Social Accountability Mechanisms Case studies Template by maclaren1


                      FOR AFRICA

                       Specify whether (i)PB, (ii)IBA, (iii)BPET, or (iv) PPM (can select more
Methodology Type
                       than one option as some SA initiatives do not fit neatly into these categories)

                   Name of Intervention               Performance Monitoring Programme

                                                      Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) –
                   Primary Agency Running
                                                      an independent, non-partisan research and
                                                      advocacy institute

                                                      Rhodes University, Eastern Cape Province, South
    Basic          Location

                                                      Provincial government departments with focus on
                   Sector or Level of Focus           service delivery departments – Health, Education,
                                                      Welfare, Public Works, Housing and Finance

                                                      Continuous engagement based on budget planning,
                   Type of Engagement
                                                      expenditure, reporting and oversight cycle

                                                      The initiative was borne out of concerns over
                                                      failed public service delivery, poor financial
 Context and       What is the driving force behind   management and weak accountability provincial
   Scope           the SA initiative?                 government use of funds. South Africa’s provinces
                                                      administer around 60% of budgeted expenditure
                                                      and are the primary site of service delivery
                                   The main objective of PSAM’s Performance
                                   Monitoring Programme is to produce information
                                   that will enable civil society and parliamentary
                                   oversight bodies to hold the Executive and public
                                   officials to account for their management of public
                                   resources and delivery of public services.
What are the main objectives and   The key accountability problems the Programme
what key accountability problems   seeks to address are:
does it seek to address?
                                        Weak parliamentary oversight
                                        Lack of public participation in budgetary
                                            process and oversight
                                        Failure to ensure corrective action in
                                            response to public sector misconduct,
                                            maladministration and corruption

                                   Civil Society Organisations;
                                   Parliamentary oversight bodies, e.g. Legislature
Who is the target audience or      standing committees; Constitutional bodies, eg.
demographic focus?                 Auditor-General;
                                   the media; and
                                   the wider public

                                   Formal constitutional democracy with weak
What is the political culture or   public accountability, poorly developed
environment?                       democratic institutions and poor public
                                   participation processes
                                                   Customised database linked to public access

                                                   Scorecard evaluation

                                                   Publication of Monitoring Briefs

                                                   Publication of in-depth reports on specific issues,
                                                   e.g. The Crisis of Public Health Care in the
                                                   Eastern Cape; and The Outsourcing of the Social
                                                   Security Grants in the Eastern Cape
                What specific SA tools and
                methodologies are being used?      On-site monitoring of selected public services

                                                   Timed strategic interventions in budget planning,
                                                   expenditure, reporting and oversight processes –
                                                   recommendations to relevant government
                                                   departments and state bodies

                                                   Press Statements and weekly newspaper column

                                                   Coordinating of provincial NGOs around public
                                                   service and socio-economic rights

 Tools and
    Used                                           Capture information from official documents –
                                                   includes strategic plans, budget speeches, annual
                                                   reports, Auditor-General’s reports, parliamentary
                                                   oversight committee reports, etc – into a
                                                   customized database

                                                   Evaluate effective financial and strategic planning
                                                   using a strategic planning template to establish
                                                   quality of strategic plans and selective programme
                                                   business plans against statutory requirements

                Briefly describe the               Draw up monitoring briefs – short reports on
                methodology(/ies) or tools used.   budgeting, resources, planning and service
                                                   delivery by government departments

                                                   Conduct on-site inspection of selected public
                                                   facilities to monitor service satisfaction and quality
                                                   of service delivery (e.g. physical inspection and
                                                   customer satisfaction survey of Eastern Cape
                                                   social grants pay-points) to evaluate overall
                                                   accountability and performance of provincial
                                                   government departments

                                                   Drawing up of gradable scorecard
                                     Sharing of findings with Eastern Cape Human
                                     Rights Working Group (HRWG) and present joint
                                     input to provincial Legislature

                                     Coordinate joint advocacy initiatives around socio-
                                     economic rights via HRWG (meetings convened
                                     quarterly by PSAM)

                                     Ensure constant dissemination of findings via
                                     PSAM Advocacy and Communications
                                     Programme, including the publication of a weekly
What advocacy and media
                                     newspaper column and regular press releases,
activities support the initiative?
                                     opinion pieces and general media commentary

                                     Monitoring briefs

                                     Liaison with parliamentary oversight committees
                                     and Auditor-General

                                     Sharing of findings with issue-based CSOs (e.g.
                                     working together with HIV/Aids lobby groups on
                                     the findings of an in-depth study of the Eastern
                                     Cape HIV/Aids budget planning and expenditure)

                                     Findings reported to government departments and
How inclusive was the                parliamentary oversight committees and CSOs
                                     All findings publicly disseminated via website and
                                     media intervention and publications
                                     The intervention is focused on making otherwise
                                     inaccessible information easy to access and
                                     understand by CSOs and public at large

                                     Initiative hosts quarterly meetings with HRWG

                                     Initiative asked to present findings at provincial
Participation                        and national level

                                     Extensive workshop of findings with issue-based
                                     CSOs at provincial and national level

                                     Joint advocacy and lobbying with issue-based
                                     CSOs in media and before parliamentary
Other Important Information or
                                                   Improvement in the research and analytic capacity
                                                   of partner CSOs

                                                   Increased levels of civil society participation in the
                                                   budget cycle monitoring process

                                                   The Programme has recently been requested to
                                                   assist Eastern Cape provincial Treasury in
                                                   monitoring fiscal discipline in the province

                                                   Programme requested by provincial Eastern Cape
                                                   Legislature to undertake research into public
                                                   expenditure, financial management and
                                                   accountability of government departments
              What (if any) has been the impact
                                                   On-site inspection of social grant payment
              of the initiative? What have been
                                                   facilities by Programme has resulted in
              the incentives?
                                                   investigation of service levels and
                                                   recommendations by Legislature Welfare
                                                   oversight committee

Results and                                        The initiative has also contributed to improved
  Impact                                           financial reporting standards by departments –
                                                   percentage decrease in number of audit disclaimers
                                                   issued by Auditor-General to Eastern Cape
                                                   government departments recently

                                                   Provincial government recognised and
                                                   acknowledged the existence of financial
                                                   management weaknesses and strategic planning
                                                   deficiencies consistently highlighted by the

              Is the methodology or initiative     Institutional linkages with parliamentary and
              institutionalized? Are there any     constitutional bodies and CSOs on bilateral basis
              institutional linkages and           and on a collective basis via HRWG
              partnerships been established with
              the government, parliaments,         Linkages with media via a weekly newspaper
              media, NGOs, communities etc.?       column on issues of accountability and to provide
              Describe.                            a constant update on PSAM findings

                                                   Ongoing – currently refining ICT model and
              (If applicable) Has the initiative
                                                   monitoring methodology for purposes of potential
              been scaled up? Repeated?
                                                  Improved financial management and financial
                                                  reporting in Eastern Cape

                                                  Enhanced accountability of politicians and public
             What were the main outcomes of
                                                  service managers in Eastern Cape
             the SA initiative
                                                  Improved awareness of constitutional obligations
                                                  and transparency and accountability relationships
                                                  by CSOs and general public in Eastern Cape

                                                  Lack of access to information
                                                  Intransigence by public service officials and
                                                  Politicization of monitoring work and suspicion by
                                                  public service managers
                                                  Extensive use of access to information legislation
             Bottlenecks/Problems What            Use of rigorous and objective methodology
             difficulties did the agency or NGO   combined with politically non-partisan approach
             face, and how did they resolve
             them. (COMMENT: This section         Other general bottlenecks
             will yield rich insights on          The programme was initially too ambitious and its
             innovations that can be shared.)     goals sometimes unrealistic;
                                                  Attempted to capture too much technical/official
                                                  data – led to unwieldy database with too many
                                                  datafields – which required extensive editing;
                                                  Compromised by capacity and ICT limitations;
                                                  Scope of monitoring too broad and programme has
                                                  subsequently been limited to key service delivery

             Web sources

                                                  Government Corruption Seen from the Inside,

                                                  Know Your Rights, 2003
                                                  The Crisis of Public Health Care in the Eastern
References   Documents and Reports                Cape: The post-apartheid challenges of oversight
                                                  and accountability, 2004

                                                  The Outsourcing of the Social Security Grants in
                                                  the Eastern Cape: Service delivery challenges and
                                                  the problems of accountability (to be published
                                         Mr Colm Allan
                                        Director: PSAM
                                    Tel: (+27)46 – 603 8377

                                        Mr Vuyo Tetyana
                            Head: Performance Monitoring Programme
                                    Tel: (+27)46 – 603 8878

Resource Persons/Contacts               Ms Unathi Millie
                            Researcher: Case Monitoring Programme
                                    Tel: (+27)46 – 603 8884

                                         Dr Neil Overy
                                    Research Editor: PSAM
                                      (+27)46 – 6038882


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