Consultations on Global Partnership for Social Accountability
The Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) is a new global multi-stakeholder coalition that aims to increase levels of social accountability at the country level. GPSA partners encompass a broad range of civil society organizations, foundations, bilateral organizations, research institutes and media organizations. The GPSA is funded by a multi-donor trust fund, to which the World Bank will contribute US$ 20 million through 2016. The Ford Foundation has announced its initial investment of US$ 3 million for two years to support the GPSA (press release).
UPDATE ON THE GPSA CONSULTATION PROCESS
Between January 1, 2012 and March 15, 2012 over 1,300 stakeholders from all parts of the world provided input on the World Bank’s proposal for the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA). Stakeholders consulted comprised a broad range of actors involved in social accountability work, including civil society organizations and foundations, government officers, development agencies, academia, and think tanks. They provided their feedback during face-to-face discussions, in audio and video conferences, through e-mail, and by filling out the online survey. Feedback summaries and further information about the first phase of consultations can be accessed in the schedules below. Overviews of the comments submitted through an online survey and by e-mail, as well as from several organizations are available in the Online Feedback box.
Follow-up multistakeholder consultations will be held in countries once they have opted in to the GPSA, to define priority areas for the call for proposals in each country, aligned with national development strategies.
Overall the feedback confirmed the significant knowledge gap CSOs are experiencing in the field of social accountability and the need to tailor GPSA support to local and country context.
Respondents highlighted the need for global platforms that would link up their experience with others; that could support, adapt, and disseminate knowledge and research; and that could provide enhanced capacity building on the “how to” of social accountability. They also brought to the fore the important role of the Bank’s country teams and country directors in implementing the proposed GPSA, and the often shrinking space for civil society that the GPSA could help to address.
The table in the Summary of Consultation Feedback and GPSA Features presents highlights of all the feedback received—online and in face-to-face meetings—from stakeholders during the consultations. While it cannot fully capture the richness of the discussions, or the range of issues that were raised, it reflects the general aspirations and concerns of participants with regard to the GPSA, and their conviction that GPSA has the potential to contribute to improvements in development effectiveness.
While many of the issues raised by participants were country- and context-specific, there were commonalities such as relations with government, and capacity and funding limitations on the part of CSOs. Many participants urged greater engagement of the Bank with civil society beyond the GPSA, including through the Bank’s lending operations, and indicated that inclusion of civil society should be a fundamental aspect of Bank involvement with countries. In essence, stakeholders urged the Bank to leverage the GPSA by mainstreaming social accountability in Bank operations, and ensuring that country directors and country teams receive the support and encouragement they may need to do so.
Multi-stakeholder consultations will be held in countries that have opted in to the GPSA, to define country priorities for the first GPSA call for proposals. For a list of opted-in countries, see main GPSA webpage