ANSA-AW believes that strong and competent civil society organizations (CSOs) and media institutions, demanding good governance through the effective use of social accountability, are crucial for establishing accountable and responsive state institutions. Much attention has been paid to the “supply” side of governance (i.e. encouraging and supporting governments to improve internal systems of transparency, accountability, responsiveness and effectiveness). It is thus now broadly recognized that more needs to be done on the “demand” side of governance, by supporting and building the capacity of citizens, CSOs and media institutions to hold service providers, whether government, private sector or civil society, accountable and to participate in processes of governance and public decision-making that directly affect their lives. Therefore in the Capacity Building Component, the ANSA-AW focuses on developing the capacity of its members through organizing direct capacity building activities and through providing access to resources and materials with the aim of getting members acquainted with the knowledge and implementation of relevant social accountability tools while exposing them to global and regional best practices.
The tools and approaches to social accountability work described above require multiple capacities in order to translate into effective work. They require that SA practitioners understand the differences and relative strengths of different tools, and are thus able to choose tools and approaches appropriate to the problems they are trying to mitigate. They require that policymakers and service providers have substantive knowledge about social accountability work can help them improve the quality of services and in turn satisfy service users. They require that CSOs have the technical skills necessary to collect and analyze data on service provider performance, and to leverage that information for effective advocacy work. Finally, achieving the greatest impacts possible requires that all of the stakeholders of service delivery are able to work together constructively to conduct or support SA work, utilize the findings that come from it, and search out ways of institutionalizing it in ongoing practice.
Building these competencies recommends multiple different approaches. These range from basic instruction and training in specific tools, to structured ways of absorbing the lessons that come from their implementation and practice, to the knowledge management to ensure that best practices, lessons learned, and data on results inform future work. Specific activities under this component for the upcoming two years include:
Enhancing members’ capacities and linking local partners and stakeholders in road mapping for social accountability enhancement: up to 3 local workshops in each of the 7 targeted countries on access to information, budget transparency, freedom of association, and service delivery.
Training of Trainers (TOTs) A set of regional and national face-to-face and e-learning workshops will aim at preparing cadre of trainers in the Arab World for replication and scale up for Social Accountability concept and tools training sessions. ToT is a crucial activity to create further capacities on Social Accountability in the Arab world where Social Accountability is still at an early stage of development. We target multi-disciplinary professionals including experts and trainers and they are expected to come from governmental entities, training and research institutes, and universities to ensure sustainability and creating master trainers within these targeted organizations.
Promoting regional knowledge sharing on social accountability practices through regional and national Face-to-Face Events: three regional Face-to Face events bringing together multi-stakeholders from 7 countries aimed at promoting regional knowledge sharing, lessons learned and introducing international experiences and best practices.
Read the ANSA-AW Capacity Building Strategies