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World Bank to create global partnership for social accountability

Washington, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, April 19 (Xinhua-ANI): The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors has approved in principle the creation of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), its latest effort to support civil society organizations (CSOs), the Washington-based Bank announced on Thursday.

The GPSA is a new mechanism to promote social accountability by beneficiary groups and CSOs in developing countries, and the Bank' s Board will review operational details of the proposed Partnership in June, the Bank said in a statement.

The Bank plans to invest 20 million U.S. dollars in seed money to create the Partnership and will work with other partners to raise additional funds. On top of investing in projects to boost social accountability, the Partnership will also focus on sharing knowledge of best practice, noted the statement.

"The Bank understands now more than ever that citizen voice and the engagement of project beneficiaries are crucial for lasting development results," said World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

In a speech at the Washington-based think tank Peterson Institute for International Economics a year ago, Zoellick spoke of the need for a new social contract to improve domestic accountability and constructive engagement between citizens and their governments. He announced that the Bank would explore with its shareholders the means to support CSOs working on social accountability, and the GPSA is a direct result of that pledge.

Current Bank-supported social accountability work includes the use of community scorecards to help reduce child mortality in Uganda, and public participation in local budgeting in the Democratic Republic of Congo so citizens can have a say where their money is going. (Xinhua-ANI)

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