World Bank Approves Social Accountability Fund

26 April 2012

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors April 19 “approved in principle” the creation of a $20 million effort “to scale up and support social accountability by beneficiary groups and civil society organizations in developing countries.”

The Board in June will review operational details of the proposed Global Partnership for Social Accountability and the Bank intends to find other sources of funding. ”As well as investing in projects to boost social accountability, the Partnership will also focus on exchanging knowledge of best practice,” according to a press release.

The idea was announced a year ago by World Bank Group President Robert  Zoellick and was the subject of consultations.

“The scope of the GPSA is global, and over 20 potential partners—including foundations, think tanks, governments and bilateral organizations–have provided input to its design, along with more than 1,300 representatives of civil society organizations from 60 countries, who have participated in consultations on the proposed Partnership.” See the Bank’s consultation website page for public comments and a blog post about a meeting in February.

Although no specific details are provided about on what projects will funded, the press release notes some examples:

Current World Bank-supported social accountability work includes: CheckMySchool.org, an interactive map of basic public education information in the Philippines to support citizen oversight of the education sector; the use of community scorecards to help reduce child mortality in Uganda, and public participation in local budgeting in the Democratic Republic of Congo so citizens can have a say where their money is going. The GPSA can help to scale this up.

 

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In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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