Theatre for Social Accountability launched in Debrezeit on August 8, 2015.

The Management Agency’s Theater for Social Accountability (TSA) made its debut in the town of Debrezeit on Saturday, August 8, 2015.

The theatre titled “Kemeteyek…” is written and directed by Mihret Masresha. Two theatre groups from Social Accountability implementing Partners, PADET/SYGE and HIDA, were in practice for one week before taking to the stage to promote and enhance awareness about Social Accountability.

From introducing the concept of SA to presenting the different steps of SA process, the theatre showed citizens demanding for their entitlements and dealing about service problems with their local service providers.

To the surprise of audience members, a facilitator unexpectedly halted the theatre a few times in between the show to encourage discussions among the audience and receive their reflections.

Following the theatre, some of the audience members forwarded their feedback. Sosena Lemma, a Capacity Development Manager with the Civil Society Support Program, said, “I really liked the drama. It is basically a reflection of our daily lives. For someone who is not familiar with the Social Accountability concept, it provides a brief and creative content to describe what it means and what it is engaged in. The fact that there was room for discussion in between the drama gave the audience time to think about what they have seen and comprehend it even better.”

Memekia Woldegerima, Grant and Contract Expert with the British Council’s Civil Society Support Program said, “If each individual can take his/her responsibility, we can bring big changes in this country. If service providers and service receivers can openly discuss about service problems and if Civil Society Organizations can mediate between the two, positive changes are inevitable. Staging this drama in different woredas would be good. It will help people learn about Social Accountability. I really liked how the drama was presented in short different pieces because if it had been longer, it would have been boring. I think this has captured the audience’s attention.”

  

Beza Seleshi who works for the British Council in Harar said, “I had no idea what SA was before I watched this drama. I like the drama because it revealed the kind of service problems and gaps we have in our community. I used to always ask myself how this gap could be filled. I have now seen that there is a concept that has its own strategies, steps and tools and actually works to address service problems.”

Seleshi Getahun, the Regional Business Unit Manager with CSS Program in the Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) said, “there is a wide spread belief that our people do not demand for their entitlements to be respected. This way of managing programs, through the use of drama, may support and enhance the knowledge and understanding of the public to question about the quality of services they get from service providers.”

Two TSA openings and subsequent performances are planned in Addis Ababa in the coming few weeks.