The global community is witnessing a new era propelled by the viral threat at our door step. In a span of two months, from March 2020 when the threat of COVID-19 became prominent, the world has been thrown into a state of crisis and forced to adapt in order to survive. This newsletter contains thoughts around how civil society, the leaders and the government can work together to move forward and use the opportunities that come with COVID-19 to plan and secure a better future, not only in matters of the public’s socio-economic wellbeing, but also in-terms of biodiversity and environmental wellbeing. It’s also important to learn how various actors have been adapting and the different methods they have been applying to ensure that their work continues to bring about the desired objectives, not only in-terms of monitoring the use of resources, but also in facilitating teaching and learning to relevant stakeholders. Therefore, in this newsletter, PSAM staff and partners share their opinion pieces and experiences with an aim to bring about awareness, solidarity and encourage innovative engagement to fight COVID-19 and improve lives.
On 22 May, members of our community of practice of social accountability practitioners in Sub-Saharan Africa wrote a letter to the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Representing organisations in Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, we call on the SADC Secretariat to bring our COVID-19 related concerns to the attention of all SADC member states.
Read the full letter which outlines recommendation for ways in which regional leaders can fulfil their obligations to safeguard human rights and lives during this period: Endorsed Open Letter to SADC Secretariat_22 May 2020.
The letter was endorsed by the following individuals and organisations:
1. The Public Service Accountability Monitor, South Africa
2. The Rural Health Advocacy Project, South Africa
3. Policy Forum, Tanzania
4. Mr. Richard Msittu, Tanzania
5. Transparency International Zambia (TIZ), Zambia.
6. Alliance for Accountability Advocates Zambia (AAAZ), Zambia.
7. Caritas Zambia, Zambia.
8. Alliance for Community Action (ACA), Zambia.
9. Parliamentary Budget Office of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe.
10. Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST), Zimbabwe.
11. United Purpose, Mozambique.
12. Manual Chifunga, Mozambican Parliament, Mozambique
13. Mr. Andrew Mpesi, Wisdam Consulting, Malawi
The Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) has been working in Southern Africa within the social accountability sector since 2007 whereas this year – 2019 – marks the organisation’s 20th year in existence. The Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) is hosting its annual Global Partners Forum in Washington D.C. which presents a valuable opportunity for the PSAM to benefit from this learning and sharing platform with some of our regional partners from Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. As one of the organisations partnering with the GPSA to host the 2019 Global Partners Forum, the PSAM has dedicated this issue of our newsletter to the central theme of the Forum, which is: Social accountability and the challenge of inclusion in the public governance. This Newsletter contains learning reflections from the social accountability practitioners, some of whom will also be panelists at the Forum, as well as profiles of the additional panelists that will be presenting their experiences and findings from the field.
“National Treasury told ITWeb it is in stage one of the development phase of an online budget dataportal. The portal will therefore publish [budget] data in a user-friendly format, which should enable more effective information-sharing, analysis and research.”
“As global companies implicated in a graft scandal in South Africa scramble to contain the damage to their reputations, politicians and law enforcement agencies are prevaricating and stalling official investigations.”