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Political Efficacy and Citizen Participation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Antonio Lambino's picture

A post from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), somewhere in the heart of the medieval section of this deeply multicultural city. I’m here with a team organized by the World Bank Institute (WBI), working with local partners on preparing a capacity building program for low income municipalities on increasing citizens’ participation in local governance. Colleagues from the WBI facilitated sessions on participatory budgeting and citizens’ feedback mechanisms. Two of us from the World Bank’s Development Communication Division contributed a few modules on participatory communication as a cross-cutting issue in enabling and sustaining citizen participation in local governance.

A Quick Update from the Harvard Kennedy School/CommGAP Workshop

Antonio Lambino's picture

Greetings from Cambridge, Massachusetts!  The first day of the 2 ½ day workshop on the Roles of the News Media in the Governance Reform Agenda is wrapping up.  We are thrilled to report that we’ve had a series of rich and engaging discussions among some of the world’s best scholars and most seasoned practitioners.  So far, we

Natural Disasters: What Role for Information and Communication?

Shanthi Kalathil's picture

Photo Credit: Flickr user Sarvodaya.orgIn the wake of the massive and horrific natural disasters in Myanmar and China, it is important to examine how the provision of humanitarian relief relates to issues of voice and accountability. In a general sense, communication should be an absolutely vital element of any relief effort.

The Tabloid Over Your Shoulder

Sina Odugbemi's picture

Photo Credit: Flick User fxgeekBefore I joined the World Bank about a year and half ago, I worked for DFID, the British Government's development ministry. DFID is part of the British Civil Service. That means I was a civil servant. And I attended a variety of training courses at the Civil Service College.

Putting the "P" back in Poverty

Antonio Lambino's picture

For those of us who grew up in developing countries, political discourse about poverty is an everyday thing. Political campaigns in the Philippines, for example, place poverty upfront and center. Candidates for local posts, such as barangay (village) councilor, all the way up to the highest office in the archipelago invariably campaign on poverty issues. For instance, memorable slogans from relatively recent elections include "para sa mahirap" ("for the poor") and "pagkain sa bawat mesa" ("food on every table"). Not at all surprising in developing country contexts where poverty and inequality are so ubiquitous.

These reflections ran through my head as I attended a brown bag lunch CommGAP organized a couple of weeks ago on a Panos London publication entitled "Making poverty the story: Time to involve the media in poverty reduction", authored by Angela Wood and Jon Barnes. Presented by Barnes at the brown bag, it incorporates research findings from six African and Asian countries. The paper makes the case that mainstream media are essential in boosting public awareness and debate on poverty reduction.

Public Actors and Controversy: Keeping It Real

Antonio Lambino's picture

For the past few weeks, the Philippine media have been intensely focused on a controversy regarding a foreign loan meant to fund the creation of the National Broadband Network (NBN), a project envisioned to seamlessly link all government offices across the archipelago via the Internet.

The Essence of Accountability: Speak for Yourself

Antonio Lambino's picture

Last November 2007, CommGAP organized a workshop entitled Generating Genuine Demand with Social Accountability Mechanisms in Paris, France.  Since then, we have been reflecting on the word “accountability” and what it really means in the work of governance.  I recently recalled that Dr.

Hard and Soft Skills

Sina Odugbemi's picture

In development practice today, when you ask ‘How do you improve governance systems in developing countries in order to improve the lives of the poor?’ the so-called hard skills dominate the discourse.  But what are these so-called hard skills? At their most mind-numbing these are number-crunching skills derived from a variety of quantitative social science disciplines. Beyond that these are skills in technical analysis and solution-finding.

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