The Dominican Republic Joins Donor Group of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability
The Dominican Republic has become the first country from the global South to join the group of donors financing the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA). Joining other donors such as the World Bank, Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations and Aga Khan Foundation USA, the move reflects the government’s strong commitment to social accountability mechanisms and governance reforms as a means to end poverty. The GPSA program, established in 2012 by the World Bank, supports civil society, governments, and the private sector across the world to work together in solving governance challenges through strategic social accountability mechanisms.
The Government of the Dominican Republic has made significant strides in embedding principles of social accountability into service delivery and demonstrating the results that can flow from active partnerships with civil society. It was the first country to opt in to the GPSA, thereby enabling Dominican CSOs to participate in the GPSA’s Call for Proposals. Openness to reform and constructive engagement with civil society have been a priority of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development and relevant social sector lines ministries.
“We are pleased to support a program that aligns with our intention to systematically enhance transparency and accountability in government operations through strategic citizen feedback”, said Minister Montas, from the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development.
In recent years, procurement reforms in the country’s health sector resulting from greater public oversight have yielded savings of $25 million to the health budget in one year, highlighting the very significant results that can be achieved from social accountability work when government and civil society work jointly towards a common development goal.
“We are very pleased to receive this special contribution from the Dominican Republic. It underlines the commitment to transparency and accountability that the Dominican Government has made, and builds upon the progress made with the social accountability agenda in the country under the Participatory Anti-Corruption Initiative (IPAC) and other efforts in the past decade, which have had the continued support of the World Bank,” said Mario Marcel, Senior Director for the Governance Practice at the World Bank, where the GPSA is located.
The GPSA is already active in the Dominican Republic, supporting a $730,000 project by Intermon Oxfam working to coordinate and scale up social accountability processes aimed at improving budget accountability in the education, agriculture, water and sanitation, and public housing sectors. Using locally-driven social accountability processes targeting selected sector issues and problems, the project intends to generate evidence-based and continuous feedback to be used by national authorities responsible for defining budgetary priorities and managing service delivery processes.
The contribution by the Dominican Government will be used to finance the activities of the GPSA program, as set forth in its Board Paper, including grant-making for initiatives by civil society organizations that involve citizen feedback and participatory mechanisms to solve specific challenges in participating countries, as well as a wide range of knowledge and institution-building activities that help build civil society and public sector capacity for social accountability.