Governance Archive

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What would Magufuli do? … to cut costs

Users tweeting #WhatWouldMagufuliDo are offering wry ways to emulate Tanzania’s John Magufuli’s clampdown on wasteful spending.


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Corruption on the rise in Africa poll as governments seen failing to stop it

Transparency International estimates 75 million Africans paid a bribe in the past year BERLIN, Germany, December 1, 2015 ()TI/APO) – A majority of Africans say corruption has risen in the past 12 months and most governments are seen as failing in their duty to stop the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals, according to a new opinion poll from Transparency International (http://www.Transparency.org). In the report People and Corruption: Africa Survey 2015, part of the Global Corruption Barometer, Transparency International partnered with Afrobarometer, which spoke to 43,143 respondents across 28 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa between March 2014 and September 2015 to ask them about their experiences and perceptions of corruption in their country. The majority (58 per cent) of Africans in the surveyed countries, say corruption has increased over the past 12 months. In 18 out of 28 countries surveyed a large majority of people said their government is doing […]
Transparency International estimates 75 million Africans paid a bribe in the past year
BERLIN, Germany, December 1, 2015 ()TI/APO) – A majority of Africans say corruption has risen in the past 12 months and most governments are seen as failing in their duty to stop the abuse of power, bribery and secret deals, according to a new opinion poll from Transparency International (http://www.Transparency.org).

In the report People and Corruption: Africa Survey 2015, part of the Global Corruption Barometer, Transparency International partnered with Afrobarometer, which spoke to 43,143 respondents across 28 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa between March 2014 and September 2015 to ask them about their experiences and perceptions of corruption in their country.

The majority (58 per cent) of Africans in the surveyed countries, say corruption has increased over the past 12 months. In 18 out of 28 countries surveyed a large majority of people said their government is doing badly at fighting corruption.

Despite these disappointing findings, the bright spots across the continent were in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Senegal. Citizens in these countries were some of the most positive in the region when discussing corruption.

For the first time, people reported business executives as highly corrupt. Business ranked as having the second highest levels of corruption in the region, just below the police. The police regularly rate as highly corrupt, but the strongly negative assessment of business executives is new compared to previous surveys.

Many Africans, particularly the poor, are burdened by corruption when trying to get access to key basic services in their country. 22 per cent of people that have come into contact with a public service in the past 12 months paid a bribe.

Of the six key public services that we asked about, people who come into contact with the courts and police are the most likely to have paid a bribe. 28 per cent and 27 per cent respectively of people who had contact with these services paid a bribe. Across the continent, poor people who use public services are twice as likely as rich people to have paid a bribe, and in urban areas they are even more likely to pay bribes.

“Corruption creates and increases poverty and exclusion. While corrupt individuals with political power enjoy a lavish life, millions of Africans are deprived of their basic needs like food, health, education, housing, access to clean water and sanitation. We call on governments and judges to stop corruption, eradicate impunity and implement Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals to curb corruption. We also call on the people to demand honesty and transparency, and mobilize against corruption. It is time to say enough and unmask the corrupt,” said Transparency International Chair José Ugaz.

It is increasingly clear that citizens are a key part of any anti-corruption initiative. However, the survey finds that corruption reporting mechanisms are often seen as too dangerous, ineffective or unclear. More than 1 out of 3 Africans thinks that a whistleblower faces negative consequences for reporting corruption, which is why most people don’t report.

“Our work as civil society is clear: we have to spread a message of hope across the continent. Corruption can be tackled. People need to be given the space to stand up against it without fear of retaliation and governments need to get serious about ending the widespread impunity.”

Transparency International recommends:

– Governments strengthen and enforce legislation on corrupt business people and anti-money laundering to curb the high volume of illicit flows from the continent. This could address the negative perception of business if those profiting are held to account.
– Governments establish right to information and whistle-blower protection legislation to facilitate the role of civil society in making public institutions more transparent, accountable and corruption-free.
– Governments show a sustained and deep commitment to acting on police corruption at all levels by promoting reforms that combine punitive measures with structural changes over the short- and medium-term. Cracking down on petty bribery has direct impact on the most vulnerable in society.
– The African Union and its members provide the political will and financing needed to implement the review mechanism established for its anti-corruption convention.

Unless it’s stopped, corruption slows development and economic growth while weakening people’s trust in government and the accountability of public institutions.

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Better tax systems crucial for development | ADDIS TAX INITIATIVE starts

Mobilising the revenues needed to further development and improve people’s lives will depend on broader tax bases, stronger tax institutions, and redoubled efforts to stem both cross-border and domestic tax evasion and avoidance. In many countries billions of dollars are lost every year to narrow tax bases, weak administrative capacity, and poor tax compliance. Helping countries to strengthen their tax systems and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires a new framework for action. In launching the Addis Tax Initiative, over 30 countries and international organisations have now teamed up to strengthen international cooperation in this area. The Initiative highlights the crucial importance of domestic revenue for financing development and specifically stresses the importance of tackling domestic and cross-border tax evasion and avoidance. Harnessing the momentum of the Financing for Development agenda, the Addis Tax Initiative brings new energy and enthusiasm to the field of domestic resource mobilisation (DRM), emphasizing […]

Mobilising the revenues needed to further development and improve people’s lives will depend on broader tax bases, stronger tax institutions, and redoubled efforts to stem both cross-border and domestic tax evasion and avoidance. In many countries billions of dollars are lost every year to narrow tax bases, weak administrative capacity, and poor tax compliance. Helping countries to strengthen their tax systems and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires a new framework for action.

In launching the Addis Tax Initiative, over 30 countries and international organisations have now teamed up to strengthen international cooperation in this area. The Initiative highlights the crucial importance of domestic revenue for financing development and specifically stresses the importance of tackling domestic and cross-border tax evasion and avoidance.

Harnessing the momentum of the Financing for Development agenda, the Addis Tax Initiative brings new energy and enthusiasm to the field of domestic resource mobilisation (DRM), emphasizing the importance of building sustainable DRM capacity through increased technical cooperation, strong domestic governance and institutions, and the political will to drive forward tax system reforms.

In the spirit of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the countries subscribing to the Addis Tax Initiative declare their commitment to enhance the mobilisation and effective use of domestic resources and to improve the fairness, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of their tax systems. Concretely, participants commit to step up efforts as specified below:

  • Participating providers of international support will collectively double their technical cooperation in the area of domestic revenue mobilisation and taxation by 2020;
  • Partner countries restate their commitment to step up domestic resource mobilisation as a key means of implementation for attaining the SDGs and inclusive development; and
  • All countries restate their commitment to ensure Policy Coherence for Development.

In addition to broad-based capacity building, participating providers of international support stand ready to expand cooperation in the following areas:

  • Enabling partner countries take advantage of the progress made on the international tax agenda, such as the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project and the Global Forum on Tax Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes;.
  • Integrating partner countries into the global tax debate; and
  • Improving taxation and management of revenue from natural resources.

In addition to routine OECD-DAC reporting, the International Tax Compact (ITC) will play a coordinating role to monitor and report on the increased support facilitated by this Initiative.

An ITC/OECD discussion paper released last week, ‘Examples of Successful DRM Reforms and the Role of International Co-operation’, illustrates country cases where substantial improvements in both DRM capacity and revenues were facilitated by international support. These include an additional US$55 million collected in Kenya due to better transfer pricing and a ten-fold increase in tax revenue in Colombia.

The following countries have joined the Addis Tax Initiative: Australia, Belgium, Cameroon, Denmark, Ethiopia, European Commission, Finland, France, Italy, Germany, Indonesia, Korea, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malawi, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

In addition, the following international organisations have expressed their support for the Addis Tax Initiative: African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF), Inter-American Centre of Tax Administrations (CIAT), IMF, OECD, World Bank and the Gates Foundation. Source: German BMZ.

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Volunteers vital to success of new global development agenda, UN report says

New York (UN) – Volunteers are playing a vital role in making governments worldwide more accountable and responsive to their citizens, but their potential is seriously under-valued, a new report from the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme says.

The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015 is the first global review of evidence around the contribution of volunteers to better governance, a pre-requisite for the success of the new Sustainable Development Goals to be agreed at the United Nations in September.

Drawing on evidence from countries as diverse as Brazil, Kenya, Lebanon and Bangladesh, the UN report shows how ordinary people are volunteering their time, energies and skills to improve the way they are governed and engaged at local, national and global levels. Volunteers are working with governments and civil society to hold those in power to account, to influence policies and laws and to represent the voices of those who are often left out of development decisions such as women, youth and marginalised groups. The end result, the report says, is more inclusive- and ultimately more effective – development.

“By creating environments for people to volunteer their time, it is possible to use their skills and knowledge for the common good in the sphere of governance.” said Richard Dictus, Executive Coordinator of UNV. “Change will occur with greater civic engagement broadening the number of people who have voice, who can participate and who can hold governance actors to account.”

More than 1 billion people volunteer globally, the majority of them working in their own countries. Many are in the forefront of efforts to improve the way they and their fellow citizens are governed and engaged. Examples featured in the report include:

  • Brazil’s Social Observatories – citizens’ groups monitoring city contracts for corruption who have saved millions of dollars in public funds;
  • Regional campaigns in the Arab world to challenge laws preventing women married to foreign nationals from passing on their nationality to their children;
  • The global movement to secure an agreement to regulate conditions for garment workers following the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh.

The State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015 says there is widespread agreement that future development efforts will have to include radically different approaches in order to better engage people in their own, their communities’ and their countries’ development.

While the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed by governments in 2000, successfully galvanised people around clearly articulated targets, they have fallen short of their ambition in some issues and in some countries because countries’ development efforts have not sufficiently reflected the needs of all citizens, the report says.

The new post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, to be agreed at the United Nations in September, will only succeed if they include the voices of all people, and look into ways to engage communities more effectively, including through the power of volunteers and volunteering.

Speaking at the launch of the report in New York, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark said: “The potential of volunteers to help create truly people-centred development is enormous, but, as yet, far from fully tapped. Achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals will be helped by the participation of all sections of society. Volunteers have a critical role to play in representing the voices of those who are often excluded from development decisions, including women and other groups who may be marginalised”.

The report finds that countries that provide a supportive “enabling environment” for volunteers tend to reap the rewards of their inclusion in decision-making. It praises some governments such as Peru, Mozambique and Norway who have passed laws and set up frameworks to formalise the contribution of volunteers. But it says too many other governments are failing to acknowledge – and leverage – the immense potential of volunteers to help them chart a more successful development path. It calls on all governments to “go beyond the rhetoric of participation” and take concrete steps to help the world’s volunteers actively contribute to the decisions that affect people’s lives.

Recommended steps include:

  • Engaging more volunteers in the process of crafting policies and putting them into action
  • Integrating volunteers formally into national development frameworks and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) strategies
  • Engaging more volunteer women, youth and marginalised groups in local and national decision making

The aim of the 2015 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report, UNV says, is to spark a global conversation about the role of volunteers in the area of governance that is so critical to future development success.

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Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluations | DME for Peace

Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluations | DME for Peace.

This Guidance is aimed at increasing knowledge on the application of these two approaches in evaluation processes but also at raising awareness on their specific relevance and significance for UN work. It complements the UNEG’s Handbook ‘Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluation: Towards UNEG Guidance’, an abridged version that outlines practical steps on how to prepare, conduct and use HR & GE responsive evaluations. The present document deepends each of these aspects, and provides additional theoretical and applied information, tools and suggestions.

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More pressure on African governments to have stronger enforcement of anti-bribery and corruption regulation 

“The way that things have always been done” is changing in many African countries   LAGOS, Nigeria, March 13, 2015/ — 57.6% of companies see the development of policies and procedures that can be practically applied in all countries as the most challenging internal anti-corruption and compliance issue. This is one of the topics discussed today at a webcast with Uche Orji, CEO and Managing Director, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), hosted by Control Risks’ CEO Richard Fenning (https://www.controlrisks.com).   • While FCPA and UKBA still lead anti-bribery and corruption regulation, in a number of African countries the governments feel increasing pressure to join the current trend of stronger enforcement of anti-bribery and corruption regulation in developing countries   • An integrated, global approach to mitigate corruption risk is important, but local adjustment is key   •  “The way that things have always been done” is changing in many African countries and often […]

“The way that things have always been done” is changing in many African countries
 
LAGOS, Nigeria, March 13, 2015/ — 57.6% of companies see the development of policies and procedures that can be practically applied in all countries as the most challenging internal anti-corruption and compliance issue. This is one of the topics discussed today at a webcast with Uche Orji, CEO and Managing Director, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), hosted by Control Risks’ CEO Richard Fenning (https://www.controlrisks.com).
 
• While FCPA and UKBA still lead anti-bribery and corruption regulation, in a number of African countries the governments feel increasing pressure to join the current trend of stronger enforcement of anti-bribery and corruption regulation in developing countries
 
• An integrated, global approach to mitigate corruption risk is important, but local adjustment is key
 
•  “The way that things have always been done” is changing in many African countries and often management determination and the acceptance of “wasted” time and higher costs can avoid the need for bribes to secure business.
 
•  Only 66% of internationally operating companies have policies in place that forbid facilitation payments
 
Tom Griffin, Managing Director West Africa, Control Risks, comments on the discussion:
 

“Often companies try to roll-out a global anti-bribery and corruption programme from Western headquarters and are then surprised that it is not effectively implemented in other markets – this is not unique to African countries. Companies need to adapt the policies and initiatives to the local culture, for example the type of training for employees. Some of our clients with their headquarters in Africa are more effective in their fight against bribery and corruption than those headquartered elsewhere, as they have an anti-bribery and corruption programme very focussed on the specific issues of their market.”
 
“Knowing the local market and the country you are operating in is key to implementing a successful anti-bribery and corruption programme.”
 
“Control Risks sees a change in ‘how things have always been done’ in many African countries. The fight against corruption is higher on the political agenda than ever before and when we discuss the corruption problems in operating in these countries, we need to acknowledge this.
 

* Source: International business attitude to corruption, Control Risks, 2015. Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Control Risks.

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Human Development Report 2014 on vulnerability and resilience warns: 2.2 billion people are poor or near-poor

Persistent vulnerability threatens human development, and unless it is systematically tackled by policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable. This is the core premise of the 2014 Human Development Report. Entitled Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience, the Report provides a fresh perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience. The 2014 Human Development Report comes at a critical time, as attention turns to the creation of a new development agenda following the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. According to income-based measures of poverty, 1.2 billion people live with $1.25 or less a day. However, according to the UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index, almost 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards. And although poverty is declining overall, almost 800 million people are at risk of falling back into […]

Persistent vulnerability threatens human development, and unless it is systematically tackled by policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable. This is the core premise of the 2014 Human Development Report. Entitled Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience, the Report provides a fresh perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience.

The 2014 Human Development Report comes at a critical time, as attention turns to the creation of a new development agenda following the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

According to income-based measures of poverty, 1.2 billion people live with $1.25 or less a day. However, according to the UNDP Multidimensional Poverty Index, almost 1.5 billion people in 91 developing countries are living in poverty with overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards. And although poverty is declining overall, almost 800 million people are at risk of falling back into poverty if setbacks occur. Many people face either structural or life-cycle vulnerabilities.

“By addressing vulnerabilities, all people may share in development progress, and human development will become increasingly equitable and sustainable,” stated UNDP Administrator Helen Clark when launching th HDR in Tokyo on 24. July 2014.

Zeroing in on what holds back progress

The Report holds that as crises spread ever faster and further, it is critical to understand vulnerability in order to secure gains and sustain progress.

It points to a slowdown in human development growth across all regions, as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). It notes that threats such as financial crises, fluctuations in food prices, natural disasters and violent conflict significantly impede progress.

“Reducing both poverty and people’s vulnerability to falling into poverty must be a central objective of the post-2015 agenda,” the Report states. “Eliminating extreme poverty is not just about ‘getting to zero’; it is also about staying there.”

A human development lens on who is vulnerable and why

“Reducing vulnerability is a key ingredient in any agenda for improving human development,” writes Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, in a contribution to the Report. “[We] need to approach it from a broad systemic perspective.”

The 2014 Report takes such an approach, using a human development lens to take a fresh look at vulnerability as an overlapping and mutually reinforcing set of risks.

It explores structural vulnerabilities – those that have persisted and compounded over time as a result of discrimination and institutional failings, hurting groups such as the poor, women, migrants, people living with disabilities, indigenous groups and older people. For instance, 80 percent of the world’s elderly lack social protection, with large numbers of older people also poor and disabled.

The Report also introduces the idea of life cycle vulnerabilities, the sensitive points in life where shocks can have greater impact. They include the first 1,000 days of life, and the transitions from school to work, and from work to retirement.

“Capabilities accumulate over an individual’s lifetime and have to be nurtured and maintained; otherwise they can stagnate and even decline,” it warns. “Life capabilities are affected by investments made in preceding stages of life, and there can be long-term consequences of exposure to short-term shocks.”

For example, in one study cited by the Report, poor children in Ecuador were shown to be already at a vocabulary disadvantage by the age of six.

Timely interventions—such as investments in early childhood development—are therefore critical, the Report states.

Poor countries can afford universal provision of basic social services

The Report advocates for the universal provision of basic social services to enhance resilience, refuting the notion that only wealthy countries can afford to do this. It presents a comparative analysis of countries of differing income levels and systems of government that have either started to implement or have fully implemented such policies.

Those countries include not only the usual suspects such as Denmark, Norway and Sweden, but also fast-growing economies such as Republic of Korea and developing countries such as Costa Rica.
“These countries started putting in place measures of social insurance when their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita was lower than India’s and Pakistan’s now,” the Report observes.

However, “there may be instances in which equal opportunities require unequal treatment,” notes Khalid Malik, Director of UNDP’s Human Development Report Office. “Greater resources and services may need to be provided to the poor, the excluded and the marginalized to enhance everyone’s capabilities and life choices.”

Putting full employment back atop the global policy agenda

The Report calls for governments to recommit to the objective of full employment, a mainstay of macroeconomic policies of the 1950s and 1960s that was overtaken by competing policy goals following the oil shocks of the 1970s.

It argues that full employment yields social dividends that surpass private benefits, such as fostering social stability and cohesion.

Acknowledging the challenges that developing countries face with respect to full employment, it urges a focus on structural transformation “so that modern formal employment gradually incorporates most of the workforce,” including a transition from agriculture into industry and services, with supporting investments in infrastructure and education.

Social protection is feasible at early stages of development

The majority of the world’s population lacks comprehensive social protections such as pensions and unemployment insurance. The Report argues that such measures are achievable by countries at all stages of development.

“Providing basic social security benefits to the world’s poor would cost less than 2 percent of global GDP,” it asserts. It cites estimates of the cost of providing a basic social protection floor—including universal basic old age and disability pensions, basic childcare benefits, universal access to essential health care, social assistance and a 100-day employment scheme—for 12 low-income African and Asian countries, ranging from about 10 percent of GDP in Burkina Faso to less than 4 percent of GDP in India.

“A basic social protection package is affordable so long as low-income countries reallocate funds and raise domestic resources, coupled with support by the international donor community,” it states.

Collective effort, coordinated action needed at global level

The Report also calls for stronger collective action, as well as better global coordination and commitment to shoring up resilience, in response to vulnerabilities that are increasingly global in origin and impact.

Threats ranging from financial crises to climate change to conflicts are trans-national in nature, but the effects are experienced locally and nationally and often overlap. Take the case of Niger, which has faced severe food and nutrition crises brought on by a series of droughts. At the same time, Niger had to cope with an influx of refugees fleeing conflict in neighbouring Mali.
Trans-national threats cannot be resolved by individual nations acting independently; they require a new focus from the international community that goes beyond short-term responses like humanitarian assistance, the Report argues.

To increase support for national programmes and open up policy space for nations to adapt universalism to specific country conditions, the Report calls for “an international consensus on universal social protection” to be included in the post-2015 agenda.

About this Report

The 2014 Human Development Report – Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience provides a fresh perspective on vulnerability and proposes ways to strengthen resilience.

The Human Development Report is an editorially independent publication of the United Nations Development Programme. For free downloads of the 2014 Human Development Report, plus additional reference materials on its indices and specific regional implications, please visit: http://hdr.undp.org

Download the Report http://hdr.undp.org/2014-report/download

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Connective Cities: cities for sustainable development

Learning from one another is the goal of Connective Cities, the new international network of cities for sustainable development. The network started on 24 June in Leipzig. More than half of the world’s population now live in towns and cities, and this is set to increase even further. Combating poverty and tackling environmental and traffic problems represent major challenges for many urban areas. However, they often find particularly innovative solutions, as representatives of municipalities in Germany and abroad demonstrated at the launch of Connective Cities in Leipzig. Connective Cities aims to promote sustainable urban development and give municipalities more opportunities to share their experience of innovative solutions. The network is designed to bring together practitioners from across the globe to implement good ideas on as broad a basis as possible. ‘Change doesn’t happen suddenly; it’s a process,’ Linda Mbonambi from eThekwini Municipality (Durban), South Africa, emphasised. Citizens there can play […]

Learning from one another is the goal of Connective Cities, the new international network of cities for sustainable development. The network started on 24 June in Leipzig.

More than half of the world’s population now live in towns and cities, and this is set to increase even further. Combating poverty and tackling environmental and traffic problems represent major challenges for many urban areas. However, they often find particularly innovative solutions, as representatives of municipalities in Germany and abroad demonstrated at the launch of Connective Cities in Leipzig. Connective Cities aims to promote sustainable urban development and give municipalities more opportunities to share their experience of innovative solutions. The network is designed to bring together practitioners from across the globe to implement good ideas on as broad a basis as possible.

‘Change doesn’t happen suddenly; it’s a process,’ Linda Mbonambi from eThekwini Municipality (Durban), South Africa, emphasised. Citizens there can play a role in shaping sustainable urban development. The municipality representatives at Leipzig all agreed that the crucial factors are a good deal of creativity plus courageous individuals prepared to push ahead with innovations. They shared their approaches on cooperating with local businesses and on climate-friendly urban development.

To foster plans for alliances for sustainable urban development, there are to be conferences, workshops, training sessions and information trips, offering a wide range of opportunities for people to expand their knowledge and to set up networks. Connective Cities provides access to experience from all over the world via a web portal.

Cities play a key role in sustainable, resource-saving global development. Connective Cities allows municipalities to discuss how closed loop systems work, how to manage transport in an environmentally compatible way and how energy efficiency can be enhanced. Another important aspect is how cities can achieve social integration and social justice.

Connective Cities is a joint venture between the Association of German Cities, the German non-profit organisation Engagement Global – Service for Development Initiatives, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Further information: www.connective-cities.net

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Evaluating Social Accountability Pilot Interventions in the Palestinian territories

Karsten Weitzenegger (AGEG Consultants eG) is currently evaluating Social Accountability Pilot Interventions in the Palestinian territories together with his colleague Dr. Nahed R. Eid (Effects for Consultations & Development) in Gaza. The evaluation is part of the Local Governance and Civil Society Development Programme (LGP 3), which is financed by the German BMZ and carried out by GIZ from Ramallah.

Concept

Social accountability complements formal accountability with citizen-led ac-countability mechanisms.

Social accountability is based on four conceptual building blocks: transparency, participation, response, and monitoring; in order for these measures to be effec-tive, they must be implemented as part of a system. Transparency supports pro-cesses that enable access to information in the public domain, including system-atic reporting on operations, budgets, programs, and priorities. Participation refers to a citizen’s right to participate in the decision-making process, including strategic planning, budget formulation, and a complaints system. Response refers to the capacity and willingness of institutions to identify and respond to the needs and preferences of citizens and to request citizen feedback. Monitoring is the systematic collection and analysis of information that enables stakeholders, as third-party monitors, to determine whether service providers are implementing their responsibilities according to the law. Traditionally, social accountability refers to relationships between governments and NGOs, CSOs, service beneficiaries, and citizens. In the WB&G context, NGOs and CBOs deliver public services that are complementary to the PA and in areas where the PA has difficulty operating; in this context NGOs and CBOs are service providers.

Background

As the backbone of public administration, local authorities in the Palestinian territories carry special responsibility for providing basic services for the population. However, the municipal and local authorities have been severely affected by the occupation and the accompanying economic and political crisis. The local economy is in stagnation; many citizens are unable or unwilling to pay fees or taxes. Thus the budgets of the local authorities are shrinking and it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to deliver important local services.

In accordance with the principles of good governance, the partner authorities are being empowered to modernise their administrations, introduce transparent financial management and improve the quality of their service provision. Elected local officials and employees of civil society organisations are being given training to enable them to cooperate in local policy planning and decision-making processes and to carry out joint initiatives. In this way the programme supports local reform processes, strengthens the participation of the people in the political process and promotes the development of democratic structures.

The priority at national level is to establish an enabling environment for the local authorities. Above all, this involves regulating and supervising the local administrations, shaping the relationships between national, regional and local levels, allocating responsibilities, and establishing a funding basis for the cities, towns and municipalities.

LGP3 consists of three key components; the first aims at strengthening the regulatory framework at the national level, the second aims at up scaling capacity building packages and knowledge exchange/learning mechanisms to municipalities through the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF), the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) , as well as academia.

The third component aims at strengthening municipal responsiveness. It shall develop municipal benchmarks and prepare for up-scaling. In 2012, a pilot project had established ‘one-stop shop’ offices in eight local authorities to provide services to the local population. Up to 250,000 people have already used these offices, whose services include offering access to essential local services, issuing water and electricity bills and awarding licences all under one roof. This successful model is to be rolled out to many other interested local authorities via the MDLF.

Main approach at the moment is Social Accountability (SA), which is applied by the following mechanisms:

  • Institutionalization of SA mechanisms aligned to existing municipal processes such as planning (Strategic Development and Investment Planning – SDIP), Service delivery (One -Stop-Shops OSS), and political leadership.
  • Capacity development on the local level for CSOs to assure proper institutionalization of SA mechanisms
  • Youth Create Change: developing mechanisms to assure youth participation in local decision making

Following the implementation of the SA tools, the interventions could be up-scaled through the Municipal Development Programme, which is implemented by the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF), or through other roll-out mechanisms. In addition, selected SA mechanisms will be promoted for institutionalization at the national level and are planned to be integrated into the national regulatory framework through policies and guidelines.

Youth Create Change

Moreover, a tailored Social Accountability sub-component was designed to enhance youth participation in local decision making (April 2013 / March 2014); the intervention is called the Youth Create Change (YCC). The specific goal of YCC is to identify, pilot and evaluate local and national strategies for youth engagement in local decision making processes.

During the pilot phase, new structures were established: the Youth Officer, a municipal employee that works as focal person for all youth related issues; his/her main tasks are planning, initiating, coordinating and assisting in any activity related to the area of youth work in the municipality. Moreover, the development of a youth action plan; the allocation of a specific municipal budget line for youth projects and initiatives and youth centers are going to be at disposal of young people. In addition to building the capacities of the municipality, the program intends to utilize Youth Promoters: adolescents (15-29 years old) who play a strategic role in terms of mobilizing their peers for youth related issues and act as a mediator and facilitator between the Youth Officer and the young people in the community.

Stakeholders

GIZ is implementing the LGP in cooperation with German political foundations. Lead executing agency is the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government. International Partners include the World Bank, AfD, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, EU (all through MDP/ MDLF), UNDP, JICA, US-Aid/CHF, and SDC.

In Component 3, LGP collaborates with the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF), 6 Civil Society Organizations, 10 Municipalities in the West Bank and 7 Municipalities in the Gaza Strip.

For more background see the atricle “Foundations for a new state” by Ulrich Nitschke, Kristin Hentschel in D+C 26/02/2013,
http://www.dandc.eu/en/article/municipal-planning-palestinian-territories-increasingly-tailored-citizens-needs

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Evaluation of non-governmental development organizations | UNU-WIDER WP/2014/026

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are now widely used in development economics. However, their use is often resisted by non-governmental development organizations. The objections they raise differ between the three types of activities of such non-governmental organizations (NGOs): capacity building, advocacy, and service delivery. This paper discusses the objections and alternatives to RCTs for each type. RCTs might not be appropriate even for service delivery, the activity which would appear to be best suited to their use. This is because typically local NGO staff can use their discretion in selecting communities or individuals for participation in a service-delivery programme. A standard RCT does not mimic the use of private knowledge of local circumstances and can therefore be misleading.

Chris Elbers and Jan Willem Gunning
WIDER Working Paper 2014/026

via UNU-WIDER : WP/2014/026 Evaluation of non-governmental development organizations.