Introduction to ELBAG

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science, Government
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Introduction to ELBAG

By Ene Obi Regional Training & Development Advisor MS-TCDC, Arusha, Tanzania. (ActionAid Denmark)

Context  Drawn from experiences of working with communities to support peoples actions to claim citizenship and rights and use of participatory methodologies and tools - the PRA and REFLECT approaches, PVA and STAR etc.  Economics, a key area of policy making, has largely remained

out of the reach and realm of the poor and excluded people’s action in their effort to seek justice

 To firmly establish people centred rights based governance at

the local level, there is a strong need to politicize economic decision making process and place it squarely within the domain of people’s agencies and public action. The need to hold government and its institutions accountable.

 Understanding that bottom up processes lead to

democratisation of local, national and international level public policy making processes.

What ELBAG is!!  Economic Literacy and Budget Accountability for Governance,

ELBAG is a process and methodological framework that combines  organising people, developing grassroots  monitoring mechanisms, democratising knowledge (particularly

political economy and economics)  and using participatory tools and methods for building public

accountability and transparency, to initiate people centred advocacy processes  it creates space where people can discuss economics and use it as

an entry point to build inclusive, democratic and just governance  It is about understanding how economic processes operate, asking questions about political economy and about taking action

Objectives  It seeks to address the disconnection between local, national and

international level  Facilitate empowerment of people, ensure participation of poor and

marginalized people  Support the realisation of the rights of people and help in

encouraging democratisation of national level policy making processes  It facilitate serious mobilisation of the people to hold their

government to account  Reduce corruption, increase accountability in the processes of

governance and policy making, particularly with regards to budget formulation, economic planning and government decision making that impact their lives

Case studies from Nigeria Budget tool, as it reflects public policy and priorities:  Engaging the Abia Parliament: Capacity building of the Parliament resulted into the Bureau of Budget the state now have  BELBAG – Shadow Budget and engaged the Govt using

the media – immediate responses. It encourage serious networking of CSOs within the state to monitor the spending of their govt, and many are asking questions and demanding answers (and getting responses)  Media as a critical partner in the process – Journalist

Against Poverty

Reflections & Lessons  Facilitated the empowerment of the people through series of

mobilisation, sensitization and capacity building  It’s earlier focus was more on the demand side engineering a lot of

capacity for CSOs with engaging the supply side on debates  Capacity gap on the supply side  Critical engaging govt. through advocacy facilitates faster process in

meeting demands  Increase capacity building for the media, made media a partner

 Critical engagement with other stakeholders/peer review  Continuous research on issues are very critical

Challenges and Opportunities  Transparency and accountability (corruption now embedded in  

  

every facet of the many countries) Political will and capacity gap on both sides/Poverty level still dropping Lack of true democracy in many countries/representation Lack of passage of Freedom of Information Bill/and where passed, implementation is an issue Project timeline/continuity Opportunities  New democracies in some of the countries  Encouragement/feedback of participants from the impact their work  Willingness of AAI to continue to support the process  More CSOs and groups interest success  Political will (with some government)

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