Transparency, Participation and Accountability
During a rally in Niamey, Niger, Publish What You Pay coalition members campaign for better governance of their oil and mineral resources to fund public services.Photo Credit: Publish What You Pay
Inside the mobile recording studio “MiniBuzz”, these Tanzanians debate issues of government responsiveness during their daily commute in Dar es Salaam.Photo Credit: Dana Schmidt
This health facility in Limuru, Kenya publically displays its service charter so that citizens know the cost and typical waiting time for each service.Photo Credit: Dana Schmidt
Panelists discuss issues of transparency and accountability at a conference organized by the Open Government Partnership.Photo Credit: Alfonsina Penaloza
Goal: To support organizations that inform and empower citizens to engage with governments to improve public services.
In too many places around the world, the quality of health care, education, sanitation, and other government services is poor, especially for the people who need them most. Often, the most egregious problems stem from a lack of government accountability. The result? Even as economies grow, and social services budgets increase, governments often fail to address the needs of their citizens, especially the poorest ones.
The Hewlett Foundation’s Global Development and Population program seeks to address this problem by supporting efforts to increase transparency, participation and accountability. When citizens have access to knowledge about government actions, and also are able to engage those in power, they can hold government accountable and ensure the delivery of quality public services.
Our strategy begins with establishing a favorable enabling environment. Since 2004, this has included support for creating and reinforcing norms and standards that enable greater transparency and participation, and ensuring information on resources and service quality is available, usable and – in some cases – generated by citizens. We have supported, for example, the Open Government Partnership, which encourages national governments and large donor institutions to implement a host of global norms on transparency, including the International Aid Transparency Initiative, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Natural Resource Charter, and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency.
In addition, our grantmaking fosters better organized citizen groups that can then engender more responsive governments. We invest in strengthening the capacity of citizens to take action around service delivery challenges, and build and strengthen channels that provide citizens constructive ways to engage with all levels of government.
Through transparency by the public sector and participation by citizens and groups that represent their interests, we hope and expect that governments will increase their responsiveness to what people need. This will help to ensure that public services are of high-quality, leading to better health, education and other measureable improvements in people’s well-being and to a stronger, more enduring relationship between governments and citizens.