In the last week of November 2019 an exchange visit between our social accountability program in Ethiopia (ESAP) and our IDEAL program in South Sudan took place.
The central idea of this visit was to “learn from one another on how government, as a service provider, and society can interact in order to enhance the effectiveness, responsiveness and inclusiveness of basic service provision”. The process of social accountability, which is an effective tool to achieve the aforementioned, is new and exploratory to our IDEAL program in South Sudan. Therefore we facilitated a workshop on the benefits, processes and tools of social accountability and policy dialogue.
Together with the South Sudanese participants we also went to one of the woredas who actively work with incorporating social accountability in order to enhance the effectiveness and responsiveness of the services that it provides. We visited a WASH facility and had a fruitful dialogue with the stakeholders from the Ethiopian woreda working with social accountability. We discussed challenges, advantages and practical examples which provided the participants with insight knowledge on how to carry out a social accountability process in which constructive dialogue between CSO’s and local government is key.
Finally, on the last day of the visit an Advisory Committee was organized which focused on the IDEAL program’s interventions for 2020. During this meeting, special attention was paid to the inclusion of policy dialogue approaches into the IDEAL program, based on the lessons learned of the first two days of the exchange visit.