Author: Miguel Pulido
Over the last few years we in Fundar have watched excitedly as more and more citizens find their voice, and are listened to, through the growing number of social accountability initiatives.
Today, governments increasingly understand that citizen feedback is not only good for citizens, but it is good for government too. Donors are more prepared to support this work, academics are undertaking more research, and CSOs and citizens are refining the tools and methods.
Yet, despite all these advances, we still lag far behind in our knowledge and learning about social accountability. Further work is needed to clearly explain what works, why, and under what conditions. And when we do have this information, we need to further ensure it is shared and owned by those who can use it best: engaged citizens and governments.
When developing the Global Partnership for Social Accountability, the staff, partners and grantees all strongly felt that generating and sharing knowledge and learning must be at the core of their activities.
In the last two decades we have all seen and felt the huge changes in information and communication technologies, advances that exceed all what we could have conceived. These advances have the potential to assist us in addressing these social accountability knowledge gaps. Online knowledge platforms are a powerful tool in advancing and disseminating social accountability knowledge, as well as the growing engagement of citizens and civil society, and assessing government performance.
Our vision is to host, manage, share and disseminate relevant knowledge, and to facilitate connections and networking around social accountability among stakeholders across the world.
For this we need your help: you can write a blog, let us know of an event to add to the calendar, upload a report, suggest a practitioner for the roster, take an e-course and much more. While, for practical reasons, the Platform is presented through English, we do welcome materials in other languages.
We in Fundar know from our previous experiences with online knowledge platforms – the Learning Alliance on Citizen Oversight of the Evidence and Lessons from Latin America project (ELLA), for example – that knowledge is built horizontally, from the exchange and collaboration between peers. This is the reason why we strongly invite you to share your experience on social accountability and actively participate to all our activities. We believe indeed that knowledge creation is a complex process that requires diversified methods and activities that complement each other.
And so after many hours of planning, consulting, designing and developing we are proud to launch The GPSA Knowledge Platform: a diversity of learning, networking and knowledge exchange activities. It is composed of 4 functional modules that are mutually reinforcing and, together, aim to strengthen users’ knowledge, learning and practical expertise on Social Accountability:
- A knowledge repository providing easy access to relevant research and knowledge on social accountability, and a useful tool to store and disseminate the materials produced on social accountability;
- A learning section to improve users’ knowledge through structured learning and training activities;
- A networking platform providing users with an opportunity to connect, interact and collaborate with other peers and practitioners;
- A knowledge exchange platform to promote virtual peer learning through forums and webinars.
We invite you to engage and explore, read and write, upload and download, and comment and critique. Most importantly we invite you to share this resource with all your colleagues. Together we will build this vibrant and relevant social accountability hub.
About the Author:
Executive Director, Fundar, Center of Analysis and Research
Miguel Pulido Jiménez is the Executive Director of Fundar, Centre for Research and Analysis. He has a BA in Law from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey and pursued graduate studies at the Faculty of Law of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He is a professor of Right to Information at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico. His areas of expertise include human rights, access to information, and comparative accountability systems. He has published extensively in various Mexican newspapers such as El Universal and La Jornada. He is the author of the book El Acceso a la Información es un Derecho Humano(The Right to Information is a Human Right), as well as the co-author of Responsabilidad y Reparación, un Enfoque de Derechos Humanos (Liability and Redress, a Human Rights Approach). He has written articles for journals and books on access to information and accountability