State-Minister visits SA projects in Adama

Dr Abraham Tekeste, State Minister of Finance and Economic Development personally spoke with citizens and service providers during his visit of Social Accountability projects in Adama town on Saturday, May 24th.

photo 1

He was welcomed by one of the Social Accountability Implementing Partners, Oromo Development Association (ODA). ODA gave a presentation on the projects progress and results in the sectors of Health, and Water and Sanitation. After identifying some of the results and improvements made by ODA in the community through Social Accountability, the challenges of implementing Social Accountability projects were also discussed, such as staff turnover – both at the partners organization and at the local administration level.

photo 2

ODA was part of the Participatory Video Training earlier this year and showed some of the produced videos to the State Minister, in which different stakeholder express their views on the water issues in Adama.

photo 3

To see the projects in actions, Dr Abraham then went to a water point in Adama town where he could see how citizens travel to this point to get water with his own eyes. He was surrounded by citizens who shared their experiences on Social Accountability. Partly because of the Social Accountability meetings and trainings, citizens spoke their minds in front of the State Minister and other officials. One service user explained how it was only after an interface meeting that she learned citizens have the right to ask how much the water cost and to find out for themselves if they are paying the right fees to their local administrators. Citizens also became aware of their rights and responsibilities after being involved with Social Accountability. They identified issues to the town adminisrations that relates to the maintenance of water points. Now more staff has assigned to maintain the water points for the citizens.

 

The State Minister finalized his Adama visit by lunching with service providers, to also hear their side of the story. He concluded the day by saying that Social Accountability is a pillar of good governance and realized when being in the field that citizens have started demanding good public basic services because of the Social Accountability projects. He added that service providers should be ready to respond and involve citizens in the development process. Dr Abraham emphasized that Social Accountability will only be sustainable if Social Accountability Committees are strengthened, executive bodys are involved in the process and Social Accountability initiatives are linked with other government structures.