABEJE: Before institutionalization, we have to cover a large area in our implementation. That said, establishing SACs is one of the important factors that contributes to sustaining Social Accountability. There are SACs in each kebele and in each woreda. They are representatives of the communities, service providers, officials including FTA and citizens and having this composition of people is vital. If there is a good relationship between citizens and service providers, there is a potential to sustain SA through SACs but these SACs need some seed money from the official woreda administration or any other organization for their expenses. Empowering them can possibly sustain SA in the future. We have to conduct a research to assess other sustainability mechanisms to be implemented in a strategic manner.

 

Gadissa Mohammed – Woreda Coordinator – Ethiopian Inter-Faith Forum for Development Dialogue and Action (EIFDDA)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
GADISSA: Social Accountability is a mechanism that brings all stakeholders together to improve service provision. A woreda administration official once said, “we have problems, but we also have the solutions and yet we cannot bring them together.” So this project helps us to bring the two together. Everyone talked about the service provision problems we had but they never showed the way to the solution. In SA, however, stakeholders joined hands to bring an overall change.
 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
GADISSA: Serbo high school is one of the schools we work with to implement SA. Before the commencement of the project, the school did not have a laboratory, ICT rooms, water supply and plasma service. There was no tutorial room and preparatory students attended their tutorial classes under a tree. This is one of the most horrible service provisions I have ever come across at a high school level. This is shocking to everyone as well as political leaders and the education office. The interface meeting we conducted helped to highlight issues and garner support from various stakeholders including international and local NGOs, the community and government offices. In almost six months period, four additional classrooms and two tutorial rooms were built, 60 computers were purchased, the laboratory room became well equipped with some chemicals purchased and students had the opportunity to see a laboratory room for the first time. Different international NGOs collaborated to build toilet rooms for female students and to supply the computers. The zonal education office offered training and availed text books and some reference books for the school. In addition, the woreda education office supplied manufacturing products like nails and cement for the construction of classrooms. The community contributed almost 170,000 Birr for the improvement of the overall service in the school. Surprisingly, teachers contributed their one month salary as well. Members of the Social Accountability Committee were always present to oversee and facilitate the improvement of services. The community mobilization conducted by the SAC was very crucial. What they did was, after the interface meeting, they gathered the local community to inform them what the zonal education office and the woreda office pledged to do and what is expected from the community. The community was mobilized and eager to participate in the service improvement for their children.  


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
GADISSA: Some people are not well acquainted with the concept of SA. For this reason, the community had fears that they may get into some arguments with government officials. This is the first challenge we faced. There was suspicion among government officials. In addition, staff turnover among woreda officials was another challenge. Even when they were available, they were hesitant to engage in the project. They thought it was solely focused on finding faults among service providers. In due course however, they became more aware of the SA project and started collaborating with us.  


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
GADISSA: We need to empower the community. They need to be fully aware of the standards set by the government in each sector. Empowering SACs is another important aspect. They should come together frequently to discuss service provision, and thank service providers for services improved.
Currently, we are trying to collaborate with Jimma University, the department of Sociology and Social policy to integrate SA in one of their programs. The management agency also offered training to some lecturers of the university. We are trying to make them become well acquainted with the project’s concept, so they can work with their students in a community based training. We are also thinking of collaborating with the zonal education office which is highly eager to scale up our project to different parts of the woreda. For instance, we are trying to integrate SA in monitoring and evaluation systems of the woreda education office.

 

Amanuel Mekonnen – Project Coordinator – Professional Alliance for Development (PADET)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
AMANUEL: Social Accountability is about public service providers embracing the overall service provision process as their responsibility and striving to provide a standardized service in terms of quality and quantity and the society recognizing its entitlement and demanding for basic public services. 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
AMANUEL: Through SA, the huge gap between service providers and service receivers has been narrowed. The community has now developed the habit of demanding for their rights for basic public services. This by itself is one of the best experiences I have witnessed. PADET’s SA project focuses on the health sector in Muketuri woreda of the Semien Shewa zone. The Muketuri health center had inadequate drug supply, laboratory equipment were not available and there was partial treatment in service provision between people who come from rural and urban areas among many other problems. After these problems were identified, a Social Accountability Committee was established to present the community’s problems to the health center and improve services. Following interface meetings and a joint action plan between the community and the health center, drug supplies have now improved significantly, pre and post delivery services for mothers are now being provided with a better quality and laboratory equipment were also purchased. Apart from that, there was no generator in the health center, which meant that medical services that require power were completely terminated when there is no power supply. The health center administration allocated budget to purchase a generator so that all services remain uninterrupted. With regards to water supply, rest rooms in the health center used to be really dirty due to lack of water and patients had difficulties using them. In an attempt to tackle this problem, the health center purchased a water reservoir with the capacity of holdings about 2000-5000 liters of water. It now operates in a much cleaner environment. 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
AMANUEL: During the initial phase of the project, some government authorities were suspicious about the project’s legitimacy which caused inconvenience particularly for people involved in SA mobilization among the community in Muketuri woreda in Semien Shewa Zone. This happened because initially there was no common understanding among all stakeholders about the purpose, importance and significance of the project. Another challenge we had was the refusal of service providers to cooperate and respond quickly to our initiatives. We managed to overcome this through repeated discussions. As from the government’s side, they usually have tight schedules and are unable to attend important events and this delayed the implementation of the SA project. We tried to deal with this issue by being flexible and postponing our schedules to fit that of theirs. Turnover of government employees is also another challenge we have. 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
AMANUEL: We should work on building the capacity of Social Accountability Committees. They can play a great role in sustaining the SA process in the future. As long as there is a citizen representative in each committee, the community will always be able to participate in public service provisions and voice their concerns. In addition, community based organizations (CBOs) such as Idir should adapt SA tools , implement it in their own structure and institutionalize it.

 

Awale Degone – Project Coordinator – Organization for Welfare and Development and Action (OWDA)       Back to Top

1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
AWALE: Social Accountability is a method by which service receivers and service providers play their role to bring positive change in service provision through collaborative works. It enables service providers to serve the public properly. It also creates a sense of ownership among citizens to own and take care of public equipment and services provided by the government. Through SA, citizens can have adequate public services. 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
AWALE: OWDA implements SA in 2 woredas of the Somali region. We work on the education sector in Adaley woreda of the Shebele zone. There are minority groups in the region who do not send their children to school like others in the area. They only focus on getting their daily income and children between the ages of 10-11, shoulder most of these responsibilities working as shoe shiners or janitors. Their chances of joining school and getting education were very slim. A parent teacher association (PTA) was formed to work in collaboration with SAC members to address this problem. Children who had to support their parents to bring income to the household were allowed to enter classes late or at any time during the day. This method decreased dropout rates of students in the area. Students whose parents can’t afford to buy uniforms were also given permission to come to school without wearing one. Members of the minority group who had financial constraints to buy exercise books and even meals were given support through other projects that work on women empowerment and family support. More than 50 students from the minority group enrolled in school following this intervention. To further reduce dropout rates of students, the PTA and SAC prepared a list of students in the area and made sure each child in the community went to school. They took turns in groups to go around town assessing and making sure no student was on the streets during school hours. 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
AWALE: At the outset, only government authorities that took the training on Financial Transparency were aware of Social Accountability. Those who didn’t, had less awareness about the concept. It was difficult for us to work with service providers when they didn’t even know about the project. The staff turnover among the woreda administration also made the entire process very challenging. In addition, the community was scared to have discussions with service providers with regard to service provision. They felt like it would easily turn into an argument and they showed resistance to involve in any part of it. Following awareness creation programs, citizens as well as the administration started becoming more receptive to the SA intervention. The life style of people in Somali and Afar region, which are our project implementing areas, hindered the progress of the project as well. Since they are pastoralists, they move from one place to another in search of suitable weather conditions and rain fall, especially when there is drought. For this reason, monthly SA meetings could be postponed until they return. 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
AWALE: Social Accountability should be scaled up to Kebeles that do not implement the project through experience sharing programs. This will encourage Kebeles that are not involved in SA to at least consider it. Moreover, SAC members need to be more consolidated in terms of capacity. They should have their own offices where they can actively work on the project. Continuous awareness creation programs in all regions are also very vital to sustain SA.

 

Berhanu Beyene – Project Coordinator – Ethiopian Inter-Faith Forum for Development Dialogue and Action (EIFDDA)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
BERHANU: It is an initiative intended to enhance the access and quality of basic services like: on water & sanitation, health, education, agriculture and rural roads service improvements at a grassroots level. The unique strategy of the scheme could be understood in that, it has facilitated series of skills and platforms between the service users (the community at a grassroots level) on one hand, and the service providers (individuals/professionals) assigned to coordinate, lead and avail the respective services to the community on the other. Hence, the initiative enhanced shared transparency, responsibility and accountability between the two groups, a condition that has been contributing for an affirmative, basic services improvements.


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
BERHANU: In the course of implementing the SA intervention, at each stage; i.e. during organizing the community in manageable-small discussion focus groups, while the community groups make discourses on service improvement issues… maximum consideration is made not to overlook the issues raised by the vulnerable social groups; people with disabilities (PWDs), Orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs), People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs), women and the elderly. 
One impressive story I do remember is Dimtu secondary high school which is one of the project sites around Jimma under ESAP2 program coordinated by EIFDDA . In a focus group discussion held in the school, a 40 year-old participant, representing vulnerable groups, dimmed his face, looked sad, raised his hand and said he felt excited after participating in the SA- trainings, totally transformed. He told us that he has a 10-year old son who was deaf and didn’t go to school. The father mentioned that he was previously afraid to send him to school, but he is now encouraged, after he heard people speaking positively about children like his son through this program. Now he said he regrets for hiding his son for so long. He expressed that he will be the first to let his son go to school like any other children. Tears dropped from his eyes when he told us his story.


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
BERHANU: During the initial stage of the interface meeting made between the Service Providers (SP) and Service Users (SU) with the intention of finding a joint affirmative resolution to the identified/prioritized service issues; it appeared to fail because the two groups seemed to turn to hostile opponents, fault finders and defensive to one another. However, as always done, it is finally addressed by skillful facilitation and they reached a consensus to make an affirmative change.


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
BERHANU: The SA scheme could be sustained among others through: a large number of community facilitators and training them with SA implementation conceptual frame work and different types of implementation tools; organizing and supporting the SA clubs, training students and teachers in schools and disseminating the relevant concept and skills among the students and school community; recruiting and training religious leaders, community leaders, with the SA concept and skills and disseminating the concept and skills across the community structures; like churches and mosques.

 

Amina Arero – Borena Zone, Dugdedawa Woreda – Social Accountability Project Coordinator – Action for Development (AFD)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
AMINA: People require a number of basic services to live and it is a necessity. Therefore, Social Accountability is a method through which citizens can demand and acquire these basic services.


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
AMINA: I remember the story of Bokayo Gobena who is a sixty year old woman in Dugdedawa Woreda. She had been a farmer for 4 years but was still financially unstable. Her financial instability was a reason for her constant arguments with her son. Since she was unable to support herself and she didn’t have a husband who could support her, she was forced to take money from her son to make ends meet. Her farm did not have sufficient produce to make any profit. This was partly caused because the community in the woreda did not get select seeds whenever they needed it. Fertilizers and select seeds came after the sawing season ends. The community didn’t even know what kind of importance it had because there was no one that could explain it to them. After an interface meeting between the community and the Dugdedawa Woreda agriculture bureau however, select seed was distributed to the community before the rainy season began. Social Accountability has paved the way for the community to know how to get the necessary support from service providers. Bokayo Gobena’s life has now taken a different turn and she is getting surplus produce from her farm with select seeds and fertilizers from the woreda agriculture bureau.


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
AMINA: In the Borena zone community, women are not given equal value as men. They are considered less important even in matters concerning women. For instance, when we initially started organizing meetings on Social Accountability, a large portion of the attendees were male members of the community. Women are not allowed to go anywhere without the knowledge and consent of their husbands. This was a huge challenge to tackle. Even when they do show up at meetings, they had to sit farther away from the men. It is difficult to consider that the whole community has been involved in the SA process when women are not a part of it. We knew it couldn’t be successful without their involvement. At present, though the problem has not been completely eliminated, women are now attending meetings more frequently and their number is increasing from time to time. Men are starting to realize that the problems of women are also theirs. They are now taking the initiatives to sit together with women in meetings to discuss issues of the community in unison.


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
AMINA: It would be great if the ESAP2 project continues in the long run since there is evidently high need for Social Accountability among service providers and service receivers. Elders in each kebele can contribute a great deal in mainstreaming social accountability. They have the power to be heard by the community and they can easily create awareness about the concept and encourage the public to take action. Cooperatives, Idirs and kebele and woreda SAC members can play a similar role.

 

Tesfaye Woldehawariya – M & E Officer – Tigray Youth Association (TYA)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
TESFAYE: Social Accountability connects service providers and service receivers. It clearly shows what should be done by service providers and service receivers to attain an adequate basic service. Social Accountability is also very important in addressing the needs of vulnerable groups though empowering them and promoting accountability among service providers. Moreover, it plays a significant role in showing citizens what standards have originally been set by the government in each sector.


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TESFAYE: We implement Social Accountability in four different sectors namely rural road, agriculture, education and health. In Selhalha woreda, we work on the health sector. I have witnessed here that Social Accountability does not just initiate the society for change but also helps coordinate all stakeholders to contribute their share to address identified problems. After we started the SA project in this woreda, NGOs in the area realized that although they were providing their own services to the community, they were not really community based. Therefore, they analyzed problems identified through Social Accountability and tailored their services and the budget they allocate accordingly. More than half a million Birr was allocated by NGOs in the woreda to address the community’s problems. The contribution of SA in exhaustively utilizing environmental resources was significant in this regard.


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TESFAYE: Initially, there was resistance among the community. They did not believe that the Social Accountability project would bring them any significant result and they misunderstood its purpose. It also took us a long time before the SAC members we organized at Kebele and woreda level committed themselves to the SA project. Apart from that, we have observed that the community wanted to see huge changes over night instead of understanding that it is a step by step process. They were quick to give up hope when identified problems did not get solutions immediately. There were some issues among service providers as well. They felt very uncomfortable when the community identified problems in service provision. However, the current situation is better since the community has developed a better understanding of the SA process.


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
TESFAYE: NGOs such as TYA can play a great role in mainstreaming Social Accountability. Our objective is ensuring the benefits of citizens. We collaborate with the government to see if citizens are getting basic services according to the standard set by the government. Council members are established for similar purposes and they can contribute their own share in the project’s sustainability as well. Understanding its importance, we have tried to link our project with this institution. It has permanent social committees that work on identifying social problems and I think it will be more successful if it uses Social Accountability tools. In order to reach the public and spread knowledge about SA, existing youth and women associations can be used as they have the capacity to reach a large number of people.

 

Hagos Teklemichael – Woreda coordinator – REST       Back to Top


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
HAGOS: REST works on three sectors (health, rural roads and water and sanitation) in 5 Kebeles of the Tigray region. I can assertively say that we have seen very encouraging results in all sectors. For instance, if we look at the health sector in Negash Kebele, problems such as the absence of ambulance service, lack of health professionals and midwives were posing a lot of inconveniencies on the community. As part of the SA project implementation, we held an interface meeting where service providers and service receivers discussed how to address these issues and who should be responsible. As a result, an agreement was reached for the woreda administration to provide an ambulance for Negash and 4 other neighboring Kebeles. The number of nurses increased from 4 to 6 while one more midwife was hired in addition to the 2 existing ones, as part of the effort to increase the number of health professionals in the health center. This is still slightly below the standard set by the government but the daily progresses we are making through SA are supporting us to get closer to our goal. Negash Kebele has made remarkable progress in terms of water and sanitation as well. Following the commencement of SA, 4 water points were built for the community who had no access to water previously. A delegation from the World Bank and the MA paid a visit to this Kebele recently to witness this achievement. 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
HAGOS: The Focus Group Discussion and Social Accountability Committee members have very busy schedules. This is because they are also part of other committees in their respective communities. As a result, they are unable to come to our meetings and even when they do they show lack of interest. They sometimes even make a request for per diem. Social accountability inherently requires repeated discussions that lead to tangible outcomes so this is our biggest challenge yet. In addition, the woreda administration usually works on different government projects. They have work overloads and it is difficult for them to make time for our SA project.


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
HAGOS: Social accountability can be mainstreamed only if the government takes the initiative to own the project and implement it in all its organizations. Moreover, Focus group discussions and social accountability committee meetings should resume at least once a month to ensure the sustainability of SA. Kebele and woreda SACs could take the responsibility to oversee this and monitor progress and challenges in SA

 

Negussie Tefera – Anderacha Woreda SNNPR, Sheka Zone – Social Accountability Project Officer – Ogaden Welfare and Development Association (OWDA)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
NEGUSSIE: Social Accountability is a channel that creates a connection between service providers and service receivers. I believe it is a method whereby citizens can acquire their entitlements.


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
NEGUSSIE: My organization works on rural road sector in 3 kebeles (Chegecha, Modi and Chicha). When we inquired about why road infrastructure was limited in the kebeles, we were informed that it was because of lack of budget and resources. Following consequent training on SA and government’s standards in the sector however, the community ruled out lack of budget as the main problem of the kebele. They said that the problem in their area was a result of lack of information on what citizens’ entitlements are and what service providers must fulfill to be sufficient. An interface meeting held in each kebele concluded with a joint action plan. In one of the kebeles, Chegecha, the plan was to build a 5.7km road. The community contributed in labor estimated at 125,000 ETB while the government provided a budget of 4.6 million ETB. Currently, the road construction is almost finalized with only 1km left. The community in the second kebele, Modi, planned to build a 12km road. With no support from the government, the community contributed 244,000 ETB in cash and finalized the earth work. They have now requested the government for professional contractors to pursue the construction. In Chicha kebele, the community collected 100,000 ETB following an interface meeting and the earth work for a 3.3km road is now underway. These are some of my best experiences. 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
NEGUSSIE: Prior to commencing the SA project, we had to conduct an assessment. Some government representatives used to show resistance just by looking at the name of the project, Social Accountability. They used to request us to bring a license from the regional or federal administration that states our organization is working on this project. We were prohibited from engaging in any sort of assessment regarding SA. We were unable to pursue the project at that stage since we couldn’t communicate with the community and identify which sector in the area needed a Social Accountability intervention. Following that, we contacted the zonal administration and acquired a supporting letter to improve the situation.


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
NEGUSSIE: The most effective effort we can make to mainstream SA is strengthen the existing Social Accountability Committees. We can do this in different ways including providing them with a permanent office that is equipped with essential materials where they can hold meetings frequently. An additional approach that can be taken is to have at least one educated citizen as a member of each SAC. SA can be sustainable only when there is a great deal of participation from citizens and the contribution of educated citizens can be vital. Linking SACs with different government structures is another option we can use, for instance FTA. This will give SACs the opportunity to get the support of experts whenever the need arises. SA will become even more sustainable if we link SACs with woreda councils. The council can control their performance and ensure their sustainable existence. The SAC should be accountable to the community and have frequent meetings with them to update them on their performance. In addition, the project should be implemented in all Kebeles.

 

Dereje Abera – ILU-Ilu Ababura Zone – Service Provider – St. Gabriel Elementary School       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
DEREJE: Service receivers expect some basic conditions to be fulfilled by service providers. Through Social Accountability, service providers can see what is lacking in their services and work on enhancing it to meet the community’s needs. This process also creates a suitable condition for service receivers to collaborate with service providers in creating an ideal service provision. 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
DEREJE: In Metu town, the only school that used to provide special needs education was our school, St. Gabriel Elementary School. However, after teachers who were trained in the field resigned and moved to another school, we were forced to close the special needs education department. It stopped giving service for three years. We had 37 students in total and they had to drop out of school. When ILU started implementing the Social Accountability project, this was identified as a problem and given priority. A Social Accountability Committee was formed comprising the school’s community and the society. Following that, we held meetings with the woreda education bureau. In 2007 academic year (Ethiopian Calendar), the woreda education bureau assigned two teachers to the school, one with BA degree and another with Diploma level qualification. Currently, the special needs education department is providing service to students and some of them have even reached 8th grade. I consider this a huge success.


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
DEREJE: When we first started the SA project, it was challenging to get people to collaborate. They considered ILU’s project on Social Accountability similar to projects done by other NGOs. They expected ILU to do everything on its own. In our woreda, there is a charity organization by the name Menschen für Menschen. It built a school for the community handling all the financial costs. ILU, however, works on awareness creation and does not provide money to the community. They found this very confusing. They repeatedly asked “If it’s not going to provide at least stationery materials, what’s the use of an NGO?” We organized frequent awareness creation programs to explain the long term benefits of Social Accountability. Then they started understanding big problems can now be addressed through discussions.


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
DEREJE: Most importantly, we should continue organizing awareness creation programs. If every citizen understands the importance of the Social Accountability initiative, it will easily be mainstreamed. Additionally, the existing Social Accountability Committees should remain engaged in SA activities, discussing problems and solutions with the community.

 

Nahom Bayisa – Woreda coordinator – HUNDEE- Oromo Grassroots Development Initiative       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
NAHOM: Social Accountability is a method that links service providers and service receivers. It creates a platform for the two to come together and discuss problems on service provision in various sectors. Both parties will be able to devise solutions for the problems raised with regard to basic service delivery through Social Accountability.


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
NAHOM: Before SA began, social service providers were the only ones who had the power to make decisions on service delivery. However at present, service receivers have recognized their right to demand quality service provision. A case in point is Berfetan primary school in the Oromia region. Although the school has been providing service for several decades, it was neglected by the community and the woreda officials as well. It was in a very poor condition and the community also had developed negative perception towards it. Following an assessment conducted by HUNDEE in the region and an interface meeting with all stakeholders involved, the woreda education bureau allocated budget for the renovation of the school and for building additional buildings that can accommodate more students. The community also took part in contributing money for the school’s reconstruction. In recognition of its achievements, the school was presented as one of the best primary schools on an education forum held in the region.


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
NAHOM: Our SA project is mostly interconnected with various government bodies. Holding frequent meetings with them in order to facilitate the project’s implementation is inevitable. However, our meeting schedules repeatedly overlap with that of theirs and it is difficult to obtain their support when necessary. We are making attempts to address this problem by devising joint action plans with time tables but there is still we need woreda officials to consider the project as a priority. I believe awareness creation programs should be conducted intensively at woreda, zonal and regional levels.


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
NAHOM: We can ensure the sustainability of SA and mainstream it by expanding the implementation of the project to all existing sectors as opposed to only the five ones we are currently working on. Moreover, we should work on developing a sense of ownership among woreda officials so they can engage in the project through their own initiation with or without the presence of the Management Agency.

 

Tassew Garoma – Merab Shewa Zone, Bakotibe Woreda resident – Social Accountability Committee Chairperson       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
TASSEW: Social Accountability, as I understand it, is the rights and responsibilities of citizens. Accordingly, I am trying to deliver what is expected from me as a citizen by working as the chairman of the social accountability committee in my woreda. It is very difficult to attain any goal without education. We can say that it is one of the fundamental needs of every human being. This is what inspired me to involve in social accountability and play my part in improving the quality of education in Bakotibe woreda.


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TASSEW: I have witnessed several achievements in the education sector following the social accountability project. What I find most impressive so far is the case of Guto Miti School which used to be only a primary school. Following awareness creation programs on social accountability, residents of the woreda developed a sense of ownership. They were motivated to involve themselves in improving education service provision. Through their own initiation, the community made a decision to build a secondary school for Guto Miti. They organized a platform to discuss with the woreda administration and required their support. The community contributed 250,000 ETB, 2 oxen, 6 sheep, 2 goats among other things. The Guto Miti secondary school is now in the process of construction. This is one huge leap forward from a community that used to just wait for NGOs to make all the change in their area.


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TASSEW: The community in Bakotibe Woreda, upon hearing that a project called social accountability was about to be implemented, expected NGOs to build a school and hand it over to them. It was challenging to convince them that NGOs work on awareness creation and cannot always be engaged in development works without the community’s support. We tried various methods such as street coffee ceremonies and social gatherings to reach out to the community to explain to them the essence of social accountability and why they should be involved.


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
TASSEW: The SA initiative can be mainstreamed by sustaining the current awareness creation programs that are being conducted by different organizations and scaling up these initiatives to all woredas.

 

Amanuel Mebrat – Nefas Mewcha woreda – Project Coordinator – Wabe Children Aid & Training (WCAT)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
AMANUEL: Social Accountability is a bridge that links service providers and service receivers. It is a concept that minimizes the gap between the two.


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
AMANUEL: My organization works on education sector. Nefas Mewcha primary school is one of the schools where we are currently implementing SA. Students used to suffer from lack of toilet room facilities. It did not have separate toilets for boys and girls. When calculating the ratio, we found out that up to 600 students used to share one toilet room. This was identified as a problem in focus group discussions and solutions were proposed during the interface meeting. The construction of new toilet rooms were undertaken following the meeting and 75% of the expense was covered by contributions made from the community while 25% of the cost was covered by the school’s administration.


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
AMANUEL: The woreda where we are implementing SA has a high number of primary schools amounting to 103. Woreda representatives have extremely busy schedules since they have to address all of these schools and it was very difficult to get them to come to attend our meetings. Although this problem hasn’t yet been completely eliminated, we are trying to adjust our schedules to fit theirs.


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
AMANUEL: We need to work intensively on strengthening the existing Social Accountability Committees. In addition, we should have continuous awareness creation programs to embrace government officials in the process and help develop a sense of ownership.

 

Mebrat Abera – Woreda Coordinator at Ilubabur Zone, Ale woreda – ILU Women and Children Integrated Development Association (IWCIDA)       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
MEBRAT: Social Accountability is a process that helps to bring service improvement in different sectors through collaboration with citizens and the government. It is a concept that makes people in authority accountable for the power they hold. 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
MEBRAT: We implement the SA project in three kebeles of Ale woreda. In one of the kebeles named Siso kebele, there was no effort being made to improve basic service delivery in terms of road infrastructure both by the government and the community. 90% of the community in the kebele used to suffer from lack of road infrastructure. When we started implementing SA in the kebele, we held focus group discussions with different groups of the community. The community said that their children were unable to go to school, pregnant women couldn’t reach health centers to deliver their babies and since the area becomes very muddy during winter, members of the community were unable to get any sort of social services from the woreda because it required them to travel for more than 8 hours to reach there. Following an interface meeting, the earth work was done with the community contributing 30,000 ETB in cash and also providing support in labor estimated at 21,000 ETB. More than 1 million ETB was also provided by the government. As a result, the construction of a 2km road was finalized. 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
MEBRAT: The biggest challenge I have witnessed so far is the turnover of staff in kebele and woreda offices. After we have provided them training to raise awareness on social accountability, they move on to a different line of work and we had to engage in the same kind of process all over again for new employees. The other challenge I have encountered is the case of transport. I have to travel for long hours to reach the kebeles I work in. The problem becomes even more worse when it is winter season as I have to cross a lot of rivers and struggle through muddy roads to reach the kebeles. Another problem was the cancellation of meetings at woreda offices because they have a lot of commitment. After we have travelled to the woreda office for long hours, they usually inform us that our meeting has been cancelled because they had to attend other official meetings. Through time however, we managed to curb that problem by working together on fixed schedules. 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
MEBRAT: To mainstream SA, refresher training should be given to all Kebeles. And also, contrary to what we believe, the SA concept is not yet widely known by government officials. We need to work on creating awareness among all government officials by inviting them to SA training and workshops. Once they have been informed, it will become easier to influence citizens.

 

Fantaye Tadesse – Woreda Coordinator at Kolfe Keranio Sub city – Hiwot Integrated Development Association (HIDA)       Back to Top

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1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
FANTAYE: Social Accountability is a program that connects service providers and service receivers thereby helping them identify problems in service provision and constructively find solutions. It is also a way officials can take responsibility for their action and be accountable in the process. 


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
FANTAYE: I have witnessed one of my best experiences while implementing SA in an elementary school named Addis Hiwot. The school had a library that was too small to accommodate a large number of students. There were very limited reference books. As a result, students were really unhappy as it had made them less competitive with other schools. The library did not give service regularly. After SA, students along with the school administration identified problems and an interface meeting was organized. Accordingly, the library was relocated to a bigger room and supporting reference books were purchased to provide standard service for students. The community took part in the improvement of other services in the school such as water provision. It was one of the 11 identified problems in the school. Parents, students and teachers association contributed money to increase the number of water tanks in the school and also get existing water taps fixed. 


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
FANTAYE: Service providers, i.e. school administration members, always considered that students had no mandate in the process of problem identification even if they are service receivers. Through time however, this has shown some improvements. Currently, service providers have greater awareness about SA and they are more resilient to accepting feedback from students on service gaps. 


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
FANTAYE: Citizens have to embrace SA as a major part of their lives because it is a process that gives relief to both service providers and service users. Various institutions, civil societies, community based organizations (CBOs) such as Idir, school community, parents, service providers and woreda officials need to internalize and implement it. Therefore, working with existing structures will definitely prove to be effective and sustainable.

 

Yibeltal Ambaye – Machakel Woreda, Amhara Region – Woreda Coordinator wtih Migbare Senay Children and Family Support Organization       Back to Top


1. WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
YIBELTAL: Social Accountability is a concept that empowers citizens, specially vulnerable people. It helps citizens demand their rights in an organized manner and serve as a bridge to connect government officials and citizens.


2. WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
YIBELTAL: I have witnessed several good experiences. Amanuel Zuriya, one of the Kebeles we are implementing SA did not have a veterinary clinic. Farmers used to go through many ups and downs to take their animals to clinics far from their residential areas. After holding an interface meeting and designing a joint action plan, the community contributed 17,000 Birr in cash to build a veterinary clinic while the government offered to supply drugs and a veterinary physician. Community members also contributed free labor and also supplied wood to finish the clinic. I remember that as one of my best experiences in implementing SA.


3. WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
YIBELTAL: The community used to be very reluctant to express their concerns. They had previous experiences of having repeated official meetings with no tangible results and solutions. Therefore, they assumed that Social Accountability was no different than their previous experiences. This was resolved through time and as the community witnessed results in the agriculture sector in their area.


4. HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
YIBELTAL: If we would like to sustain Social Accountability, we should work with woreda officials. In addition, instead of different NGOs, the government itself should take the initiative to integrate SA in the structure of governmental institutions. The civil service can take this task since it is already engaged in ensuring good governance.

 

Seifemichael Berhanu – SA Project Coordinator at Arada Sub City- OPRIFS       Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?

SEIFEMICHAEL: It is a mechanism or a method to strengthen the relationship between service providers and service users. It is a development instrument that creates a platform to convey the feedback of citizens to service providers so that they can improve their service provision. And also, it’s a development tool that helps service providers and service users to work collaboratively.


2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
SEIFEMICHAEL: My best experience is in the whole process of Social Accountability. Citizens are now more aware of SA and demand for their rights to better service. What I personally experienced as a project coordinator is the remarkable story of a high school by the name “Meskerem”, in Arada Sub city. Through the initiation of SA, the school community collected more than 100, 000 birr to solve their problems. By discussing with the Ministry of education and other relevant stakeholders that work on ICT, they have further managed to equip the school with all the necessary IT equipment. Prior to the commencement of the project in the school, blind students used to come and go back home without attaining any kind of education for lack of special needs equipment. Following that however, braille and stylus were purchased for blind students and there was a significant improvement in the teaching and learning process.


3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
SEIFEMICHAEL: The resistance of some government officials. In the first phase of the implementation process, some government officials showed resistance in accepting the program.


4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED? 
SEIFEMICHAEL: It can be done by strengthening linkage between different sectors. For example, to improve problems in providing service in the education sector, we need to link the education sector with different structures of the government. The linkage can be created with Woreda councils, NGOs and different sectors. The other way to mainstreaming SA is working with different stakeholders. In the case of OPRIFS for instance, we worked with the federal defense minister to solve problems that have been identified during the community score card process in Woreda 7. Linking the Social Accountability program with the defense minister is totally surprising for some people but the school community and the word SA council mobilized some resources and gained support from the defense minister to solve the problems identified during the Social Accountability process.

Addisu Etifu – Project Coordinator for GDA    Back to Top


1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
ADDISU: “Social Accountability is an approach where citizens and citizen groups are empowered to know service standards and services they are entitled to so that they are able to demand those services as per the standards. It is also a way that service providers are informed to be accountable for any shortfalls through community engagement for the services they are responsible to provide with quality and access.”


2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ADDISU: “My best experience in implementing the project is that during interface meeting in Geta woreda, woreda officials were sitting together with vulnerable groups; and when citizens articulated the severity of service deficiency, the officials totally admitted that the problem is deep-rooted, and promised to improve the service sooner.”


3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ADDISU: “The busy schedule of service providers and officials, and the high turnover of service providers who were members of Social Accountability Committees.”


4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
ADDISU: “Social Accountability can be mainstreamed through allowing maximum participation of stakeholders (especially citizens) and making it institutionalized; it could also be mainstreamed by creating linkages with FTAs, local CSOs and CBOs such as 'Idir'. And I think the program should cover all woredas of the country.”

 

Rezene Tessema - Social Accountability Officer with REST      Back to Top


1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
REZENE: “Social Accountability for me is a social platform where citizens and government officials get together to solve social problems, inadequate service delivery, exclusion of vulnerable groups with respect to Social Accountability tools and systems. Social Accountability works for the maximization of needs interests and priorities of all community groups such as women, disabled people, the elderly, youths and others. Social Accountability teaches people not only to participate in identifying, prioritizing and scoring their problems, but to be forward and also to share contributions from the community regarding the social services in their vicinity.”


2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?

REZENE: “Raising awareness in communities because then the community starts asking about services. For instance we have seen an instance were the community contacted the high way contractors to build new mini-roads to a village, and it was successfully completed. Also, the community got more involved and had voluntarily contributed 3 Ethiopian Birr per month to safeguard water.


3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
REZENE: “There are no as many challenges as we expect to happen in the implementation of social accountability program in our woreda , however, since there are multiple tasks some times seasonal tasks given to the community, some training have clashed with woreda level programs.”


4: HOW COULD SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?

REZENE: “I believe social accountability can be mainstreamed through capacity building activities to all stakeholders of social accountability ( civic associations, social accountability committee of both woreda and kebelle level /SACs/ and government officials) 
social accountability can be also mainstreamed through sensitization programs with electronics ( Internet , FM and TV ) , print media ( newspaper , magazine ,bulletin and brochures) and public meetings . 
social accountability could be mainstreamed through the existing social bonding systems of the community like ` equb,edir and mahber ` as center of mainstreaming social accountability at any period of time .”

 

Feyisa Tefera – Project Coordinator for IWCIDA       Back to Top


1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
FEYISA: “Social Accountability for me is a process by which public basic services providers and users (citizens) sit together and discuss on basic services delivery statuses. Their point of reference for their discussion is service delivery standards set by respective government structures. In the process, both users and providers weigh up the actual service delivery status against the set standards. While doing so, they usually find service delivery gaps. Finally, they develop joint action plans and implement to improve service delivery. Social Accountability is also the process by which citizens make service providers and power holders accountable for their service delivery actions. Besides, Social Accountability as a process has special emphasis for gender equality and mainstreaming as well as inclusion of various socially excluded groups.”


2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
FEYISA: “My best experience with Social Accountability implementation is on the event when citizens’ representatives decided to leave discussion hall at one of our intervention woredas being upset by responses given by providers. By applying special facilitation and negotiation skills, users continued the discussion. Now, we are on Social Accountability result stage where that point of disagreement is solved by applying the Social Accountability tool of Community Score Card.”


3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
FEYISA: “My first challenge in the course of Social Accountability implementation was the awareness of the problems from both users and providers. Users and providers’ expectation was on supply of some physical structures as it is common in many other NGO projects. They were curious whether discussions can bring change. But currently this problem is solved. Any provider and/or user can witness that Social Accountability is the best way for public basic service delivery improvement. Secondly, there was a tendency from providers’ side to externalize most of the service delivery gap reasons. On the other hand, users’ perception was that quality basic services delivery is solely the responsibility of the providers. But now, both parties agreed that it is responsibility of both to work in harmony to improve basic services delivery though providers take lions share.”


4: HOW COULD SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
FEYISA: “Social Accountability can be mainstreamed by capacitating Social Accountability Committees, by involving Social Accountability Implementing Partners directors and program managers beyond ESAP2 project staffs, and by institutionalizing the Social Accountability process and tools in public basic services rendering institution.”

 

Abebe Aseffa – Branch Officer at Redeem the Generation    Back to Top


1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
ABEBE: “Social Accountability is a bridge which links citizens and service providers to act together on basic service provision in order to improve poor service delivery which are under service standards through making service providers more accountable and responsive.”


2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ABEBE: “My best experience was applying the Social Accountability tools, in our case particularly Community Score Card and Participatory Planning & Budgeting properly made me to speak confidently that Social Accountability is effective and an applicable program. I am confident I will not only be a bystander but also a participant of the magnificent changes that we have seen in health sector of Metehara Town Administration.”


3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ABEBE: “As the Social Accountability concept is new for both the citizen and service providers, there were somewhat challenges among signatories and during sensitization events.”


4: HOW COULD SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
ABEBE: “Whenever the initiative is given for the citizen, unquestionably Social Accountability can be mainstreamed. Other important steps are building the capacity of Social Accountability Committees at both kebele and woreda level, creating strong relationships among citizen, service providers, woreda councils, kebele administration, Social Accountability experts and other relevant stakeholders all take the lion’s share to mainstream Social Accountability.”

 

Tegegne Chekol – Project Coordinator for UEWCA     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
TEGEGNE: “Social accountability is a platform to address societal problems through empowering the community to claim on basic public services so that service providers will be responsive and accountable to their community.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TEGEGNE: “While I moved to Arsi-Negelle and Meki woredas to undertake field level supportive monitoring, I saw patient wards re-innovated in wheelchair friendly manner as per the claims of the People With Disabilitites group. Similarly I was impressed with the actions of the Awash 7 woreda SAC members. To look for solutions to the deeply rooted water problem at Awash 7, they first observe and asses the extent of the problem, the water reservoir together with woreda head of water utility office; subsequently, they moved to Samara (Capital of Afar Regional State) to present their town water problem since the problem is beyond the decision making scope of the woreda water office. As a result, the regional state promised to allocate sufficient amount of budget in the coming budget year to address the water problem of Awash 7 woreda. The woreda coordinator and the Social Accountability Committees planned to have regional level interface meeting at Awash 7 with the presence of representatives from Afar regional state water office, rural road authority, regional council members in the coming week.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TEGEGNE: “Other funding agencies have a trend of providing direct physical support to the destitute. As a result, many of our ESAP2 beneficiaries were expecting direct provision of finance or materials during various workshops. However, due to concurrent sensitization workshops, the community of our operational woredas became sensitized on the purpose of this program, and the community benefited from the remarkable changes observed so far.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
TEGEGNE: “Social Accountability can be mainstreamed through incorporating the concept of Social Accountability in government structures, through creating linkage with the existing cultural contexts of the local community. Besides, SAIPs have to incorporate Social Accountability tools as intervention strategy to solve societal problems while formulating project proposals to other funding agencies.”

 

Kedir Filicha – ESAP2 Focal Person at ADDAA     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
KEDIR: “Social Accountability to me is the process by which service receivers claim for the better service by making service providers accountable in case service providers fail to provide service as intended. It is bottom-up accountability.
Furthermore; Social Accountability to me is adhering to fundamental Principles of Good Governance such as; transparency, participation, and accountability.
In conclusion, Social Accountability is the constructive engagement between citizen groups and the government for the purpose of checking and monitoring the conduct and performance of public officials and service providers in their use or allocation of public resources.” 

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
KEDIR: “I am currently producing tools to check capacity of the non-targeted schools in the district where we are implementing ESAP2 project. Based on our finding, our organization will scale-up the experience of targeted kebeles to adjacent kebeles/vicinities after assessing the capacity of the school. It is also my hope that our organization will scale –up (expand) this experience to other service sectors.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
KEDIR: “At the beginning; I faced confusion in using gender responsive budgeting to assess service in target localities service. After taking separate training on GRB my confusion is declined and currently we are well implementing the project.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
KEDIR: “Capacity building to all stakeholders should be well emphasized. In my view, various training topics should be prepared for the concerned stakeholders. Particularly; I would like to suggest the following themes of the training along with training packages already designed by the ESAP2 Management Agency. 1 – Effective service delivery (principles, importance, how to measure services in government, Non-government, and private institutions etc.) 2 – Good governance, (introduction, importance, pillars of good governance, etc). 3 – Active citizens’ participation and other pertinent topics.”

 

Neguse Hagos – Woreda Coordinator with ADCS     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
NEGUSE: “Social Accountability in my view means taking ownership of situations that I am involved in. I see it through, and I take responsibility for what happens either good or bad for public service that I am rendering. I don’t blame others if things go wrong instead, I do my best to make things right.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
NEGUSE: “My best experience with Social Accountability is that, I am creating an environment where people can contribute to each other for achievement of higher service quality and equitable service delivery for community at grass root level and to maintain trust and confidence among service providers and users.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
NEGUSE: “The challenges were the service providers were providing services as they felt like. This was creating room for gaps on discipline from the staff so that, the level of service quality was somewhat not as expected and that was a challenge, but things are being resolved.”

4: HOW COULD SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
NEGUSE: “We need to scale up the best practices we found for Social Accountability implementation and we need to do continuous awareness creation and capacity building among people delivering the services and we need to scale up to wider areas also because the quality of services needs to be improved based on the FGDs participants feedback, entitlement or standard that should be done. 
The project emphasizes on Social Accountability to be mainstreamed and that can be done if Social Accountability Committees are strengthened and executive bodies are involved in the process and Social Accountability initiatives are linked with other governmental structures.”

 

Abdulahi Nur – ESAP2 Coordinator with OWDA     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
ABDULAHI: “Social Accountability is improving citizens capacity to evaluate the status of basic service delivered to them and have the ability to ask improvements to the concerned bodies.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ABDULHALI: “I have experienced more about Social Accountability and the best experience I have seen is in our Somali community whom were unaware that they can hold government officials accountable or even the sovereignty of the people assessing service and asking service providers to improve “

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ABDULHALI: “There were challenges I faced including the negative perception of citizens towards government bodies as they are unquestionable bodies.”

4: HOW COULD SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
ABDULHALI: “Social Accountability can be sustainable when a building a system through promoting citizens awareness about their sovereignty in the constitution and in all other developmental strategies of the country and to enable them to know that the government is owned by them.”

 

Beredu Tessema     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
BEREDU: “Social Accountability for me is a means to attain good governance. It is a bell that rings to awake service providers, to respond to citizen’s demand for quality services. It is also a whisper for citizens to encourage them to have their voices heard and to collaborate with service providers. At the end of the day when Social Accountability is mainstreamed, citizens will be satisfied with the service the government provides and service providers will be encouraged to work more to satisfy the need of citizens.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
BEREDU: “My best experience with Social Accountability is in the Amhara region Efratanagidem wereda in Karakore Health Center. During an interface meeting, citizens raised the following problem; the lack of delivery beds for pregnant women in the health center. They have experienced that there is only one delivery bed and because of this, when more than one pregnant woman goes to the health center to deliver a baby, they will suffer from prolonged labor and pain until the bed is available. When this issue was raised during the interface meeting by the Focus Group Discussants, the service providers from the health center promised to purchase delivery beds. Accordingly thanks to Social Accountability, now extra deliver beds were purchased to reduce inconveniences of pregnant women that are in labor in Karakore health center.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL 
BEREDU: “One of the challenges we have faced while implementing Social Accountability is the high turnover of the service providers in the government structure. In order to tackle this we usually brief the concepts of Social Accountability for the new appointees.” 

4: HOW COULD SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
BEREDU: “In my view Social Accountability can be mainstreamed by counting and strengthening the existing Social Accountability Committee members as one legal entity and link the committee with the different projects of WSA to ensure that Social Accountability is mainstreamed in all activities of organization does. Also, it can be mainstreamed through developing organizational working documents so that Social Accountability is incorporated throughout the project cycle.”

 

Selamwit Adnew – Project Officer with UEWCA    Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
SELAMAWIT: “For me Social Accountability is doing justice and it creates a forum where all will be heard and where all perspectives are revealed to make service using and delivering meaningful and satisfying.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
SELAMAWIT: “My best experience is when I go to the offices and it is clear where I should go and who to talk to for getting the service I need. Now I like the experience I get in the health facilities in my vicinity.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
SELAMAWIT: “I personally am not involved with the implementation part so this is difficult for me to answer.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
SELAMAWIT: “Social Accountability could be mainstreamed by the ones who appreciate and live by the principles and take them wherever they go as it will be a culture for the community practicing them.”

 

Meskerem Girma – Capacity Development &Training Expert, MA-ESAP2    Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?

SA is a shift in relationship. In the past, we know that government plans and implement and people accept. But with SA citizens will be informed and demand for their entitlements based on evidence. With SA service providers will be aware of the priorities of their citizens. For me SA is two way street.

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?

My best experience was in Gambella where a service provider was so honest mentioning the weakness of the service they provide including the issues not raised even by the service users.

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?

Working as CD&T expert, I was able to meet with different SA stakeholders- citizens, partners’ staff and wereda officials. What concerns me most of the time is when these stakeholders think that SA is primarily a way to mobilize citizens which is not the case. SA is for citizens to hold service providers accountable

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED? 

SA can be mainstreamed when key SA actors (citizens, service providers and CSOs) constructively collaborate; also when SA initiative that we have now is harmonized with other good governance initiatives. And most importantly, SA can be mainstreamed when citizens have adequate knowledge of their entitlements and responsibilities.

 

Amanuel Grunder – Grants Coordinator, MA-ESAP2     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
SA means making each individual accountable for the greater social good. It gives the opportunity for each individual service provider to think beyond the office work and think about the community which they are part of. So this would make them accountable not only from a career basis but also from social basis. It is not only service providers but also individuals taking responsibility for their own community.

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
My best experience was in Ejere wereda Oromia region when an older woman was describing acknowledgment of here rights to health care through SA. She explained that she never thought she had rights to get proper health care quick enough. She felt that her poverty was a restriction to her access to health care. And through the project she realized that just by being a citizen that she has a right to health care just like everyone else.

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
I work on grants, the biggest challenge is trying to meet the expectation of SAIPs in terms of them trying to be creative in the implementation of the project but making sure they comply with grant procedures of the MA. For example, a SAIP would want to buy a camera for participatory video production but the compliance with MA’s regulation will make the process long hence it has administrative burden.

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
SA can be mainstreamed mainly through community based organizations and or community groups such as Parent -Teacher associations or youth groups. As long as these community groups really absorb the concept of SA, they can continue SA within their context even customizing it to their needs

 

Hagere Legesse – School Director of Biherawi Primary school     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
“Social Accountability means to me helping the people who have problems. So that when they come to school, there are school materials and also facilities. To fulfill that, Social Accountability helps that school and the students.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
“My best experience with Social Accountability is helping the students who are orphans. They don’t have the teaching materials so we help them by giving exercise books, by giving uniforms, and by helping to get some food.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
“A challenge is when you are alone, that is not enough. When you try to help and do that together with a team or a group of students for the people who need help, it will have some benefit, more benefit actually. But when you try to gather people, not everyone wants to volunteer. But some just can’t help, the people that are living around us, they are too poor to help the other students who need help. That is another challenge.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
“I think, if we work with NGOs and the people around us, and get some financial assistance it would be ok. Then we can get the people to work together and provide for everyone.”


Getachew Bekele – Chairman of Social Accountability Committee in Kirkos subcity     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
GETACHEW: “Social Accountability is very important to me. How much am I accountable to my community, how far am I accountable to the system of the community plus everything that happens in the country. If you are religious you are accountable to God. But as a person you are also accountable to your workplace, community, the people around you. Losing that will be destruction of society. It’s a very wide concept but very important.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
GETACHEW: “Coming together and discussing experiences and problems with community elders, students, health workers and so forth. For instance, in the health center there were many problems. Like they don’t have a working latrine but it was already built over a year ago. There was a chemistry machine that was not working because of a minor thing; the installation wasn’t done. A generator was there but there was still no light in the health center compound. Every problem was because of something small. So we collected all these things and went to the head of the sub city directly, and it was immediately solved. So I have enjoyed this experience. Things can be done”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
GETACHEW: “It will take time for people to see and believe that we are not only faultfinders. People see us sometimes just as faultfinders, that is an issue sometimes.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
GETACHEW: “We have to have a sub committee in every office about every sector and we have to train them. They should discuss at least once every two weeks, then collect the information from the sub committees and discuss everything. And then Social Accountability could be mainstreamed all over society."

Hiwot Desta – PR Officer at NEWA    Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
HIWOT: “Social Accountability is a concept that will hold everyone that is responsible for any social gaps they face in their lives. We shouldn’t wait for another body of government to come and fix it for us. So everybody is accountable to some extent to fix every problem around them and contribute in the solutions and betterment for our surroundings.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
HIWOT: “The communications officers are more involved with documenting some of the meetings held here in Addis Ababa and also I was involved in Participatory Video making. So the best experiences of this Participatory Video making, it helps to use and evaluate and monitor the concept of the projects. And my best experience is to be involved with the community and hearing their problems.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
HIWOT: “The challenges are awareness, and also you might not see a big change right away. The overall concept of Social Accountability is about behavioral change. So working on the behavior is the first challenge and also getting the people, the officials and the government bodies together to come face-to-face and talk about the problems. And also in the woredas, coordinators may not always be familiar with all the concepts of Social Accountability, and we spent a lot of time on translating documents because the manuals are in English.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
HIWOT: “As a Communication officer, I think its better to have everything documented, so you can see the commitment you get from the people. Then it’s your responsibility to combine everything and come up with the tools to bring about change in the communities that we work with. Using the knowledge of the community can bring about change.”

 

Tilaye Teshome – IT & Documentation Officer at AFD    Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
TILAYE: “Social Accountability is a means for service users and providers to ask questions and give each other feedback on the services. And after that service providers can act and provie the required services to the community.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TILAYE: “My best experience is disseminating the learned experience to the community and motivating the community to ask their questions and give feedback to the government officials. For example, in the agricultural sector, they wanted these fertilizers but they didn’t get it. After taking training in Social Accountability, they asked the government to provide them with fertilizers and the government has quickly response towards their questions.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TILAYE: “Social Accountability faces challenges as we have difficulties with the logistics, the roads and organizing the community. For example, when me try to make Participatory Videos it is difficult to get on the roads because the roads are not in a good condition. And then, when we reach the community we are exhausted and still need to start working. Also, it is difficult to organize the communities, they always come late.” 

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
TILAYE: “Through learning processes it can be institutionalized in the organization and also a learning tool to the community.”

 

Solome Kumsa – Project Coordinator at ADV    Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
SOLOME: “Social Accountability is a service delivery and participants tool to bridge delivery gaps. I’m also a participant and beneficiary. Because of Social Accountability, I understand things and get better services.” 

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
SOLOME: “I go to our organization, I go into the field, I face for SA the beneficiaries don’t talk about their problems bc they fear for service deliviers. 
My best experience with Social Accountability is that I interviewed women who are supposed to have water. I was with the women when they looked for water, they go to the river or the stream. They told me these challenges and problems they face. I prepared a video that captured everything and delivered that video to the government service givers. They were impressed and starting working towards solving the problem.” 

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
SOLOME: “One challenge we face is that I live in Addis but the projects of Social Accountability are far from me, in the South, and I don’t see the beneficiaries and service givers day-to-day, and I don’t their daily routines.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
SOLOME: “Social Accountability can be better mainstreamed if people are more aware that Social Accountability is not work, but it your day to day life.”

Ermias Emeru - Monitoring and Evaluation Officer at Milyam       Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
ERMIAS: “SA for me is a tool or a mechanism or an approach where communities, decision makers and service providers can come together. For me it’s a mechanism where communities can be empowered so they can have the power to decide or to choose what they like, and to express their feelings and needs.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ERMIAS: “I have seen community groups and vulnerable groups having a chance to communicate and to come to the mainstream areas to express their needs. I have seen women having the chance to communicate and to deal directly with service providers and decision makers. One way or the other, I have seen increased awareness of community members, increased participation of different groups. And finally, different groups are influencing the decision making process.” 

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ERMIAS: “The challenge is that the idea and the concept of Social Accountability is new to the community and to the local government administrative bodies. They didn’t have experience with this before. So the idea by itself is a challenge. Secondly, the participation level of the community is very much necessary for the approach of Social Accountability but I think there is a lot to be done around there, to increase participation of communities. And finally, cooperation of different bodies, service providers, and local government bodies, they have to cooperate with different stakeholders. By nature, Social Accountability requires the cooperation of different stakeholders.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
ERMIAS: “For me, empowering the communities is the first way of institutionalizing Social Accountability. Helping the community to be aware, to get the skills and capability of administering this initiative as their own mechanism. The other way is empowering CBO’s, Community Based Organizations trying to give the CBO the capacity in the areas, is very much helpful. And finally, maybe having Social Accountability groups in government facilities, schools, health centers and so on would also help.”

 

Amare Gedu - Woreda Coordinator in Oromia Region for Mlyam      Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
AMARE: “Social Accountability means a method for empowering citizens. There are different ways and activities to empower citizens. We solve services with Social Accountability by gathering issues from different groups.

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
AMARE: “ My best experience is improving services by putting the service provider and service user in contact. There are different problems with providing the services in education and health. We are solving many things, like teaching methods, improving the experiences of teachers and so on.

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
AMARE: “A great challenge for us is that whenever we bring citizens to meetings or focus group discussions, they ask for per diem. Other things are going ok but the per diem is a great challenge for us.” 

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
AMARE: “I think that once the per diem issue is solved it should be ok. A lot of people that we ask to come to the meetings are full time laborers.”

 

Belay Asrat – Social Accountability expert at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
BELAY: “Social Accountability is a way to interact with the community and to know the demand and the requests coming from the citizens and at the end just to have community and service sectors together and to improve the service level of that community. The other parameters are of course to improve the reliability of the service delivery to boost the mutual activity of the community as well the service provider, I think with that concept, Social Accountability gradually evolved. Because now we are doing the ESAP2 is about over 200 woredas, but compare it with national level its still below, so in order to scale up we have to exercise ESAP2 in a better fashion to scale up in a wider scale.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
BELAY: “Well, actually I’m not directly acting with the Social Accountability implementation because I’m at the ministry. The best things to see are those SAIPs and what’s going on at the lower level, that really interests me because nobody expects that the community and the service provider discuss this common agenda. This is the startup for good governance.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
BELAY: “The Social Accountability initiative is at an infant stage. They will face some problems with the government because previously the service providers are not accountable to the service they will give to the community, this resistant is natural and this is one challenge for the SAIPs. The other thing is that you can’t reach the Ethiopian community easily. So you have to enforce your awareness and repeat frequently for the community to understand his right, entitlement. Those SAIPs have to engage in awareness and sensitization programs as to get the feedback from the community.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
BELAY: “One of the areas to mainstream and scale up Social Accountability is by putting something on the ground who will be responsible for the Social Accountability process because the institutionalization of Social Accountability is not as easy as other disciplines. It must come from the citizens. Maybe it may need some study to institutionalize Social Accountability and make it sustainable.”

 

Addisu Itifo – Project Coordinator for Gurage Development Association    Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
ADDISU: “It is an approach that brings both service providers and service users together to improve the delivery of basic services. It’s a very important tool to bring together those stakeholders and deliver basic services. It’s a new approach for Ethiopians to get together for the improvement of basic services.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ADDISU: “My best experience is bringing officials and ordinary citizens together because it hasn’t been done before. It’s kind of an important approach for development. The government officials have started to listen to ordinary citizens who are the service users. The citizens have demanded better services and they are empowered and especially those who are the vulnerable and marginalized section of the community, but now they are stronger and ready to demand their basic services. “

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ADDISU: “That depends on the approach you follow, when you implement any project, especially on the local level, you run into problems with both service providers and service users. We noticed that government by itself is very busy.” 

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
ADDISU: “It can be mainstreamed firstly by maximizing participation of the community. For instance, in our case, we have several criteria to select the beneficiaries. For instance, the vulnerable groups, women households, people living with HIV/aids, so everybody is included and we have 90 participants per kebele. Maximum participation is one of the mainstream aspects. The other aspect has to do with the service providers. They have started replicating the project with other sectors. For instance, we are now focusing on water and agriculture, but now they have started the implementing it into health, education, roads and so on. So that’s mainstreaming the project.”

 

Zeyad Ahmed – Woreda Facilitator for ESAP2 in Adama Town    Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
ZEYAD: “Social Accountability is the accountability of societies and for community to be accountable for the actions taken so far by themselves as well as by the government. It means that the citizens and the community can account the service provider for the action and for the commitment what they did so far.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ZEYAD: “Since applying this program we see the best experiences in this kebele. Citizens began to ask and to question the government officials and service providers about their needs and preferences and the citizen’s begin to demand what they should have.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ZEYAD: “The most difficult task in applying Social Accountability is the service providers, particularly high officials, not all of them, but some of them are challenging. They fear to be held accountable for their actions and commitment, that’s is a challenge. They fear as we punish them with this new approach, they didn’t really recognize Social Accountability as an important tool.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
ZEYAD: “In order to mainstream Social Accountability in the society is working with SAC members, the central team of Social Accountability. Basically the composition of SAC member has to be in accordance with the Social Accountability concept. So the SAC members at worda level should be of civil society and that of the community itself. If this community is reorganized in such a way, the Social Accountability issue will be mainstreamed at all levels and if the program ends they might continue as it is.”

 

Mussie Atlabachew – Redeem the Generation    Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
MUSSIE: “Social Accountability is a means by which the service users and the service providers come together and find solutions for problems encountered. For me personally it means to be accountable. I’m also as a citizen and there are things expected of me and I also have to deliver them. And there are also the service providers, the officials so everybody is responsible for the service improvements so it is a kind of collective action, not an individual action. So we all are responsible for service improvement.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
MUSSIE: “My best experience is that while we were launching the project people used to think that this is something that is not going to be implemented or this is not going to be practiced on the ground. They thought this is something ideal and no longer working because they didn’t have the experience and also didn’t practice it and never even heard of such a project. But during that workshop, the sensitization workshop and the roll-out training we also tried to show some of the documentaries produced by ESAP2. And after showing those videos, those experiences gained in ESAP2, they themselves became to understand that this is really workable. We are really lucky to have this project because we are using the tools and the concept of the project and we can make significant improvements.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
MUSSIE: “The understanding and level of awareness is low across regions. We also operate in remote rural areas like the pastoralists Afar areas. And there are some difficulties understanding the concept and everything. That’s a challenge. But in order to overcome the challenge, we have to also work hard, our experts and woreda-coordinators had to do a lot of tasks. And making citizens understand the concept and put things together.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
MUSSIE: “Government officials are saying this is a really good practice and this should not be limited to health sector, it should also go to education center and basic service areas because it’s a good practice. We already identified that project as important so we will sustain it as they found it important so this is the way of creating ownership among the government officials so that they can even replicate the good practice of this project to other areas.”

 

Hailemariam Shiferaw - Project Coordinator for the ESAP2 program (EIFDDA) at GubaLaftoWoreda, Amhara Region     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
HAILEMARIAM: Social Accountability is an act by which citizens can inquire service providers about the quality and accessibility of public services. As a citizen, I question about service provision and as a service provider, there are times I am also held accountable. Therefore, this is a way in which community members such as farmers can ask about the unavailability of services that occur as a result of government bodies or employees reluctance.

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
HAILEMARIAM: What I consider as a best experience is the fact that citizens have gained acceptance. Previous records show otherwise. In the previous trend, we used to raise issues in meetings that took place once or twice a year and they were forgotten without being addressed. At present, the SA initiative has created a way we can follow up on these matters intensively. Citizens are now very much satisfied with the initial results. Among the five woredas EIFDDA is targeting, our Woreda has been prompt in implementing SA. As a best experience, socially excluded community members like people living with HIV/AIDS, women and elders have been organized into groups to identify and discuss their own issues. In the health sector, lack of health experts, lack of drug supply and unethical conduct by professionals used to be mentioned by community members. These issues were raised in meetings organized by Woreda officials but they were merely used as an input for reports and never put into action. Currently, however, health experts are willing to listen to the issues raised by citizens and citizens are also committed in taking responsibilities to change the situation they are in, for the better. I feel like this a good step forward. 

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
HAILEMARIAM: The biggest challenge I have witnessed so far is whenever we organize meetings, people expect us to provide per diem. Citizens that have been invited to attend meetings become discouraged when we inform them that there is no per diem. This may be resolved through time. The job involves travelling back and forth to and from target Woredas and lack of fuel is another challenge. I am not sure if this is caused as a result of lack of budget. That aside, we have a smooth relationship with farmers as well as local officials. At the initial stage of the project, we have had some challenges in motivating farmers to participate but that was an issue we anticipated to occur and therefore we dealt with it. For instance, when we plan to organize a group in a certain Woreda and travel there, adequate number of people may not show up. Only 10 or 15 people might be present. The community members that were present at the time may not be willing to come the next day if we decide to wait for the absent ones to attend the meeting. To curb that problem, we sometimes delegate the ones that are present to take the responsibility of bringing a certain number of people for the next meeting. We have now designated a leader for each group to oversee this issue. We have also hired one facilitator for each Kebele. Whenever we hold meetings, we inform Kebele facilitators and group leaders. One group has seven members and the leader takes the responsibility for the attendance of all members on meetings. We have created a solution to the attendance problem in this manner. 

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
HAILEMARIAM: The way to mainstreaming Social Accountability is to strengthen social accountability committees (SACs) and other established structures like focus group discussions (FGDs). Even if this project phases out, these structures will be able to consolidate and carry on the practice of social accountability further. Farmers need persistent follow ups from our side, not just once a month but more frequently. They should be able to meet with group leaders and SAC members three or four times a month to discuss how their work is going, what kinds of issues are prevalent and what the awareness level of the rest of the community is like. It is difficult to reach 3,000 or 4,000 community members at once. SA will be sustainable if we manage to create a solid awareness among farmers so that they too can spread the word and share the advantages of SA with the rest of the community.

 

Zemedkun Abebe – Deputy Team Leader ESAP2     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
ZEMEDKUN: “Social Accountability is a means for citizens to voice their concerns and needs to the service providers and to hold government accountable for the services it provide to citizens. Social Accountability is a powerful tool to engage citizens in development process.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ZEMEDKUN: “The best experience I had with Social Accountability is that citizens were not aware about the complain mechanisms and they were afraid to speak to government officials. Now thanks to Social Accountability, citizens understand that they have right to complain and clearly know where and how to complain. In the mean time, due to the active and meaningful engagement of citizens, it is witnessed that services are improved in some woredas.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ZEMEDKUN: “The staff turnover in government offices and SAIPs becomes a serious challenges to implement Social Accountability as planned. When trained staff leaves the SAIPs, definitely it will create gaps in the implementation and adversely affect the quality of the project. On the other hand, SAIPs strive to sensitize relevant government officials on Social Accountability and get their buy-in by convincing them to take part in the Social Accountability process. However, it has been observed that the government officials who have good knowledge on social accountability leave the office frequently. The reshuffle in the government office is more frequent and it takes additional resource to create the same awareness for the new comers.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
ZEMEDKUN: “Social Accountability can be mainstreamed mainly through SAIPs and government. If SAIPs own social accountability and use the Social Accountability approach and concept in their development programs (other than ESAP2) as well as government takes social accountability as one agenda in their continuous development interventions, then Social Accountability can simply be mainstreamed.”

Hawi Serbessa – Social Accountability Expert with Hundee    Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
HAWI: “Social Accountability for me, it is an approach that creates opportunity to citizens to speak their opinion, raise questions and express their interest regarding services they are receiving against their entitlement. It is also a mirror for the service providers that helps them see their service delivery performance whether they are on the right track or not using the communities’ feedback as an input for improvement.” 

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY? 
HAWI: “Almost all of the activates in the Social Accountability projects are good experiences for me but I enjoy moderating interface meetings because on interface meetings I witness citizens claiming their rights, giving feedback on the services they are being provided in front of service providers and propose reform agenda’s and contribute to think of actions for improvement. And this tells you that once a community gets proper accompaniment, it can exercise and enjoy influence. This is what I witnessed with the Community Score Card application in different weredas and kebeles.” 

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
HAWI “The major challenge, which was beyond our control, was that government experts and officials are always busy. But at the same time they confined the community including our targets with continuous meetings and campaign of development works. In the end we were forced to delay the SA implementation.” 

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
HAWI “Since it is an important issue, it has to be incorporated as a crosscutting issue in all developmental and humanitarian work. It is also possible to use different existing forums, associations and so on to mainstream Social Accountability.”

 

Adanech Admassu – Filmmaker who will produce a documentary on ESAP2    Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
ADANECH: “I am a citizen. As a citizen I have rights. These include getting basic services (health, roads, water, education etc). I need to know these rights. The service providers also have an obligation to provide basic services. So if the service providers do not provide me with the services which I have a right to receive then I have to hold them accountable and demand my rights. Here I understand that this is not pointing fingers but rather a process of mutual understanding, discussion and taking measures.”

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY? 
ADANECH: “As a film maker I travelled to remote areas in Gondar and Gojam. There are health posts that were formed to provide institutional delivery in the area. But the citizens didn't go to these health institutions as they didn't know better. They didn't know the benefits of getting institutional delivery service. Some didn't even know about the service. On the other hand there were lack of roads for transportation. The service providers (at the Health Post) knew what was expected of them and they were even promoting their services so that the citizens will understand what their 'rights' are with regards to institutional delivery (including free antenatal and postnatal care and free child delivery). Here I presented this example as my positive experience with Social Accountability as my film managed to teach the people about their rights and helped them use their rights. Because of the film I think the government will also put more effort in making better roads and also assign Ambulances to access these health. Here I should note that the citizens learned about their rights. Then they started using their rights. But they didn't need to hold the service providers accountable as the service providers (health posts and road authority) didn't fail to undertake their obligation. They were even promoting themselves and asking the citizens to use their services. This is why I think this is one of the best experience of mine with regards to social accountability.”

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
ADANECH: “Near where I live there is a transformer (besides a grinding mill). This transformer blew up a number of times due to, I guess, high power surge. So I and the neighbors call EEPCO to make this right. But they come late. But then they don't provide a lasting solution as the transformer blows up again when it rains and when the wind blows hard. 

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
ADANECH: “Social accountability can be mainstreamed in many ways. The documentary that is being produced is one way that this can be achieved. The different workshops, seminars etc that we surmise must have taken place for the different stakeholders were done to this effect. The entire process of Social Accountability itself that is being undertaken by ESAP 2 is designed to mainstream the social accountability into Ethiopia.”

 

Tigest Tewabe – Woreda coordinator at Addis Ababa Women Association     Back to Top

1: WHAT DOES SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY MEAN TO YOU?
TIGEST: “It means a lot to me, I even changed jobs so I could be involved with this. It is all about the community, the community has their own issues especially regarding to the services. Different providers provide different services and when it comes to the quality it’s a big issue. Different kinds of issues are raised but there is no one who can bring them together to close the gap and solve their issues. By applying Social Accountability in my woredaa, especially on health and education, I can say that people are making a difference in getting quality service. So that is the best thing that I am experiencing now. Not only for my professional experience, but also on a personal level its an achievement that people get better services.” 

2: WHAT IS YOUR BEST EXPERIENCE WITH SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY? 
TIGEST: “I didn’t think that the service providers would raise their issues and score themselves less than the score of the community. Sometimes the community gives a good score to the service providers but the providers give themselves lower grades when they try to evaluate themselves. Having this concept of evaluating themselves makes them work harder to achieve delivering services of better quality.” 

3: WHAT CHALLENGES DID YOU FACE WHEN TRYING TO IMPLEMENT SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY?
TIGEST: “Sometimes we notice that woreda officials change their position, and that makes it hard for our project. Because every time we face new people who have no idea about Social Accountability and we have to explain again and it makes the process go slower.”

4: HOW CAN SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY BE MAINSTREAMED?
TIGEST: “I’m sure the government wants to provide quality services but it’s difficult sometimes as they may not have enough workers in the government that facilitate this. Through these projects they will be benefited because the community will support the service providers. The community will always blame the service providers, they think it’s not their issue but it is the issue of the service provider. Nut now they understand that the community also has to do their part in order to demand services. So when the community does that, in different projects and sectors. Also, we produce different publications and when we go to an office, we talk about Social Accountability and show them our brochure, even when we are not working in that particular woreda. We just want to explain to everyone how Social Accountability works.”