Joost Butenop

Global Partnership for Social Accountability – Global Partners Forum 18

Money Matters: Public Finance and Social Accountability for Human Capital

The 2018 GPSA Global Partners Forum aims to better equip the GPSA multi-stakeholder partnership to understand and operate in the broad field of Public Finance, as a resource to achieve their development goals. The Forum will highlight innovations and build shared perspectives, through plenary discussions, and break new ground through partner-led sessions, focusing on skill sharing and capacity building, as well as showcasing thought leadership, practices and research in the field.

Highlight session: Policies, politics and public investment: How, where and to whom do money and water flow at the local level?

The aim of the session is to better understand the interplay between local politics, community needs and accountability mechanisms. Who makes financing decisions for infrastructure and service provision, how do they decide, and who benefits financially and in terms of better services.

The session will be kicked off with evidence from five county case studies in Kenya which examine how the interfaces between the public finance and water service delivery systems work in theory and practice, and what accountability breakdowns and pathways emerge from that. In particular, the presentation will provide first-hand account of how participatory budgeting works and addresses community water needs in the different counties and what accountability issues and moral hazards arise around financing of (local) government owned water service providers.

Based on experiences from their GPSA programme in Tajikistan, Oxfam will then illustrate how nurturing strong connections between users and a multi-stakeholders consumer advisory board increased willingness to pay for water and resulted in higher revenues for the water utility. They will also reflect on challenges of sustainability when there is a discrepancy between the ability of the government to maintain the systems and users’ expectations.

Based on these practical examples we will debate how civil society partners, WB and other institutional actors can creatively support people in following the money, activating genuine social accountability processes and navigating their political dimension, with the additional challenge to ensure inclusion and gender equality.

Panelists: Lotte Feuerstein (WIN) and Stephanie de Chassy (Oxfam).

Read more via GPSA.