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Academic Roundtable Social Accountability: Between Theory and Practice

 Academic Roundtable

 Social Accountability: Between Theory and Practice

 

The British Council held a roundtable discussion entitled “Social Accountability: between Theory and Practice”, on Monday, January 18 in Birzeit University, under the Tajaawob program, which aims to reinforce active citizenship that might improve responsiveness from authorities to the needs of the communities and encourage two-way accountability, in partnership PalVision, AMAN, Oxfam and funded by Department for International Development (UKaid).

 

The academic roundtable targeted groups of students from seven Palestinian universities to discuss social accountability in addition to specialised university professors in the fields of law and corruption. The local committees of Tajaawob and representatives on the social accountability tools under Tajaawob also attended the academic roundtable to discuss their practical experience with social accountability and the evolution of their relationship with decision-makers at the Palestinian Authority.   

 

The session included various discussions about the definition of social accountability and illustrated Tajaawob’s three years practical experience with social accountability. Additionally, several discussions were generated among students, professors, and local committees in order to reach recommendations and mechanisms that will reinforce the concept of social accountability in the Palestinian community.

 

Tajaawob’s Manager, Ismail Abu Arafeh, sees that “similar sessions should be held targeting different groups in Palestine so as to reinforce the concept of social accountability among citizens, enable them to better advocate for their rights, and enhance their abilities to hold decision-makers accountable for their responsibilities.” He further stressed that social accountability “should be promoted among civil society organizations aiming to urge them to adopt the concept of social accountability. As a result, the work in the field of social accountability will become consistent and sustainable. Thus, it will not end with projects working on social accountability.”

 

Alaa Saffouri, Project Coordinator with PalVision, said “I believe that the discussion session with the academics gave the Tajaawob program an introduction on the theoretical aspect of social accountability in Palestinian university and gave the program’s staff various new ideas that will benefit the mechanisms and directions of implementation in Tajaawob.”

 

At the end of the session, recommendations were collected from the university students and professors in order for Tajaawob’s management to take it into account while resuming the work on the program in addition to highlighting the action plan for working in the Palestinian community on social accountability. 

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