Social Accountability Tools as Means for Accountability Success: Two Municipal Case Studies in Kosovo

February 11, 2019

Social Accountability tools are being increasingly employed by civil society organizations to monitor the use (and misuse) of public funds for quality service provision by local governments. Using the Social Audit and Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) methods, GLPS was contracted by the USAID Transparent, Effective, and Accountable Municipalities (USAID TEAM) to disseminate in this report the findings on the procurement activities related to four distinct municipal service provision plans. Kosovo continues to face structural challenges that hinder development and the quality of life of citizens. The country is still engaged in a complex state-building process, erecting its structures and building its services. One of the most pressing challenges is a distinctive lack of transparency and accountability with regards to public expenditures and public service provision of central and local governments. As a self-entitled ‘Newborn’ country, it is the task of civil society organizations (CSOs) to mobilize all citizens and state actors towards a higher demand for information and results as well as a more active monitoring of service delivery and law implementation.

The nine-month project GLPS conducted with USAID TEAM support took on a bottom-up approach to the process of procurement. It employed two key social accountability tools: Social Audit and PETS. Both tools were employed in the two focus municipalities of USAID TEAM – Pristina and Vushtrri/Vučitrn with the aim of generating higher accountability of local governments relying on civic and social engagement. During this period, the project engaged in a set of activities that tackled the quality of procurement activities related to the implementation of “Bllok pas Blloku” project in Pristina, public transportation services in Pristina, the construction of schools in the villages of Vushtrri/Vučitrn (Pantine/a, Druar, Maxhunaj/Madjunaj), and provision of medical services in healthcare centers of Vushtrri/Vučitrn.  The adopted monitoring approach rooted in the use of social accountability tools adheres to the sustainable nature of the project itself. Kosovo being a new and developing country, all projects must satisfy a long-term method which not only consider improving a specific challenge, but most importantly bolsters state development. The Social Audit and PETS tools are therein used to facilitate discussions that engage those who are affected firsthand by local government actions (or inactions), and the most eager to push for change if equipped with the right data and channels. It is noteworthy to mention that the abovementioned accountability tools are being employed for the first time in Kosovo.

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