The ANSA-AW aims at providing a platform for multi-stakeholder engagement, knowledge creation and exchange on innovative approaches of social accountability. Although, social accountability as a concept is relatively new to the Arab World, some social accountability applications are available in the Arab World. We believe that more social accountability practices will be unveiled if properly documented and shared across the region. Not only can this lead to building inter-country knowledge and experiences but can further lead to creating a regional knowledge base on social accountability and its applications.
According to a survey by CIVICUS-World Alliance for Citizen Participation amongst their constituents worldwide, civil society organizations (CSOs) highlighted that their primary challenge is the disconnect between CSOs with different agendas. Figure 2 below outlines the different challenges facing CSOs:
Source: CIVICUS – World Alliance for Citizen Participation, Our Strategic Priorities 2013-2017.
The ANSA-AW can contribute to filling this gap on the national level through its country groups, that is composed of representatives of the civil society, media, media and private sectors, through sharing regular updates on their work and most importantly on social accountability related initiatives. In addition to that, the ANSA-AW looks forward to connecting country level programs to similar in-country networks in the Arab world to facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing across countries. With the aim of building on available international experiences, the ANSA-AW will also facilitate knowledge sharing with the other three ANSA networks in East Asia, South Asia and in Africa.
Not only will the ANSA-AW knowledge sharing philosophy be translated through producing publications that document social accountability practices across the Arab region, but also through organizing knowledge sharing events that brings together regional and international actors. A further step will be to make use of knowledge sharing as a capacity building tool through adopting regional peer learning and mentoring programs.