The accountability agenda should be citizen-centred, driven by citizen themselves, for the citizen holding the duty bearers accountable for better social service delivery. Well-informed and robust collaboration among Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and citizens to enhance accountability and transparency is needed.
The statements were said during the CSOs Directors forum session themed ‘’the Role of CSOs in enhancing public financial accountability for better social services’’. The session organized in collaboration with Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) , WAJIBU Institute of Public Accountability (WIPA) and NGO Network for Dodoma Region (NGONEDO) on 12th May 2021, in Dodoma, brought together Members of Parliaments, Parliamentary Committees and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to discuss the analysis of the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) report 2019/20.
The forum aimed to enhance the effectiveness of CSOs’ engagement in promoting public accountability through effective use of the CAG’s reports by promoting the implementation of the CAG’s recommendations and influencing the elected representatives to facilitate the implementation of the Parliamentary Oversight Committees (POCs) directives. The Director’s Forum is a platform for CSOs directors and development stakeholders to meet to discuss pertinent issues around policy and development of the country.
CSOs understanding of the CAG reports increases accountability and good governance in public resources because CSOs partner with citizens, increase the latter’s knowledge on awareness and understanding, access information, and monitor government projects to bring about improvement in the delivery of social services.
Speaking on the session, Francis Kiwanga, FCS Executive Director, said that through the WAJIBU’s analysis on the issues raised by the CAG and its impact, CSOs would be better informed and identify the areas for advocacy to enhance the implementation of the CAG’s recommendations in increasing good governance.
‘’ For more than three years, the directors’ forum has been a platform for CAG report analysis among CSO. The sessions aim to get an in-depth analysis of the CAG report among CSOs, ask ourselves key questions in relation to the report, and for CSOs to identify areas to work on to enhance accountability, transparency in increasing the performance of Local Government Authority (LGAs) and central government so that the citizen can acquire better service delivery’’ said Francis Kiwanga.
Speaking on FCS’s role in enhancing good governance, Kiwanga said that 15% of FCS grantees work on social accountability initiatives in water, health, agriculture, and education in various regions in Tanzania. WAJIBU – Institute of Public Accountability is an FCS partner and cluster leader in social accountability monitoring
He thanked participants, including members of Parliament, Hon. Grace Tengega chairperson of Local Authorities Accounts Committee (LAAC), Hon George Malima, Public Accounts Committees (PAC )Vice Chairperson and NGOs Coordinator Engineer Enock Nyanda from TAMISEMI
Speaking during the session, Mr Utoah called for CSOs to educate citizen on their rights and role in enhancing accountability and transparency.
‘’The CAG’s reports were tabled in the Parliament on 8th April 2021, where they became public documents. WAJIBU, through the analysis of the CAG’s Reports, is keen to see stakeholders influence change and demand accountability from duty bearers. CSOs should educate citizen on their right in monitoring public resources expenditure and the national budget. Citizen awareness will increase good governance. ” Ludovick Utoah, Executive Director, Wajibu institute.
During his closing remark Hon. Neema Lugangira, Member of Parliament representing NGO sector, called for capacity building to CSOs on the CAG report.
‘’The CSOs’ role as citizen representatives contributes towards the implementation of CAG recommendations and parliamentary committees including PAC, LAAC and the Budget recommendations. More dialogue forums in the civil society sector should be held so that a larger number of CSOs can have a comprehensive in depth analysis of the CAG report, and in turn educate citizens.’’
Hon Lugangira also commended FCS’s efforts to collaborate with WAJIBU Institute to build the capacity of CSOs on the CAG report and put in places measures to ensure that people with disabilities access to the dialogue session.