Strengthening Local Government through Social Accountability Experiences of CARE Bangladesh Shared in an International Conference
19 September, 2017
CARE Bangladesh recently shared the working model of integrating social accountability mechanism with Local Government for making local budget and services pro-poor, gender-sensitive and inclusive in the International Academic Conference on Social Accountability in South and East Asia: Experiences, Lessons and Challenges. The conference was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on September 19 and 20, 2017, organized by National Academy of Governance of Mongolia in collaboration with LOGIN Asia and brought civil society representatives, Government officials and NGOs from India, Cambodia, Bhutan, Myanmar, Mongolia and Bangladesh.
In the panel session on institutional arrangement for constructive engagement, Anowarul Haq, CARE Bangladesh’s Director, Extreme Rural Poverty Program, shared experiences and learning from Journey for Advancement in Transparency, Representation and Accountability (JATRA) project.
With the institutionalization of social accountability processes, the project has been able to accomplish a number of remarkable results. In ward assembly (Gram Sava), 68% of the total participation is from poorer communities, among the participants 51% are women, 55% of issues are raised by poor and 25% are from poor women. In relation to inclusive resource allocation, 24% of the total Local Government (Union Parishad) budget has distinctly been allocated for the poorer communities and 40% of Local Government Support Program (LGSP) schemes have been implemented in the resource poor areas. The JATRA project, funded by Global Partnership for Social Accountability of World Bank, has facilitated social audit to improve LGSP schemes, Community Score Card to enhance pro-poor services and Self Evaluation of Union Parishad to foster pro-poor, gender-sensitive and inclusive mind-set change of locally elected representatives.
The presentation was followed by panel discussion on present discourse of social accountability, challenges and way forward with it by engaging with multi-stakeholders.