Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Public accountability meet shares experiences

Government officials and civil society representatives from Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan are meeting in Kathmandu to share their experiences on public participation and accountability in the budget process.
The forum — organised by World Bank Institute (WBI), the Programme for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN) and the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability-South Asia (ANSA-SAR) started yesterday and concludes tomorrow.
"The World Bank has embarked on an ambitious Openness Agenda," said World Bank Country Manager for Nepal Tahseen Sayed.
"Transparency, accountability and citizen participation are all central to the citizen-oriented approach,” she said, adding that the World Bank realises that one of the best things that can be provided to the beneficiaries of development interventions is easy-to-use data and access to information from across the globe. "We now clearly understand that open access to data and information empowers citizen, advocacy groups and their governments and their policy makers, to make better-informed judgments."
It allows governments and citizens to monitor implementation progress and track development results more accurately,” she added.
The forum will provide participants with an overview of social accountability approaches and relevant tools for independent budget analysis, expenditure tracking, budget demystification and dissemination, procurement monitoring, and monitoring of service delivery.
It intends to serve as a kick off for devising country level action agenda on greater budget accountability at national and local level.
Stared three years ago, the $3 million Programme for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN) is going to conclude its first phase of programme in October and with the success of the programme, the multi donor trust has shown interest to fund it to continue the efforts of making governments more accountable on public finance and service delivery.
It is expected to help engage the government and community social organisations in the constructive way, apart from making people aware that their money — the public spending — is also their responsibility. The continuous oversight of the budget will help increase its output and expedite and ensure quality service.
The public accountability programme is going on in 20 districts of the country at present, informed programme coordinator of PRAN Richard Holloway.

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