giz Archive

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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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DCED Case Study of the African Cashew Initiative: Lessons from working with new and multiple partners in Ghana

The African Cashew Initiative (ACi) is a multi-country programme that is pioneering a formalised co-funding and implementation structure with various public and private partners and development organisations. It offers valuable lessons from managing multi-stakeholder partnerships, and collaboration between more ‘traditional’ development organisations and new donors like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Further, the ACi’s evolving approach to results measurement, and the challenges and opportunities encountered in integrating African smallholders into global value chains offer interesting insights. Read the full case study here: http://www.value-chains.org/dyn/bds/docs/detail2/824/3

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LearnCafés for Learning from Evaluation | GIZ

LearnCafés are internal GIZ-events, where the results of evaluations can be discussed in a forum. The underlying idea: evaluation reports do not automatically lead to change. In order to benefit from the results of an evaluation, a learning process is required. The LearnCafé is an instrument that provides the opportunity to learn. It is a communicative space where participants and stakeholders meet to discuss results and insights gained through an evaluation. The discussion helps to propagate these results and insights within the community and to enhance perspectives. The participants can discuss, whether the evaluation calls for action and what measures could be taken as a result. They agree on recommendations for the implementation, that are followed up by executives of the GIZ and its partners. More…

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GIZ Site on Evaluation: Knowing what Works and How it Works

GIZ has published a site on impact-oriented evaluation for their participants. It has some interesting links, not all of them in German only. See
http://globalconnect.giz.de/en/topics/topic-of-the-month/monatsthemen/juli/july-2011.html

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The Green Star Hotel Initiative supports the greening of Egypt’s tourism industry

Tourism key to the economic recovery of Egypt. The Green Star Hotel Initiative (GSHI) aims to improve the environmental performance and competitiveness of the Egyptian hotel industry by promoting the implementation of environmental management systems and environmentally sound operations, Within the framework of the PPP program oft eh German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development BMZ, Egyptian and German tourism key players joined forces with technical assistance provided by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to move the Egyptian hotel industry towards sustainability. The Initiative is operated by AGEG Consultants eG. http://www.greenstarhotel.net

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Tracking the effectiveness of climate change adaptation

GTZ. Monitoring and evaluation – tracking the effectiveness of adaptation.

M&E plays a central role in capturing whether and how interventions lead to the successful achievement of their objectives. This is of particular importance in the relatively new field of adaptation to climate change, where interventions are still in the phase of being defined and tested. Showing which ad aptation interventions lead to desired results is also important in securing funding, since financial resources are being made available specifically for adaptation measures and funders want proof of how they enable adaptation.

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Germany merges technical cooperation services into the GIZ

The German federal government has launched a new agency for technical cooperation. At
the start of 2011, the new ‘‘Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit”
(German Agency for International Cooperation) will take up its work. This agency, called GIZ, will be created by merging the three government organisations of GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit), DED (German Development
Service) and InWEnt (Capacity Building International, Germany). Having some 19,000 employees, operating in around 130 countries with revenues that are close to € 2
billion a year, the GIZ is likely to be the largest consulting company. Seven men will compose the executive body. In essence, the reform aims to streamline TC
organisations and make them more effective agents of development cooperation. It also
seeks to enhance the political steering role of the Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development while clearly allocating implementation tasks to the new
organisation. The German financial cooperation continues to be carried out separately by KfW Entwicklungsbank. http://tinyurl.com/36tyts7