Training workshop on ‘Social Accountability Tools’ concludes

A two-day training workshop on 'Social Accountability Tools' organized by Centre for Governance and Pubic Accountability (CGPA) in Swabi concluded on Thursday.

The participants represented all major civil societies and media organisations of the district. The training was designed to equip the broader civil society to be able to effectively demand accountability from public officials.

The training was held by CGPA in collaboration with Open Society Foundations, Pakistan. On this occasion Zahoor Khan, Executive Director, CGPA and Komal Khalid, Research and Advocacy Co-ordinator, CGPA conducted sessions on open budgets advocacy. In the training, the participants were educated on fiscal transfers from federal to provincial and provincial to local level to district, tehsil, and union councils, and the process that was followed in making of the budget. The participants were also trained in accessing information under KP Right to Information Act 2013, the Local Government Act 2013 and methods of advocacy and fruitful engagement with district governments for budget openness and transparency.

The participants showed great interest in eliciting transparency and improving effectiveness of public departments through carrying out their own social accountability campaigns. They demanded publishing of performance report by different public authority and proactive disclosure of budget related information through websites and other media channels. On the occasion, participants commented that it was imperative that CSOs also play their part in ensuring transparency and holding the government accountable to the budget and promised goals. Zahoor Khan thanked the participants and said that the interest shown by CSOs' and the media was very encouraging. He also said that the importance of understanding the budget as policy driver cannot be understated. He added that participatory, gender sensitive and pro-poor budgeting is a very pressing need at district and provincial level.