Social Accountability Practitioners from SADC countries set for Dar meet

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Social Accountability practitioners from Southern Africa will meet in Dar es Salaam this week to share information and to dialogue on the best ways to monitor public resources for the interest of communities in the region and to learn from one another on different ways of advocating for changes that lead to improved service delivery to the people.

About 150 practitioners from Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa will also be dicsussing the conceptual framework underpinning Social Accountability Monitoring (SAM) work and the viability of establishing a community of practice for continued future sharing of lessons.

Convened by Policy Forum, Forum Syd, the PSAM, Action Aid-Tanzania and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, the August 27-29 forum also aims at sharing monitoring, evaluation and lesson-learning approaches being used that are best suited to SAM work.

"As SAM gains popularity in Tanzania and across the region, the variety of monitoring methodologies has also been increasing. This makes it necessary to create a forum in which SAM practitioners can learn from each other, and where new SAM practitioners can benefit from the hindsight of SAM veterans on a regular basis. The need for such a forum has been widely acknowledged in discussions among SAM practitioners and in many cases in their core documentation," outlines the conference concept note.

"To begin to address this need, in October 2012, Forum Syd, Policy Forum, and MS-TCDC convened a meeting to enable various stakeholders using various monitoring approaches to explore the basic understanding, principles, and paradigms of social accountability across practitioners in Tanzania; assess the effectiveness of PETS guidelines in promoting social accountability; and explore the existing and potential funding streams of social accountability interventions in Tanzania. The PSAM facilitated the participation of social accountability practitioners from Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa at this meeting. Participants found the event to be worthwhile in creating a common understanding of social accountability as a concept and there was agreement that more of these occurrences on an annual basis would help to enhance accountability monitoring," the note further states.

Semkae Kilonzo, one of the organisers, said that he was looking forward to hear from the practitioners whether their social accountability interventions have yielded an improved understanding of how the interaction between citizens and the state enhances service delivery.

"One of the challenges we have is harvesting evidence as we documenting our contribution to development outcomes. As practitioners, we want to be convinced that our interventions are helping communities realise their social and economic needs," he said.

The event will also include participants and presenters from government, constitutional oversight bodies, academics, researchers, donor agencies and media professionals.

For more information and updates regarding the conference please contact: Prisca Kowa: pa3@policyforum.or.tz

Conference materials are available here

 

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