YOVENCO, in partnership with the European Union, organized two community consultations on the importance of accountability in local government in Hargeisa and Berbera on March 16 and 18, respectively. The consultations aimed to foster community-based accountability in the services of local governments, raise awareness among community members about the importance of accountability in local government, gather community feedback and insights on their expectations of accountability in local government, identify challenges that hinder accountability in local government, and explore potential solutions to improve accountability in local government.
The consultations were instrumental in identifying areas where community-based accountability is lagging behind in the work of local governments in Hargeisa and Berbera. They were also crucial in sparking the thinking of the community into the state of accountability in local governments and how it could be facilitated to bring about local government services which are accountable to the community.
During the sessions, a presentation on social accountability and its significance was presented in both consultations. The presentation provided insights about the importance of social accountability, its benefits and impacts, key examples of social accountability mechanisms employed by different countries in the world, the role of civil society groups in drawing support for community-based accountability, and more.
Finally, the participants of the consultation engaged in discussion on the current state of accountability systems in local governments, and whether their local governments have the needed mechanisms of social accountability in place so that the communities are involved in the process of service delivery. The discussions explored challenges, shortcomings, and recommendations going forward to bring about accountability mechanisms built-in for the community.
The consultations were a success in raising awareness about the importance of social accountability and in gathering feedback from community members on their expectations of accountability in local government. The next steps will be to develop a plan to implement the recommendations that were made during the consultations.