Growing demand for social accountability

The Hindu, July 13, 2010

Special Correspondent

The rapid economic growth in South Asia may not be fully there in the overall quality of life of its citizens and governance the governments are providing but there seems a growing demand for social accountability in the region. The past decade has seen a strong civic expression to exact accountability and responsiveness from both the polity and the executive if the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (ANSA), a leading organisation looking into these aspects, has to be believed.

“The demand side of the governance landscape in South Asia today represents many strong initiatives that amplify citizen’s voice for good governance and accountability,” said Gopakumar Thampi, Chief Operating Officer of ANSA for South Asia. However, he concedes that these expressions still exist as islands. “Till date there has been no effort to connect the dots and create a shared forum for proponents, practitioners and interested parties to come together,” he notes.

Dr. Thampi was in Jaipur recently in connection with the launch of a partnership with the Jaipur-based CUTS in “developing a culture of good governance and accountability in Rajasthan”.

Speaking to The Hindu, Dr. Thampi maintained that “social accountability approach” enabled the citizens, especially voiceless and powerless, to engage with State institutions in a proactive and constructive way to articulate the demand for accountability.

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