Published Date: Aug 24, 2011
SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY NETWORK LAUNCHED
The civil society organisation on Tuesday launched Islamabad Chapter of Pakistan Social Accountability Network (PSAN) to ensure accountability, good governance, and provision of effective and efficient public service delivery to the masses. The event was organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and attended by representatives of a large number of civil society organisation.
The event was 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.
Gulbaz Ali Khan, Senior Research Associate, SDPI briefed the participants about proposed network and concept of social accountability, its approach, tools and implementation for effective citizen engagement towards enhancement of public service delivery. Social accountability, he said, revolves around civic engagement, where common citizens and social organisations could directly participate in demanding accountability of the respective authorities. 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 said Pakistan Social Accountability Network (PSAN) is a SDPI initiative and network of organisations promoting social accountability at all tiers of the government.
Zahid Abdullah of Center and Peace Development Initiatives (CPDI), gave a detailed presentation of CDPI and its allies efforts and initiatives including projects and media campaigns over the years to recognise the right to information as a conational right of citizens.
Faisal Nadeem Gorchani, Co-ordinator, Policy Advocacy and Outreach, SDPI said that the bureaucracy over the years has persistently performed as a conservative institution, which actually desired to rule public instead of transforming into a true civil servant body. He talked about bringing radical reforms coupled with a change in bureaucratic mindset.
Participants in the meeting also decided to form a core committee comprising of ActionAid, I-Lap, Sahil, HDF and CPDI to handle the network activities. ActionAid was decided unanimously as the secretariat host for Islamabad chapter of the Network whereas SDPI is already serving as the host of national secretariat.