Accountability at local level: Experiences from the partnership with the Netherlands Ministry of Development Cooperation on domestic accountability


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    In January, 2008, the then Minister for Development Cooperation, Bert  Koenders, invited SNV to engage with the Ministry (DGIS) in a partnership to
    strengthen internal (in-country) accountability.

    Based on this analysis, he formulated his agenda: “Accountability for our expenditure as a donor must not undermine political accountability in the partner country. This means that our efforts must be geared more to the active participation of local stakeholders: local authorities, civil society organisations, companies and  trade unions. They are the ones who should set priorities,  not donors. And they must call their government to account if it fails to provide good, affordable services and administrative openness. The voice of the poor must not be forgotten, even though they are often not directly represented.”

    Support was provided by European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM).  An account of this support is given in the ECDPM Discussion Paper no. 93 (October 2009).  While the partnership took shape at the country level, no corporate partnership was formalised, nor was a learning mechanism put in place to share lessons from experience.

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