The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Dominican Republic, Finland and Mexico announced this month that they will commit a total of $3.3 million to the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), a fund dedicated to helping civil society, the private sector and governments to work together to solve critical governance challenges in developing countries. These contributions signal crucial support of the international donor community for the social accountability agenda.
The Work Bank established the GPSA in 2012, and the program has been growing steadily, reaching almost $31 million in 2015. The GPSA works to solve governance problems through strategic social accountability mechanisms. Some recent examples of success stories include efforts to improve education services by developing feedback tools for students and parents, and to build the capacity of local community-based organizations to monitor the quality of health services in extreme poor and poor communities. These new donor contributions will help enable the GPSA’s continued growth, reach, and long term commitment to promoting citizen engagement to enhance good governance and service delivery.
The Government of Finland has been very supportive of the program since its inception and holds a chair on the GPSA Steering Committee. USAID’s contribution will provide strategic and sustained support to CSOs’ social accountability initiatives aimed at strengthening transparency and accountability. The World Bank has also disbursed its fourth installment of its initial pledge of $20 million to the GPSA. The Government of Mexico joins the Dominican Republic as the second Part 2 country to financially support the initiative. Other donors include the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, and the Aga Khan Foundation.
The GPSA currently supports 23 projects in 17 countries ranging from Bangladesh to Ghana to Paraguay, with a third Call for Proposals recently completed. Governments of 46 countries have opted-in to the program, making these eligible for GPSA grants. The GPSA’s Global Partners network is a broad community of more than 260 organizations including CSOs, foundations, universities and think tanks, multilateral and bilateral institutions, as well as the private sector. In addition to grants, the GPSA leads a Knowledge and Learning program, supporting grantees and other stakeholders in the field.