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ANSA Global panel meeting & Social Accountability (SAc) ICT Fiesta

from NAMFREL Election Monitor Vol.2, No.15

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The first ANSA (Affiliated Network for Social Accountability) Global advisory panel meeting was held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Manila from June 27 to 29. With the theme One ANSA – learning from the ANSA Experience & Launching a Global Network, the three-day event brought together global social accountability stakeholders from government, civil society, and other development partners. The gathering aimed to convene the ANSA global panel, the equivalent of Executive Committee to launch the ANSA Global hub; share lessons among regional ANSAs; facilitate information exchange among ANSAs and other regional partners; and discuss future ANSA Global initiaitves.

Since 2007, regional "ANSAs" have been established in Africa, East-Asia Pacific, South Asia and in the Middle East. These regional ANSAs are hosted by local institutions and act as the secretariat for the regional network. The networks serve as clearing houses of information, facilitate knowledge exchange on social accountability mechanisms and tools and provide opportunities for capacity building and networking amongst practitioners.
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ANSA Global was created to support social accountability in regions where ANSAs are not established through providing project grants to civil society organizations and building capacities and competencies within both state and civil society institutions.

During the gathering, sessions were held to discuss:
1) a background on what the ANSA regional networks are doing within their respective region, 2) lessons learned by ANSAs and other citizen groups to establish a broader view of social accountability initiatives, and 3) experiences and lessons of select ANSAs such as CCAGG (Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Government) of Ms. Pura Sumangil, con-currently the NAMFREL Abra Provincial Chairperson, sharing their experience in infrastructure monitoring.

One of the highlight activities during the meeting was the “SAc.NET: A Social Accountability and ICT Fiesta” which showcased Philippine as well as regional ANSA-EAP initiatives that make use of information and communications technology to promote social accountability. The program included conversations on ICT as an effective platform for social accountability.
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The fiesta-themed event feted a new generation of web-based platform for learning and participation in improving governance. Through the conduct of an “Open-Space” activity, participants were inspired to reflect on the future for social accountability in the field of ICT.

Among the showcased ICT initiatives were: checkmyschool.org – an online and community mobilization project that collects and provides information on Philippine education services and facilities; SAC101.ning.com – an online networking & resource portal on social accountability; checkmypeace.org – an online mapping project that contains measurable and verifiable indicators of conflict and development in Mindanao; Plutopia- a free interactive game where one can role play as a citizen watching government do its job. Others shared initiatives were ansa-eap.net – a portal to connect citizens to improve governance; transparencialegislativa.org - website of the Latin American Network for Legislative Transparency (LALT network) a group of civil society organizations working in Latin America that actively promote legislative transparency, access to information, and accountability; and maps.worldbank.org – an online platform that visualizes the location of World Bankfinanced projects to better monitor project impact, improve aid effectiveness and coordination, enhance transparency and social accountability, and enable citizens to provide direct feedback on project results.

From the use of networked personal computers, citizens/amateur band radios & facsimile machines for the 1984 Parliamentary (Batasang Pambansa) Election to transmit elections returns for it parallel vote tabulation (Operation Quick Count) to its current use of converged technologies in open-source internet based and cellular mobile telephone technology as well social networking sites; NAMFREL has always been an early adapter of information and communication technologies to empower its volunteers in carrying out their election and good
governance monitoring tasks.

Read more about NAMFREL and ICT on Election and Governance Monitoring: http://wp.me/pEoZs-6j
 
 
 
 
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