Holding Decision Makers to Account
States have a responsibility to the public to be accountable, transparent and deliver basic services. This means that deepening accountability of decision makers, and holding Government and other duty bearers to account for how they spend budgets is key for democracy. Oxfam and local partners Scholar Institute and Spectrum are working in Ayeyarwaddy, Kachin, Kayah and Rakhine to support communities to understand and monitor Government budgets and demand greater participation and accountability in decision making. This gives people a chance to talk to the Government about what their needs are. Public hearing forums held in Ayeyarwaddy have allowed the public to raise their concerns on Government decisions, and resulted in land which was confiscated being returned to communities, and maternity fees at local hospitals cancelled. In Mon State, Oxfam works with UN Development Programme to support Government and Ethnic Administrations, communities and civil society to ensure that local level plans and budgets better reflect the needs of local communities.
Because budgets are such powerful tools for meeting the needs of a population, at the national level, Oxfam is working with civil society organisations and government towards more inclusive and transparent national budgets and stronger policies that help to improve how decisions affecting peoples’ lives are made.