PTF Board Director Dante de los Angeles chaired a PTF seminar at the annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank on May 5, 2013 in New Delhi: “How Civil Society Empowerment Improves Governance and Development Results of Public Service Delivery” on May 5, 2013. Lead presenter PTF Director and chief technical officer Vinay Bhargava and panel speaker Bibhu Prasad Sahu of Youth for Social Development.
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Most countries have built-in systems for overseeing the performance of their public departments and agencies—inspectorates, audits, anti-corruption agencies, ombudsmen, parliamentary public account committees and a variety of internal department controls both national and local. In many developing countries these institutions are weak and unable to ensure delivery of efficient public services. Institutions that deliver public services tend to suffer from low capacity, inefficiency and, most damaging of all, corruption. What more can be done to ensure better results?
Experience over the past twenty-five years makes clear that the only way governance will improve is in response to pressure for reform from a state’s own citizens. Over the past 12 years Partnership for Transparency Fund has supported some 200 CSO anti-corruption projects in 53 countries; these show that when citizens engage with service providers they can achieve remarkable results. A book just published—Citizens Against Corruption: Report from the Front Line By Mr. Pierre Landell Mills—presents this evidence. Drawing on this book, this session will feature presentations of experiences, lessons and outcomes. This will be followed by a discussion of what works and why — on how CSOs have energized local citizens to demand better services from their public providers. It will highlight some key messages for the development aid agencies to radically rethink their approach to assisting CSOs.