Improving governance and social accountability is key to sustainable development.
By informing citizens of their rights and teaching them how to hold their governments to account, we empower poor communities to advocate for themselves.
We use a wide range of social accountability tools and approaches. These are designed to bring citizens, government, academe and the private sector together on inclusive development projects that best meet the needs of the community.
Governance is a priority in Vietnam. We conduct research to understand the impact of government policies on poor communities, especially women and ethnic minorities. We design simple tools and train citizens in how to use them, so they can monitor government services and public investments, and provide feedback to the relevant authorities. In doing so, we raise awareness of the importance of good governance, and improve the capacity of local people to raise their voices.
In addition to our work in poor and vulnerable communities, we provide policy recommendations to government authorities. We also run an online resource centre that disseminates information on governance, and promotes cooperation between key stakeholders.
In the Solomon Islands, we help communities to lobby for their own development agenda. Through our Bridging the Gap project, we help villagers to identify their priorities, such as water, sanitation and health care, and work with local authorities to meet these needs.
We also work with the Foundation for the South Pacific International (FSPI), the regional secretariat for a network of 10 independent community-based organisations in the Pacific. FSPI is a key player in fostering self-reliance and sustainable development in the countries where we work – Timor Leste, Fiji, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands. We mentor FSPI in key areas such as policy, finance, and governance, ensuring they can provide strong technical expertise to their member organisations. Together, we build the capacity of community organisations in the Pacific to deliver effective aid projects to those most in need. Our partnership also ensures that our development work is locally appropriate and best meets communities’ needs.