GPSA and Open Society Foundations announce support for social accountability in health, education and local governance in Ghana and Tunisia

The Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) and the Open Society Foundations (OSF) announce two new projects in Ghana and Tunisia that will help to improve the effectiveness of public health investments, and improve local government budgeting and planning systems in each of these countries respectively. The Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) in Ghana will receive $898,050 in support for its project titled ‘Building transparency, participation and feedback around local government budgeting and planning systems’. The grant will be administered through OSF’s regional office for West Africa, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), which covers Ghana. In Tunisia, Article 19 will be supported by a $200,000 grant for its project ‘Using Right to Information to improve rural women’s access to quality health services’.  

Funds for both projects are provided by OSF, which joined the GPSA as a Global Partner in early 2013. The OSF has committed a total investment of $3 million in parallel funding to the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA). Through such parallel funding, OSF leverages the reach of the GPSA, using the program’s Call for Proposals to identify new grantees for social accountability projects. The projects funded in parallel by OSF, of which one was made to ANSA-EAP in the Philippines in 2013, follow the same approach and receive the same capacity building support as the 20 grants funded directly by the GPSA.

In Tunisia, the project will strengthen access to quality health services for rural women in marginalized communities outside of the capital, Tunis, through the use of the right to information.  It will promote proactive disclosure by government health care service providers and raise public awareness and demand for information – through social accountability mechanisms – on health care services in three provinces in southwestern Tunisia (Gafsa, Tozeur, and Kebilli), which are among the most disadvantaged regions in terms of health care services. The information generated will benefit the relevant ministries, namely of Finance, Health, Interior, including the general direction of Local Authorities.

In Ghana, the project will build upon CDD’s prior social accountability work by focusing on a citizen’s education platform that will build the capacity of citizens to monitor budgetary allocations and track expenses. It will strengthen citizen networks to enhance their participation in the budgeting and planning processes of District Assemblies. Special attention shall be given to marginalized and vulnerable groups such as women, the youth, and people living with disabilities. The information generated by the project will be used by the Local Government Secretariat, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning; the sector ministries and the CDD Secretariat for improving fiscal discipline at the district level.

The grant in Ghana complements the support GPSA is giving to SEND Ghana, which works to combine the monitoring of services in health and education with sector budget monitoring, at local, district, regional and national levels. In Tunisia, the GPSA also supports the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) to monitor health and education services, infrastructure investments, and to develop other social accountability mechanisms to assess service quality at the facility level.

About the GPSA:

The GPSA supports civil society and governments to work together to solve governance challenges, building on the World Bank’s direct engagement with public sector actors and a network of Global Partners. The program works to “close the loop” by supporting citizens to have a more articulated voice, helping governments to listen, and assisting government agencies to act upon the feedback they receive.

About OSF:

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities in more than 100 countries, the Open Society Foundations support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.