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Through horizontal accountability to vertical (social) accountability

GPSA Knowledge Platform forums Forum Through horizontal accountability to vertical (social) accountability

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Marcos 5 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #2819


    One proverb says: Live and Learn and indeed there is always demand for knowledge required for development and growth. Thanks to the Knowledge Portal and all Global Partners who contribute their knowledge and share experience to make this World better.
    Today we would like to address to the social accountability community one question that was bothering us for long time and we hope to receive answers.

    As participant of the GPSA network and one of the first grantees Development Policy Institute from Kyrgyzstan committed itself to improve situation in social accountability in rural areas of the country by empowering local self-government and local communities to be accountable and demand accountability for themselves. But besides social (vertical) accountability there shall be horizontal accountability to ensure that not only communities demand accountability from governing bodies but state itself ensures that adopted laws and practices work in real life.

    Due to specifics of our country (every country has its own specifics) commonly known horizontal accountability institutions does not work properly regarding accountability of rural local self-government. Kyrgyzstan is mostly mountainous rural area where within total 451 municipalities only 28 are cities and the rest are rural municipalities (423). In majority of the rural municipalities besides local self-government bodies there are no representatives of state institutions. The only source of information on situation on accountability in rural municipalities is acquired from active part of local communities who know that accountability is one of the main principles of functioning of LSG and enshrined in the Constitution and National laws. If local communities are passive and have no knowledge about laws and rights then no one can track if LSGs are accountable or not.

    During analysis on which state institutions might be determined as horizontal accountability institution in our country we came to the conclusion that National Parliament and the Ombudsmen are not able to perform as horizontal social accountability institution. Often parliamentarians has no connection with rural electorate as selected on the principle of party membership and candidates in the top of the party list often are people who have no connection to regions. The Ombudsmen institution in Kyrgyzstan unfortunately has no interest in rural regions and position of Ombudsmen is more political rather than practical. Appealing to the court every time as LSG do not provide reporting is extreme measure and not effective, it requires a lot of time and efforts. The only possible institute that might perform role of horizontal accountability institution in Kyrgyzstan in our opinion is the Accounts Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic. First of all they have right to check LSG activity and have access to all LSGs all over the country.

    To continue our work in this direction the DPI Chairperson, Nadezhda Dobretsova, has met with the Chairperson of the Accounts Chamber of the Kyrgyz Republic Elmira Ibraimova on September 4, 2014. During the meeting, an issue about the role of state institutions to strengthen social accountability was raised, in particular, about possibilities of the Accounts Chamber to influence the system of government in achieving transparency and social accountability. Ms. Ibraimova agreed that increased transparency and social accountability is impossible without institutionalizing relevant requirements in legislation. In addition, it is necessary that authorized inspection state body, namely the Accounts Chamber shall ensure monitoring of these requirements implementation, in other words, make sure that the government is accountable to the population.

    As a result of the meeting it was agreed that in 2015 the Accounts Chamber and DPI will jointly consider the possibility of including social accountability requirements into in Methodology of financial audit of local self-governments. It is important as the requirements for social accountability enshrined in the new Methodology of financial audit of local self-governments, will create a more favorable environment for citizens’ participation in issues of local significance in general, and for participation of citizens in the budget process, in particular.
    In continuation of the work on this issue at the seminar to discuss draft Budget Code that was held on 11-13 September 2014 in Issyk-Kul, the representatives of the Accounts Chamber voiced the need to include notion of LSG accountability and reinforcement of the Accounts Chamber functions to monitor execution of the new rules in Chapter 28 “Openness and transparency of the budget and budget process” of the Budget Code. DPI expects to continue working together with the Accounts Chamber and in particular carry out tasks such as development of proposals for inclusion in the Methodology of the financial audit of the local self-government bodies.

    We understand that before we move forward we need to get as much knowledge as possible about practices of horizontal accountability institutions in other countries. And we would appreciate any information and expert evaluation in particular how horizontal accountability institutions function in your country (based on what laws and regulations), what are challenges working with such institutions in your country. We are feeling lack of information in this field as this topic is relatively new for us. We would like to highlight that we are questioning about horizontal accountability of local self-government bodies which completely differently established and function rather than National government institutions (at least in Kyrgyzstan).

  • #2906


    Dear Ainura: We are glad to hear that you started communication with the Supreme Audit Institution in Kyrgyz Rep. in order to explore how to foster collaboration between DPI and the Accounts Chamber of the Kyrgyz Rep. regarding the implementation of the GPSA-funded project there. Concerning your query, I wonder if you read Gilbert’s post on the GPSA Knowledge Platform blog site as he covered some of these issues in the context of the GPSA-funded project in Uganda, as well as some of the readers’s comments and reactions to his post.

    I would also suggest that you check the following material recently published by OECD which features different ways of SAIs engagement with other stakeholders

    I will also connect you via email with our 2 GPSA grantees from the Philippines -Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Government (CCAGG), and ANSA EAP- which have both worked on participatory audits on the ground with the Commission on Audit from the Philippines so they could share their respective experiences and address any queries DPI may have in moving forward in their engagement with the Audit Institution. In addition, I will put you in contact with Carolina Vaira, my WB colleague who leads the WB Public Participation in Budget and Audit Program and that has been working on this topic in Nepal which is also a mountainous and rural society. I am sure that all the above will help address some of your questions.
    We look forward to hearing from you on progress made in DPI’s collaboration with the Court of Accounts in Kyrgyz Rep in order to enhance the overall accountability system.

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