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Africa Research Workshop UNU-Merit/MGSoG Maastricht, 21 October 2011 Public Accountability in Development Renée Speijcken Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/UNU-Merit Maastricht University [email protected] Why is public accountability important for development ?.

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Africa Research Workshop UNU-Merit/MGSoG

Maastricht, 21 October 2011

Public Accountability in Development

Renée Speijcken

Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/UNU-Merit

Maastricht University

[email protected]

why is public accountability important for development
Why is public accountability important for development ?
  • Democratic control of government & trust in democratic system
  • Prevention of misuse of power and corruption
  • Improvement of functioning, effectiveness and responsiveness of government (e.g. service delivery)
  • 1+2+3 = contribute to legitimacy of government
  • Increasing learning capability of organizations or individuals
  • Public catharsis (Truth commission - South Africa)
  • For donors: Aid effectiveness
what is public accountability
What is Public Accountability?
  • Contextual process, between Actor (supply side/state) and Forum (demand side/citizens-civil society)
  • Actor and forum interact through accountability mechanisms (conventional and new ones)
my phd research
My PhD research
  • Focus on role of donors in promoting public accountability in developing countries
  • Focus on political party aid of Dutch donor Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy with regard to set up of Centres for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) (all political parties participating) in Kenya and Malawi

Research question:

Does, and if so, to what extent and under what conditions, NIMDs ‘CMD-approach’ assist political parties in their key roles between citizens and state, to enhance public accountability?

my phd research 2
My PhD research (2)

Key Methodology:

Theory Based Evaluation (TBE) approach:

  • Unpack the black box of NIMDs intervention theory (change theory) by reconstructing /unraveling the underlying causal assumptions about the mechanisms that lead inputs to outputs to outcomes to impacts
  • Assess the tenability and validity of the core sets of these assumptions on change mechanisms on the basis of existing scientific theories, insights and practices in behavioral and social science on micro, meso and macro levels
  • Assess the assumptions in practice in two case studies in Kenya and Malawi (centres for multipary democracy, established by NIMD)
my phd research 3
My PhD research (3)

Key Preliminary Findings on basis of assessment of NIMD intervention theory and Kenya case study (2003-2009):

Main contribution of NIMD seems to be

  • enhancing mutual trust among parties via cooperation in CMD and stronger collective identity
  • Increased trust between electorate, civil society and parties in specific areas (women and minorities participation in politics), by joint projects and new interfaces for debate and accountability
  • contributes to national regulatory reforms

However:

  • Few individual behavioural changes of politicians
  • no deeper changes on level of ‘rules of the game’ (power relations), parties organizational stability and added value to society in public accountability
my phd research 4
My PhD research (4)

Main preliminary causes for limited results identified:

  • Weak intervention/change theory with regard to :
    • Impact of informal accountability mechanisms such as patronage on promotion and establishment of formal accountability mechanisms
    • How individual outcomes should translate to collective outcomes (micro macro problem ‘Coleman’)
  • Promotion of ‘ideal type roles’ of political parties to enhance public accountability in Kenya that insufficiently take into account local contexts, dynamics and practices
  • Local CMD: Institutional governance problems and multiple contrasting accountabilities, because of complicated organizational structure; unclear delineation of responsibilities; insufficient seniority of political party representation; lack of M&E for accountability & internal learning
  • Ownership is challenged by donor dependency
my africa related contract research
My Africa related contract research

Three areas:

  • role of donors in promoting public accountability (PA) for improved governance, effective service delivery, stronger democratization and increased aid effectiveness
  • Role, capacities, needs, context of demand side actors (citizens/civil society/private sector) in policy and accountability processes
  • Role, capacities, needs, context of supply side actors (elected representatives, policy makers, civil servants, private service providers) in policy and accountability processes

Focus on: mechanisms (accountability, relational, cognitive, environmental)

my africa related contract research 2
My Africa related contract research (2)

Examples:

  • Study of accountability assessment frameworks – International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Support (IDEA), pilots Zambia, Mozambique
  • Study of the role of (I)NGOs in enhancing citizens engagement in public accountability mechanisms and policy process for effective service delivery – special attention to education and human rights/democracy sectors in Sub Sahara African countries-ICCO
  • Study of the Institutionalization process of Centres for Multiparty Democracy in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia – NIMD
my africa related training and policy advice activities
My Africa related training and policy advice activities

Target groups:

  • civil servants, elected representatives and civil society organizations from variety of SSA countries
  • Policy makers and/or implementers from Western European donor organizations and INGOs. Among others: IDEA International Stockholm, Swiss Development Organization Helvetas; Ministry of Foreign Affairs Netherlands; ICCO Netherlands; Oxfam Novib Netherlands; VNG International.
my africa related training and policy advice activities 2
My Africa related training and policy advice activities (2)

Examples of training courses:

  • Citizens participation in public accountability mechanisms for effective local service delivery (and preventing corruption) (Helvetas, VNG International, ICCO)
  • Evidence based Policy Analysis, Advocacy and Evaluation (Helvetas, NIMD)
  • Social accountability mechanisms in fiscal decentralization processes (VNG International)
  • The role of donors in accountability promotion (Dutch Foreign Affairs & INGO community workshop )
  • Accountability for learning and aid effectiveness (ICCO, NIMD)
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