Centre for Social Accountablity

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Centre for Social Accountablity

The Centre for Social Accountability was officially launched in August 2007. It was established in order to promote the institutionalisation of right to social accountability and the realisation of social and economic rights through the effective management of public resources.

The CSA incorporates the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) which has been engaged in applied social accountability monitoring work since 1999. The CSA extends the work of the PSAM, which focuses on the application of a number of tools for systematically monitoring the public resource management cycle in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, to include regional training on these social accountability monitoring tools and the development of a theoretical framework underpinning the right to social accountability. It is committed to strengthening the capacity of civil society to give effect to the right to social accountability in Southern Africa by sharing tools, knowledge and experiences, both its own and those of others, with civic groups engaged in accountability and public resource management work.

The CSA aims to address the key challenges of why and how citizens in the Southern Africa region should become more actively engaged in governance and accountability processes. The CSA promotes the right to social accountability as the rationale for enhanced citizen engagement in governance processes in the region. It does so by engaging in debate and dialogue with academics and civic leaders around the socio-political and practical implications of defining social accountability as a fundamental human right. Part of this dialogue includes engagement with these actors on the relationship between the right to social accountability, the accountability processes making up the public resource management framework, how best to ensure the effective use of public resources, and how to realise social and economic rights in Southern African states. Specifically, the CSA seeks to generate a public dialogue on ways of overcoming the current fragmentation of accountability work being conducted by civic actors utilising different monitoring approaches.

In this way, the CSA offers an alternative vision for why civic actors should mobilise and collaborate in order to demand .justifications for the use of public resources and for the way in which these resources have been used to realise human rights.

The CSA also engages in information-sharing activities and training on practical evidence-based monitoring and advocacy tools. It seeks to disseminate these tools to civic and political actors (with a primary focus on CSO leaders, parliamentarians and journalists in the Southern Africa region) with an interest in monitoring the public resource management framework. In so doing, it aims to address the challenge of how civic actors can give effect to the right to social accountability within regional states.

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