ANSA-SAR to enhance social accountability in S Asian region

The Daily Star, March 08, 2010

In a bid to enhance social accountability and governance initiatives in South Asian region, the Affiliated Networks for Social Accountability-South Asia Region and Global Partnerships Fund (ANSA-SAR and Global) was launched yesterday.

This is for the first time a network has brought together diverse organisations from neighbouring countries to work under a common theme of social accountability, said organisers at the launching ceremony of the network at the office of Journalism Training and Research Initiative (JATRI).

Funded by World Bank Institute, ANSA is a group of three networks in the East Asia and the Pacific, Africa and South Asia and Globally.

The organisers said these networks have been set up against a compelling context of poor accountability and weak institutional capacities in many countries.

ANSA-SAR and Global are currently coordinated by the Institute of Governance Studies of Brac University.

The primary objective of these networks is to promote social accountability programmes and governance activities through providing project grants, giving academic fellowships and building capacities and competencies within the government and non-government institutions.

The organisers said social accountability refers to the ways and means in which citizens can hold public institutions accountable in terms of delivering public services, improving people’s welfare and protecting people’s rights and entitlements.

ANSA-SAR has partnered with organisations from seven countries namely Argentina, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Kyrgyz Republic, the Philippines and Sri Lanka in its initial round of activities, they added.

The network selected four niche areas to address primarily. The areas include climate change adaptation and mitigation, right to information, procurement and citizens’ watchdogs.

Prof Dr Golam Samdani Fakir, acting vice chancellor of Brac University, and Barrister Manzoor Hasan, director of the Institute of Governance Studies and Dr Gopakumar K Thampi, chief operating officer of ANSA-SAR and Global spoke at the event.

Some 35 members of 18 partner organisations were present

The news item can also be viewed at: