The “SDG16+ Toolkit ” features case studies on various approaches from civil society organizations working around the globe to implement and monitor the 2030 Agenda and SDGs at the national and local level. It is the TAP Network’s hope that these case studies will help maximize the learning opportunities around this toolkit, and that they will help guide colleagues to frame their own approaches to SDG accountability in their own contexts.
100 Days Campaign of Government Accountability
Palestinian Consultative Staff for Developing NGOs (PCS)
The 100 Days Campaign of Government Accountability was launched by the Palestinian Consultative Staff for Developing NGOs (PCS) in cooperation with the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), Palestinian NGOs, AMAN Transparency Palestine, Palestinian National Institute for NGOs and with the participation of collation of 84 civil society organizations of all national and grassroots levels in West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem. The objective was to close the gap between the Palestinian civil society community and the government to encourage active participation and increased partnership in community affairs and the management of public resources.
The work was conducted in the following phases:
After the first 100 days, the campaign clearly showed that it had begun to create an institutionalized relationship of sustainable community accountability between civil society and the government. Over the campaign period, government engagement with the campaign elicited varied attitudes and reactions. Mistrust was expressed by several officials but overall, the campaign ended with relatively positive cooperation with some ministries, while also being ignored by others. The Prime Minister’s office showed openness to the campaign throughout its entirety.
Key Takeaways: There is a need to increase government’s openness to civil society, to allow for actual participation and partnership at all levels.
Teaching Journalism and Communications to Marginalized Youth, Women and the Dalit Community
Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)
From 2013 to 2020, Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) implemented a fellowship program to reduce social discrimination against disadvantaged communities and increase participation of youth from marginalized communities by teaching them skills for journalism and community radio broadcasting. The program empowered youth, women and marginalized people to become actors in their communities and increased the number of young professionals, particularly women, working in community media in Bangladesh. These empowerment efforts helped communities exercise their rights and influence local power structures and share information within their communities.
→ Found in section “WORKING WITH THE MEDIA AND SOCIAL MEDIA TO ADVANCE SDG16+ ”, or page 39 in Print version.
Empowering Indigenous Women in Mexico to Access Information and Unite Their Communities
In 2002, the Government of Mexico created the Freedom of Information Act that enables citizens to demand information from public authorities and obligates the authorities to disclose proactively information of public interest (SDG target 16.10). ARTICLE 19 Mexico (Articulo 19) and the El Colectivo Feminista la Casa de la Mujer Ixim Antsetic applied this citizens’ right to information to start a ground-based project with the women of Indigenous communities in the northern jungle of Chiapas. The project taught the women how to request relevant information about their medical services to improve healthcare in their communities, ultimately empowering them to protect their communities and children and to become more involved in decision-making and participatory processes that historically had only included men.
Amplifying the Voices of People Living with Disabilities for the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda
Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD)
Between April and June 2020, Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD) conducted a grassroots spotlight interview and focus group discussions with people living with disabilities in Nigeria. This aimed to gauge their opinions on how the SDGs have affected them and to elicit information on their expectations for the Government of Nigeria, to inform policy decision-making that affects people living with disabilities. CSCSD organized two physical workshops, one in Ibadan and one in Lagos, to complete a spotlight report on people with disabilities, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. A Spotlight Report was produced for the 2020 Voluntary National Review (VNR) of Nigeria and featured during the 2020 United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).
SDGs Kenya Forum
The Ministry of Devolution and Planning in Kenya is mandated to coordinate the implementation and monitoring of the SDGs. The SDGs Coordinating Department has been established within the Ministry, supported by an Inter-Agency Technical Committee (IATC) comprising officers from key government ministries, CSOs and the private sector. For ownership and ease of follow-up, entry points for the private sector, CSOs, subnational governments, youth and persons with disabilities are typically their respective umbrella bodies, such as Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), SDG Kenya Forum, the Council of Governors (CoG), National Youth Council and the Association of Persons Living with Disabilities2
→ Found in section “IDENTIFYING AND ENGAGING WITH SDG COORDINATION BODIES”, or page 48 in Print version.
Somaliland SDG16+ Coalition
“Our process was about the locals; it was about ownership; it brought many people together and their involvement was the key. It was about helping new plants grow in the soil that was already there, rather than bringing in new soil.” – Guleid Jama, Founder and Board Member, Human Rights Centre Somaliland
Through an extensive and consultative process, the Somaliland SDG16+ Coalition has helped to support and drive SDG16+ localization, generating buy-in across civil society and national and local government, and using its 2019 baseline report to measure progress and maintain focus on reaching SDG16+ targets.
While it has endorsed the 2030 Agenda and integrated the SDGs into its national development plan, Somaliland has never presented a VNR largely due to its unrecognized status. Civil society actors decided to fill this gap and lead the process themselves, producing the ‘Somaliland SDG16+ Civil Society Progress Report’ in 2019.4 Over two years (2017-2018), civil society carried out a detailed review of progress towards achieving SDG16+ priority targets and related processes, holding workshops throughout Somaliland with 55 different CSOs representing women’s groups, youth groups, those focusing on minority rights, disability groups and others. Efforts to identify and mobilize champions within the government were also prioritized, focusing on the Office of the Chief Justice of Somaliland, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of National Planning and Development – all critical for SDG16+ implementation.
By the end of 2018, the Chief Justice, the Justice Minister, officials from the Ministry of Planning and the Attorney General’s Office had made public statements about SDG16+ or included it in their work plans.
The next step was to translate SDG16+ commitments into action, using the 2019 baseline report to track and incentivize progress.5 Reflective of the report’s recommendations, the following actions have been taken:6
The Somaliland SDG16+ Coalition has also helped localize the ‘Peace in Our Cities’ campaign, working with the Mayor of Hargeisa to endorse the campaign and implement SDG target 16.1.8The Coalition has also reached out to other cities, Borama and Las Anod, to join and share in lessons learned.
Key Take-aways: Civil society groups used the process of developing and following up on the 2019 baseline report to promote civil society inclusion in SDG16+ efforts nationally and locally, with civil society evidence used with official data. The 2019 report has helped to ensure that commitments made to implementing SDG16+ are kept and remain localized, that shortcomings are highlighted and that there is a way to measure future progress.
“The main take-away is not to sit back and wait for the government to involve you in the process, but, as civil society, to take the extra step to lead and work with all stakeholders, including the government, to localize SDG16+ and implement its commitments,” explains Abdijalil Tahir, Somaliland SDG 16+ Coalition.
→ Found in section “LOCALIZING SDG16+: WORKING WITH LOCAL AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES”, or page 56 in Print version.
Accelerating Action to Strengthen Afghanistan’s Legal Aid System
International Legal Foundation
In partnership with the International Legal Foundation (ILF), Afghanistan is seeking to build a more effective and sustainable legal aid system. The partnership will center on implementing Afghanistan’s 2019 Legal Aid Regulation, which provides a roadmap for transforming the current system by increasing its independence, capacity to monitor and evaluate the quality of legal aid services and ability to expand services nationwide. These steps align with Afghanistan’s public commitment to accelerate action on SDG 16.
In March 2020, the Ministry of Justice made a firm commitment to strengthen rule of law by ensuring that quality criminal defense is accessible to everyone in Afghanistan. Justice in Afghanistan has made significant progress since 2001 through the creation of a modern court system and the training of an entire generation of legal professionals. However, with over half of Afghans living in poverty, the country continues to face major challenges. Although Afghanistan’s Constitution guarantees the right to counsel for anyone accused of a crime and the country has a state-sponsored legal aid system, in practice, few poor people have access to lawyers with the skill to defend them effectively. This puts suspects and defendants at risk of arbitrary detention, torture, coercion, wrongful convictions and other abuses.
In collaboration with the ILF, the Ministry of Justice is committed not only to expand the reach of legal aid, but to guarantee access to quality legal services. The ILF will provide technical assistance, working closely with the Ministry of Justice to share international standards and best practices in legal aid system management and delivery. The partnership focuses on implementing Afghanistan’s 2019 Legal Aid Regulation and strengthening the Ministry of Justice Legal Aid Department, including by:
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Justice and the ILF doubled down on their efforts to achieve SDG 16 with an acceleration action submitted to the United Nations. The action highlights their commitment to developing a comprehensive legal aid system that is accessible, effective, sustainable and credible across Afghanistan. Both parties also concluded a formal memorandum of understanding outlining their plans in March 2020.
Key Take-aways: The ILF’s 15+ years of on-the-ground experience, relationships with key Ministries and justice leaders, and ability to secure resources to launch implementation drove the execution and success of this partnership.
→ Found in section “PARTICIPATING IN LAW REFORM FOR SDG16+ IMPLEMENTATION”, or page 61 in Print version.
Ensuring Institutional Memory of SDG Work through Relationship-Building Efforts with National Parliamentarians
SDG Accountability Handbook
In June 2017, Sierra Leone Coalition 2030, a civil society alliance for the SDGs, held a capacity-building retreat with 25 MPs. The training targeted the most strategic figures in parliamentary work on the SDGs: members of the informal Parliamentary Action Group on the SDGs and parliamentary leadership, including the Deputy Speaker and the Majority Leader. In order to maintain institutional memory beyond the electoral term, the training also engaged parliamentary clerks. The participants expressed the need to gain more knowledge on the SDGs to better carry out their representation, oversight and monitoring functions. In addition to providing technical capacity, the training was also used as an opportunity to develop a memorandum of understanding for continuous engagement between the civil society alliance and members of the Parliamentary Action Group on the SDGs.9
SDG Accountability Handbook
The implementation of the SDGs in Tanzania falls under the Five-Year Development Plan II (FYDP II) framework, requiring local authorities to integrate the Goals in their strategic plans. To ensure local authorities were familiar with the SDGs and aligned the FYDP II with their strategies, the Local Governance Working Group of Policy Forum, an NGO Network, developed a policy brief and engaged with the Parliamentary Committee for Administration and Local Government. The brief focused on the Ministry of Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), analyzing budget allocation trends in relation to the implementation progress of SDGs, particularly Goal 3 (good health and wellbeing) and Goal 4 (quality education). The analysis further looks at the budget allocation trends within the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDEC), and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Through their engagement, the Policy Forum was able to identify champions to promote the SDG agenda during parliamentary discussions and also organize a strategic session with PO-RALG management to promote better SDG and FYDP II alignment. In addition, the network collaborated with the Tanzania Sustainable Development Platform to train PO-RALG management and other staff on the FYDP II, Agenda 2063, the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. As a result of such training and engagement, PO-RALG staff and councilors have a better understanding of the alignment between the SDGs and development plans, as well as the budget process, resource management and value for money.11
Training Citizen Monitors to Safeguard Community Development
Integrity Action worked with partner organization Kwale Youth and Governance Consortium to implement their citizen monitoring approach in Kwale, Kenya. Citizens from the community were selected with the approval of the whole community and trained using Integrity Action’s resources and approach. Trained monitors were able to gain the tools to oversee the delivery of local projects and services, compare what was promised with what was delivered, report it publicly on Integrity Action’s app DevelopmentCheck and then work with those responsible to get the issues addressed for the benefit of the community. The training and skills have allowed the monitors to feel more confident, benefit their community and be proactive to ensure that services and projects are delivered as promised.
Before this intervention, according to a community monitor in the program, “No one seemed to care whether public projects were being implemented in the right way due to lack of information on the technicalities.” There were many projects that had stalled for a long time. These included construction of halls supported by the Kinango Constituency Development Fund, Amani Primary School, Kinango Primary, Banga Primary and Bishop Kālu Primary School in Kwale, Kenya. The ongoing delay of these projects perpetuated low trust and frustration toward the local government.
In Kwale, many structures for participation existed, such as the public participation forums, but people were not aware of how to engage with them. There was a need for these meetings to become accessible (ex. take place at suitable times) and for the communities to be informed in advance about the date, location and methods for joining such meetings. The citizen monitor training raised awareness about these gaps.
Key Take-aways: Using a collaborative approach by including the community and various actors can be a proactive way to ensure that services and projects are delivered as promised. It is important to eliminate finger-pointing or accusations of corruption that commonly cause people to become defensive. Instead, it can be effective to lean on community members who have the information needed for approaching a situation sensitively and carefully, involving everyone from the start and explaining why it is fair that the community receives the services promised. Raising awareness within the community as to what they are entitled to can also help in this regard.
→ Found in section “SOCIAL AUDITS, COMMUNITY SCORE CARDS AND CITIZEN REPORT CARDS”, or page 82 in Print version.
Focusing on Corruption in Rwanda to Assist in Achieving the SDGs
Starting in 2018, Transparency International (TI) Rwanda supported national efforts to produce the country’s 2019 VNR. From the beginning, TI Rwanda was keen to emphasize the linkages between corruption and the SDGs, and so it produced a scoping study on the effect of corruption on national efforts to meet SDGs 1, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 13. While corruption was relatively high on the national agenda, key SDG implementers in line ministries were not sufficiently sensitized to the risks that corruption posed to the country’s targets under the 2030 Agenda. To address this issue, TI developed a comprehensive approach intended to (1) produce evidence that corruption hinders progress towards national development goals; (2) identify innovative mechanisms to mitigate corruption risks in SDG implementation; and (3) track the effectiveness of these measures over time jointly with SDG implementers.
The approach involved producing a one-page “dashboard” that combines both official and non-official data sources for each SDG relevant to TI Rwanda’s work. By consolidating various, scattered datasets into one coherent framework, the dashboard provided a highly actionable roadmap to reduce corruption vulnerabilities in SDG implementation.
So far, TI Rwanda has taken the approach of combining desk research with online expert surveys, followed up by workshops to assess the severity of the risks identified. The organization has found that hosting small multi-stakeholder workshops with expert representatives from government, the private sector and civil society during the process of developing each SDG dashboard has been highly beneficial. This is because involving these partners at an early stage helped to nurture a sense of ownership and buy-in from both government and non-government representatives, which also facilitates the access to the data needed to monitor progress.
When it comes to selecting indicators and data sources, TI Rwanda has found that in addition to the usual SMART criteria, it is important to consider the availability and longevity of the datasets currently being generated. This is because the real value of steps one and two is the establishment of a baseline against which progress can be measured over time. Therefore, various indicators included in the monitoring framework should seek to draw on existing and well-established sources of data to the extent possible, including audits, public expenditure tracking surveys, and household surveys.
Key Take-aways: Early communication is needed to ensure that relevant stakeholders feel addressed and know that the tool is holding duty bearers to account for their performance on specific SDGs.
Supporting Open and Quality Data for 2030 Agenda Commitments
Data Republica, created by Ceipei, is a digital platform focused on mapping sources related to the SDGs in Latin America and the Caribbean, strengthening capacity development and fostering content dissemination to build up the relationship between data and sustainable development. Created on the premise that open and quality data has become increasingly necessary for the design of public policies oriented to reach 2030 Agenda commitments, the platform aims to be a tool for sustainable development advocates eager to follow-up on the implementation progress of the SDGs.
Data Republica works to offer a data lab for sustainable development actors, which allows them to consult and analyze associated data sources to the SDGs, outline their relationships, write sustainable development narratives and offer capacity development tools.
The platform features four main components: Connect, Learn, Publish and Analyze.
The Connect feature is a data ecosystem for sustainable development, which offers data sources from Mexico, Colombia and Costa Rica, from various sectors, linked to the 17 SDGs. This mapping makes available to users a tool that allows having relevant information to measure progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Learn offers virtual and face-to-face training on issues related to the sustainable development agenda and the technical elements for managing and analyzing data for narrative construction.
Publish is a co-creation space for the visualization and publication of data narratives on topics related to the SDGs, through different resources and media.
Analyze showcases the contribution of the private sector to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It allows users to download aggregated databases that are associated with SDGs measurement.
Key Take-Aways: Open and quality data is necessary for well-designed public policies that will work to accomplish the 2030 Agenda.
Assessing the Right to Information (SDG Indicator 16.10.2) in Canada
Centre for Law and Democracy
In 2020, the Centre for Law and Democracy in Canada performed an assessment of Canada’s implementation of the right to information. The project assessed three areas of implementation: proactive disclosure, institutional measures and responding to requests. The assessment identified several weaknesses in applying the letter of law and provisioning accessible and straightforward services to provide information. The methodology was applied in two other countries in 2020, Pakistan and Ukraine, and can serve as a critical tool in identifying gaps and achieving full implementation of SDG indicator 16.10.2 in countries.
The Freedom of Information Advocates Network (FOIANet), a civil society coalition focused the right to information, created a methodology to assess a country’s implementation of right to information. The methodology was applied by civil society actors in the three countries: the Centre for Law and Democracy in Canada, the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives in Pakistan and UNDP in Ukraine.
The methodology involves selecting a group of five or more public authorities and assessing them on each area of implementation. The first two areas – proactive disclosure and institutional measures – are assessed through desk research. The third area – responding to requests – is assessed through action-oriented research: one to three requests are sent to each authority, and their response is assessed.
The Centre for Law and Democracy’s assessment of Canada’s implementation of the right to information found that a few categories of proactive disclosure in the core institutional information are consistently lacking, including the publishing of organizational structures, procurement processes and contact information for key contacts. Even when these types of information were published, they were often hidden in rather inaccessible places. The assessment resulted in the following key recommendations:
Key Take-away: Commitments of countries to achieve SDG indicator 16.10.2 and fulfill the right to information must be strengthened and accelerated, even in the most developed countries. Independent or civil society-organized assessments can be extremely valuable in highlighting weaknesses of institutions, defining the need for reform and change and increasing accountability.
Spotlight Reporting Methodology for Tracking Progress on Corruption Elimination
Transparency International – spotlight reports of governments’ progress towards SDG targets 16.4, 16.5, 16.6 and 16.10
In 2017, Transparency International (TI) developed a common methodology to enable civil society organizations to track their countries’ progress towards four SDG 16 targets especially relevant for anti-corruption, namely target 16.4 on illicit financial flows, target 16.5 on corruption and bribery, target 16.6 on accountable and transparent institutions and target 16.10 on access to information and fundamental freedoms. Since then, over 45 of TI’s national chapters have used the tool to produce spotlight reports that provide independent appraisals of governments’ anti-corruption efforts, which are essential to improve implementation of the 2030 Agenda across all SDGs.
Recognizing the lack of available data for the official SDG 16 indicators, TI’s methodology intentionally deviates from official indicator set, drawing on a wider range of alternative data sources to scrutinize the often uncritical assessments of national progress presented in VNRs. By going beyond the narrow understanding of corruption captured by the official global indicators, TI’s spotlight reports provide a more holistic assessment of the underlying conditions and drivers of corruption at national level.
The overall goal was to produce evidence to supplement the official government reports submitted as part of the VNR process. Looking at both the quality of the legislative and institutional framework and its actual implementation, the tool is designed to enable chapters and other national stakeholders to develop actionable recommendations across a range of relevant policy areas, from anti-money laundering to whistleblowing. In this way, the approach seeks to embed cyclical VNR reporting into a longer process of iterative reform, by generating data that can feed into governmental SDG reporting processes in each country.
The use of interviews proved to be a useful means of verifying findings from desk research. Moreover, establishing a working rapport with interviewees in government also subsequently provided chapters with “entry points” to key institutions when it came to the dissemination of findings and advocating for the adoption of policy recommendations. However, given that the primary purpose of spotlight reports is to scrutinize government performance, there remains a need for critical distance, and researchers need to be somewhat skeptical of their interlocutors’ assertions.
Key Take-aways: Civil society organizations are valuable providers and producers of actionable data that can help government to remedy vulnerabilities in a country’s anti-corruption framework.
Bringing Together Civil Society and Government through ‘Ready for Review’ Consultations for the VNRs
Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS)
At the start of 2019, CSPPS began its ‘Ready for Review’ (R4R) project, with the support of France’s Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), EU DEVCO, and the TAP Network. The R4R project ultimately aimed to ensure the meaningful inclusion, participation and contribution of civil society during Voluntary National Review (VNR) processes through nationally-held consultations and capacity-building workshops. The project operated in Côte d’Ivoire, the Central African Republic, Chad, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Nigeria and Rwanda. The outcomes of R4R contributed to solid VNRs presented at the 2019 HLPF, and supported a multi-stakeholder approach to these processes.. In follow-up to these activities, both during and after the HLPF, CSPPS organized a peer-to-peer exchange to reflect on the VNR experiences of CSO representatives involved in the project.
As a first step, nationally-held orientation and sensitization workshops were organized, where CSPPS met with national and international stakeholders (such as UNDP and government ministries) in the project countries. Here, they discussed existing collaboration opportunities to ensure civil society’s meaningful inclusion, participation and contribution to the VNR process and the final national SDG report. In the Central African Republic, for example, one of the outcomes of these workshops was that CSPPS and the Central African Republic Ministry of Planning identified an opportunity to join forces with Cordaid, World Vision, and the TAP Network to organize a consultative VNR and SDG workshop in May 2019.
As a second step, the CSPPS Secretariat organized – in coordination with its country-team focal points and local partners – capacity building workshops for local civil society actors in the project countries. CSPPS worked in partnership with a number of International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF) members (e.g. MEAE, EU and UNDP), who provided strategic and political support as well as resources. With the methodological support provided by an external consultant, and in coordination with CSPPS members and local and international partners, CSPPS was able to successfully conduct the workshops, build the capacity of local civil society, capture and compile their recommendations and key messages, and ensure their inclusion and participation in their countries’ VNR consultation process.
Challenges faced in R4R implementation included the following:
Key Take-aways: VNR consultation activities can be a starting point for initiating and improving dialogue and coordination between government and civil society. During these activities, it is important for civil society to realize what its added value is and highlight it. From this intervention, it is clear that civil society understands the opportunities offered by the VNR process and wants to do more. Wherever possible, the VNR workshop planning process should be opened to other local organizations in addition to traditional local partners.
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice of Ghana: An Accountability Actor
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ or the Commission) is Ghana’s National Human Rights Institution. CHRAJ is a member of the multi-sectoral SDGs Implementation Coordination Committee (ICC) of Ghana, which comprises representatives of key ministries, public agencies and civil society organizations. The mandate of the ICC includes strengthening cross-sectoral coordination and multi-stakeholder partnerships in SDG implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting. For the preparation of Ghana’s 2019 VNR, the CHRAJ was formally requested by the SDG coordinating secretariat to provide information on its activities contributing to the SDGs, including on Goal 16. The Commission was also part of Ghana’s official delegation to the HLPF that year.
In the follow-up to the VNR, the CHRAJ is playing a central role in improving accountability in the country, particularly in its capacity as the coordinating body for the National Anti-Corruption Plan. In this role, the Commission is convening a number of thematic international and national dialogues with relevance to advance issues related to SDG 16, such as promoting the relevance of linking human rights in anti-corruption efforts to, for example, strengthen institutions, ensure rule of law and access to justice, and design adequate policies for asset recovery and return.
Among other initiatives, the CHRAJ organized a national Conference on Anti-Corruption and Transparency, which gathered high-level officials (including Ghana’s Vice-President), key representatives from the governance and justice sectors, civil society, the UN and the private sector. Participants reviewed existing policies and strategies and agreed on measures to strengthen institutions involved in fighting corruption and ensuring transparency and accountability.
Further, in January 2020, the Commission organized a national forum involving key accountability institutions including the offices of the Attorney-General, Auditor-General and Special Prosecutor, as well as the Economic and Organized Crime Office, Narcotics Control Board, Police Service and others. The forum was meant to strengthen inter-institutional collaboration and information-sharing and led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among these actors to fulfil this purpose.
Finally, on a project funded by the World Bank and expected to start in the second half of 2020, the CHRAJ was selected as one of 16 public sector institutions to promote good governance and access to a redress or remedy through internal complaint or grievance handling mechanism within the public services. The CHRAJ, in exercising its constitutional mandate as Ghana’s Ombudsman, will provide capacity-training for public officials on Client Service Charters and effective complaint handling to strengthen public services in contribution to the government’s public sector reform strategy.
SDG Accountability Handbook
Colombia: The Comptroller General of the Republic of Colombia (CGRC) actively promotes citizen participation in the oversight process. Colombia’s SAI developed a guide on joint audits with CSOs and citizens affected by public interventions. The actors provide input throughout the execution of audits: on-site; at meetings and roundtables; or through reports and any other forms of information that can help the SAI improve the audit process. According to Practical Action, CGRC has “worked to develop a civil and fiscal culture among citizens. From 2006 to 2010, it carried out 2,232 outreach activities, benefiting 281,861 citizens.” It has also: “established accessible channels for receiving citizens’ input and incorporating it in the audit process [and] from 2006-2010, the CGRC implemented 120 coordinated audits and created 763 citizen oversight committees. To ensure these mechanisms’ success, it carried out 4,964 training activities, enabling 177,196 citizens to actively participate in the oversight process.”13
South Korea: In South Korea, the Audit Office established a complaint hotline and whistle-blower mechanism through which citizens can report areas of suspected irregularities or corruption and request audits. The hotline collects “reports on unjust handling of petitions by administrative agencies, complaints, and particularly behaviours such as unjustly refusing receipt and handling of petitions on the grounds that they may be later pinpointed by audit and inspection.” The hotlines also receive “reports of corruption and fraud of public officials, including bribery, idleness, embezzlement and the misappropriation of public funds.” This mechanism has been widely disseminated in South Korean society and has a dedicated page on the SAI’s website.14