The Learning Benchmark which brought together over 500 participants concluded today in Adama, Oromia.

The Learning Benchmark which brought together over 500 participants concluded today in Adama, Oromia. 
Participants said the LB was helpful in many ways.

Sintayehu Demeke, one of the participants of the learning benchmark, is the Dean of College of Law and Governance at Jimma University. As an academician, Sintayehu said the workshop has given him a clear insight on what SA tools to use in educational settings. He said, “We have a community based program at Jimma University and this workshop has helped me to identify the most appropriate tool which we have to implement on our CBE program. That’s basically why I am here; to learn from the people who are practicing social accountability. We were confused on which tool would be appropriate for implementing SA in academic institutions. Now we have a better understanding of what tool to use in our university.”

  

Tesfaye Idossa Project coordinator at OSHO, Sub partner of WSA said, “I have gained a lot of experiences on social accountability in my sector. The sessions that were grouped in different sectors helped me to learn more about how others implement the project in the specific sector I work in which is water and sanitation. We discussed ways of keeping SA sustainable and who should take part in it. In the water sector, our debate was on who should take the lead, water committees or government structures which constitute five citizens with one leader. We eventually agreed that water committees are far better focused on the issue of water rather than other government structures which are established to deal with different social issues. That was the biggest lesson I have learned from this workshop.”

 

Fantaye Tadese Wereda Coordinator with HIDA said, " I have learned that we will be fruitful if we collaboratively work with different government structures. The government institutions have shown interest in pursuing SA . The Directorate Director of Good Governance with the Ministry of Civil Service has expressed the interest of the government at the workshop. "

ESAP2’s Social Accountability Expert and Lead Facilitator of the LB Lucia Nass said, “We have really also learned from the LB about the things we need to do in the coming months to make sure SA continues in the country. For instance, we are following up on how the councils can become stronger out of SA experience. And also, we are going to study more on under spent budget at wereda levels and see if SA is helping local governments to spend money more wisely.”

The LB was also fun where participants had the opportunity to try various communication tools to scale up SA such as participatory drama, participatory video, photo story, story writing and radio.