Accountability weakened after Independence

Times of India, December 17, 2009

State minister for rural development and panchyati raj, Bharat Singh said on Wednesday the country has progressed a lot in the field of health, education etc but the phenomenon of accountability has weakened after Independence. “The outcomes are not always in proportion to the amount of expenditures made for the social development schemes and programmes. This is where the question of accountability comes in.”

He was speaking at a two-day workshop on Social Accountability in India: Moving from Mechanisms to Outcomes and Institutionalisation in Large-Scale Public Programmes.

Giovanna Prennushi, economic advisor to the World Bank, in her keynote address said, “The World Bank is trying to incorporate social accountability mechanism in flagship schemes for better public expenditure outcomes. During my work, I have understood the importance of community activism and it is the best way to encourage accountability.”

Parmesh Shah, lead rural development specialist of the World Bank stated in his opening remarks about the need of institutionalising a system by which public expenditure outcomes can be enhanced. The experiences which are accompanied by achievement and outcomes should be incorporated in the system. He put a question that despite efforts of CSOs and government policies, the changes are not achieving the outcomes.

“Citizens have the right to demand accountability and public actors have an obligation to be accountable to its citizens and it is a challenge how we can institutionalise the social accountability mechanism in the system. However, there are enabling environment for good governance in the country,” said George Cheriyan, director, CUTS.

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