BBL | Saving Big: When the State Engages Citizens in Public Oversight

June 17, 2015
Washington, DC


The Global Partnership for Social Accountability with the Fiscal Transparency, Participation
and Accountability CoP and the Governance Global Practice invite you to a BBL:


Saving Big: When the State Engages Citizens in Public Oversight


Wednesday June 17th, 2015 | 12:30 - 2:00pm | Room MC3-850
1919 H Street NW, Washington DC | Light lunch will be served
Download the BBL Report here


Sowmya Kidambi

Director, Society for Social Audit, Accountability and Transparency (SSAAT)


Edgardo Mosqueira

Lead Public Sector Specialist, Governance Global Practice, World Bank



Juan Pablo Guerrero

Network Director of the Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency (GIFT)



Roby Senderowitsch

Manager, Global Partnership for Social Accountability, World Bank


During the past years, there have been increasing efforts to engage citizens and communities in auditing work, in many cases launched by CSOs. More recently a few governments have been promoting participatory approaches to audit work. This BBL looks at the conditions and challenges for scaling up participatory audit processes, their incentives for both state institutions and communities, and the extent of their engagement with state audit institutions. Findings of an evaluation in Colombia will be also shared. For the purpose of this BBL is hereby focused on two cases: the case of ‘social audits’ in the State of Andhra Pradesh (India) and ‘auditorias visibles’ in Colombia.

In the undivided State of Andhra Pradesh (India), The Society for Social Audit, Accountability and Transparency (SSAAT) carries out independent social audits in various development schemes. The best way to find possible fixes for simple scheme design flaws, is through citizen-government interaction. Social audits allow these interactions to take place in their own villages, thus preventing citizens from having to travel from village to village in search of a government official. First, social audits provide information in a simple and easy format. Once citizens have information, they are able to compare it to the reality of what is happening in their villages, which empowers citizens to interact with governments. As government reports not always reflect local situations, these interactions provide the government with additional, first-hand information.


In Colombia, the National Government’s Department of Planning (DNP) has been implementing the Citizens’ Visible Audit (CVA) program. In this program beneficiaries monitor projects within their communities to ensure that they are correctly implemented. The CVA program brings together citizens and local authorities to participate in public forums where firms responsible for the implementation of projects can provide answers regarding citizens’ concerns. This coming together of key stakeholders allows citizens to provide direct feedback on the implementation of projects within their communities and holds local governments and contracting firms accountable for honoring commitments, so projects may be finalized in a timely and efficient manner.



Sowmya Kidambi

Sowmya Kidambi is the Director of the Society for Social Audit, Accountability and Transparency (SSAAT) set-up by the Department of Rural Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh since 2006 to carry out independent Social Audits of the MGNREGS. Sowmya has led the introduction of social audits throughout India, which review how public-sector funds have been spent on the ground. The audits help to improve governance and reinforce public trust in the state. From 1998 till she joined SSAAT, she worked with Aruna Roy and Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) based in Rajasthan. She has been instrumental in training various organizations in conducting on-site, live social audits of various schemes in Kenya and South Africa and started social audit training programs in a host of countries. Sowmya holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work (Urban and Rural Community Development) from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bombay, India and a Diploma in Human Rights from Columbia University, New York.


Edgardo Mosqueira
Edgardo Mosqueira is the Lead Public Sector Development Specialist at the World Bank. He has working and reform experience around the world and served in the Peruvian Government for 6 years as high level official and member of the Peruvian Cabinet of Ministers in two opportunities. First as Minister of the Presidency and second as Minister of Labor and Social Promotion. Additionally, Edgardo served also as the director of the National Commission for the Promotion of Private Investment (COPRI), which led the Peruvian privatization process, and as the Director of MIVIVIENDA – a public fund created to promote private investment and credit for housing. Before serving, he was senior researcher at the Peruvian Economist Hernando de Soto’s “Institute for Liberty and Democracy” (ILD), and Dean of the “Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas” School of Law. He holds a Master’s degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a Law degree from the Peruvian Catholic University.

Juan Pablo Guerrero
Juan Pablo Guerrero is the Network Director of the Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency (GIFT), a multi-stakeholder action network working to advance and institutionalize global norms and practice on fiscal transparency and participation in countries around the world. He joined GIFT from the Federal Institute for Access to Information & Data Protection (IFAI) in Mexico, where he was a Founding Information Commissioner (2002-09) and Secretary General (2013-14). Between 2009 and 2013, Guerrero was the manager of the Mentoring Governments for Transparency Program at the International Budget Partnership, where he helped to the publication of citizen´s budgets and fiscal transparency portals in over 8 countries. Before then, he was a university professor in public policy, finance, budget transparency & administrative reform at the Center for Research & Teaching in Economics (CIDE) in Mexico. He started his career as news reporter and correspondent in Washington & Paris, where he studied master and PhD programs in public policy.


Roby Senderowitsch

Roby Senderowitsch currently serves as Program Manager of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA). He previously served as Country Manager of the World Bank in the Dominican Republic. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, his work in the Bank included a strong focus on political economy analysis, building coalitions for change, anti-corruption, and performance based management of public institutions. Before joining the Bank, Roby work with several NGOs in Argentina and Cuba, where he served as the Field Representative of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. He has been a lecturer in Human Resource management in nonprofit organizations, as well as director of educational programs and community development and human resource management in the private sector. Roby holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Buenos Aires and a series of postgraduate courses at Harvard and Stanford University.

Video Recording will be made available after the event.


Please RSVP by June 17, 10am with name and organization to, in order to obtain a visitor pass.

This event is part of the GPSA Brown Bag Lunch series | More information at:

The GPSA is a Global Partnership of the World Bank Group.