VNG International held a panel discussion on “Exit and Sustainability Strategy for the Ethiopian Social Accountability Program” on March 24, 2023 at Hyatt Regency, Addis Ababa.
In his opening remarks, VNG International’s Director, Mr. Pieter Jeroense, said that the Ethiopian Social Accountability Program (ESAP) has resulted in remarkable achievements in service provision in local governments in Ethiopia, and the need to sustain the achievements is of paramount importance.
Attended by more than 80 participants, drawn from The Federal Ministry of Finance, World Bank, Development Partners, Implementing Partners, VNG International, among others, the panel created an opportunity to reflect on major achievements and challenges of the Ethiopian Social Accountability Program. It was highlighted during the discussion that at the end of the program, ESAP-established structures and programmes are to be taken over by the Government of Ethiopia (GoE)-an essential part of the sustainability strategy as formulated by the World Bank and GoE.
The current and the third phase of the Ethiopian Social Accountability Program (ESAP-3), which has contracted 69 implementing partners/CSOs (organized in 24 consortiums) to work on SA in 416 woredas throughout the country, builds on existing woreda-level institutions and citizen representative organizations, such as the woreda council, administration and sector offices, the Financial Transparency and Accountability program (FTA), traditional citizen-representing organizations, representative organizations of marginalized groups and other Community-Based Organizations (CBOs).
The second and third phase of ESAP are implemented by VNG International, the international development arm of the Association of Dutch Municipalities (known as VNG, its acronym in Dutch). VNG International works in several developing countries to strengthen democratic governance at a local level.