Affiliated Networks for Social Accountability (ANSA)
Around the world, ordinary citizens often feel powerless and detached from their governments. They do not feel a connection to public institutions, lack influence in the governing process, and do not have a coherent voice to express their collective demands. Social accountability tools enable citizens to engage with governments in a constructive, meaningful way by using evidence-based analysis and advocacy
Through collaboration with the regional ANSAs or the Affiliated Networks for Social Accountability, the World Bank Institute (WBI) has contributed to building networks in Africa, East Asia and Pacific, South Asia, Middle East and at the Global level to support civil society organizations (CSOs) in their efforts to monitor governments in areas like service delivery and to build demand for public accountability.
The ANSA networks are an attempt to build the capacity of a network, centered around a regional institution but with diverse membership, to address accountability and demand-side governance issues. The ANSA model is designed to foster networks of practitioners and peer-to-peer learning among a variety of audiences.
The ANSA “journey” began in Accra, Ghana in 2006 at a regional stakeholders’ conference. The conference findings pointed to the need to connect social accountability practitioners across the continent to create a more cohesive community of practice across Africa. They collectively envisioned and designed a regional platform that could serve as a continent-wide clearinghouse for knowledge products, capacity building, and networking for social accountability in Africa. Out of this process, the ANSA Africa was born.
It quickly became clear that this model had a strong potential for supporting practitioners in implementing social accountability approaches at the local and national levels, for collecting and disseminating research on such approaches, and for raising the overall awareness and profile of social accountability work both regionally and globally. Within regions and across regions, to some extent, similar demands existed: demands for capacity building, knowledge products, research, and above all – for a network to support implementing and learning more about the work of similar programs regionally and globally. ANSA Africa was followed by new networks in the East Asia Pacific region (2008), South Asia (2009), at the Global level (2009), and most recently in the ANSA Arab World (2011).
While their work is varied, the ANSAs are linked by their common goal of seeking innovative ways to equip civil society organizations and ordinary citizens with the skills necessary to play a more active role in holding governments to account.
The ANSA networks work to:
• Build capacity of individuals and organizations on social accountability good practices
• Provide a knowledge platform for dissemination of good practices
• Facilitate networking and regional exchanges among practitioners
• Provide technical assistance and strategic support to practitioners engaged in demand-side governance initiatives