promoting Self-less Leadership and Integrity in Africa!
The Why and How
“Social accountability is an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement, in which citizens participate directly or indirectly in demanding accountability from service providers and public officials. Social accountability generally combines information on rights and service delivery with collective action for change”[Scaling up social accountability in world bank operations, World Bank, May 2009].
Governance, as a social contract between citizens and their representatives, is the ability to govern, the way decisions are taken and implemented, authority is exercised. It also has to do with the relationship between decision makers (institutions) and decision-takers (people, citizens). Leadership is a contract between those in leadership positions and the governed. Whereas both levels of government: the national and county have specific mandates in regard to the delivery of public goods and services, those entrusted with public offices and resources have a duty to be accountable to citizens for their decision and the utilization of public resources including public finance [The Futures Bulletin, Institute of Economic Affairs, March 2015]
Frequently asked questions
Measure of an organization’s state of being mindful of the emerging social concerns and priorities of internal and external stakeholders (community, employees, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, management, and owners). It is reflected in the organization’s verifiable commitment to certain factors (which may or may not be tied directly to its processes) such as (1) willing compliance with employment, health and hygiene, safety, and environment laws, (2) respect for basic civil and human rights, and (3) betterment of community and surrounding. A social compliance program is usually based on adherence to rules of social accountability, established by certified conformance to standards such as SA8000 [BusinessDictionery]
We need to see political leaders not as messiahs, but as fellow human beings, and hold them accountable for their actions as we hold ourselves accountable by engaging the world not from a place of power, but from a place of vulnerability, for example, asking of our leaders if they do bring justice for all, and not just the powerful and if they are merciful to the most vulnerable, and not just protecting their friends [The Rev. James Richardson]
This can be achieved by creating opportunities for women and young people to be involved in influencing, shaping, designing and contributing to policy and the development of services and programmes. These opportunities are created through developing a range of formal and informal mechanisms for youth and women participation from youth and women advisory groups to focus groups, from on-going consultation work to supporting women/youth-led projects.
Reasons for including women and young people in decision-making:
Strengthens community capacity
Contributes to positive women and youth
Enhances an organisation’s relationship with women
and young people
Youth participation is a right (United Nations
Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC), 1993)
- ensure gender-balanced participation
- monitor and assess progress by regularly collecting, analysing and disseminating quantitative and qualitative data on women and youth at all levels in the various public and private sector decision-making posts and making public the number of women and men employed at the various civil service levels on an annual basis;
- raise the awareness of the media on the issue of gender equality in order to prepare them for the role which they play in forming public opinion of the place of women and youth in society and the impact of the media image of women on their level of participation in public and political life;
- associate non-governmental organisations with the implementation of these information campaigns;
- encourage access by women to decision-making in all spheres of public life by smashing the “glass ceiling”;
- take account of the equality dimension when adopting national, regional and local budgets;
- ensure the appropriate implementation of existing legislation on gender mainstreaming strategy;
- adopt a framework law and a governmental programme on gender equality and introduce machinery to assess the implementation of the law and the programme and provide for their decentralised implementation;
- appoint a specialist on gender equality issues to any existing mediation bodies;
- ensure that public institutions set the reasonable objective of ensuring a proportional number of 40 % of women in top posts in order to remedy any imbalance in representation of women and men;
- promote participation by representatives of the civil society, particularly by those who show a keen interest in gender equality issues, in all political debate, thus creating a “bridge” for women between civil society and political life.