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The Statesman

Published Date: Aug 25, 2011


Islamabad-based civil society organisations have joined hands to form a social accountability network to ensure accountability, good governance, and provision of effective and efficient public service delivery to the masses.

Representatives from like-minded civil society organisations anticipated the urgent need for social accountability system in the country and formally launched the Islamabad Chapter of `Pakistan Social Accountability Network (PSAN)’ on Wednesday.

The event was organised at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and attended by the implementing partners and likeminded civil society organisations such as Action Aid, Asia Foundation, Population Council, Human Development Foundation (HDF), Interfaith League Against Poverty (I-LAP), Centre for Peace and Development Initiative (CPDI), The Network for Consumer Protection, Sahil and CRCP.

The PSAN is an SDPI initiative and network of organisations promoting social accountability at all tiers of the government.

On the occasion, senior Research Associate, SDPI, Gulbaz Ali Khan briefed the participants about the proposed network and concept of social accountability, its approach, tools and implementation for effective citizens engagement towards enhancement of public service delivery.

“Social accountability revolves around civic engagement, where common citizens and social organisations can directly participate in demanding accountability at all levels”, he stated.

He mentioned some tools and mechanisms employed to ensure social accountability including Citizen Report Cards, Participatory Budgeting, Community Score Cards, Citizen Charts, Public Expenditure Tracking, Social Audits and People’s Right to Information Act.

He informed that Social Accountability initiative is meant to achieve the broader goals of reducing poverty, increasing the effectiveness of development works and to empower the marginalized sections of society.

Zahid Abdullah of Center and Peace Development Initiatives (CPDI), gave a detailed presentation, highlighting CPDI’s efforts and initiatives including projects and media campaigns over the years to get recognized the right to information as a conational right of citizens.

The participants of the meeting also decided to form a core committee comprising of ActionAid, I-Lap, Sahil, HDF and CPDI to handle the network activities.