Holding Decision Makers to Account
States have a responsibility to the public to be accountable, transparent and deliver core services. This means that deepening accountability of decision makers is key for democracy. Oxfam and local partners are working in Ayeyarwaddy, Kachin, Kayah and Rakhine to support communities to understand and monitor 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. Amongst other successes from this work, public hearing forums between Government and the public in Ayeyarwaddy have resulted in land which has been confiscated returned to communities, and maternity fees at local hospitals cancelled.
Also key to social accountability and better governance are transparent and accountable budgets. Budgets are powerful tools to help Governments meet the needs of their population but budgets are not politically ‘neutral’. What gets included in a budget is shaped by the people who decide the allocations and this can often exclude the needs of the most vulnerable - in particular women. So at the national level, Oxfam is working with civil society organisations and government towards more inclusive and transparent national budgets and improved policies to ensure that budgets benefit people.