Jigmi Wangdi

The Bhutan Transparency Initiative (BTI) organised a training session focused on Social Accountability (SA) to enhance public service delivery within the Civil Society Organisation (CSO) community.

The workshop aimed at bolstering SA measures within the CSOs in Bhutan, emphasising the importance of accountability and its role in improving public service delivery.

Rinzin Rinzin (PhD), the executive director of BTI, said that the primary goal of the workshop was to build the capacity of CSOs in terms of accountability and to enhance their ability to improve public service delivery.

The workshop introduced key concepts of accountability while emphasising civic engagement and training participants in the use of community scorecards as a valuable tool for assessing the quality of public services.

Rinzin Rinzin further said that the workshop was designed as a “training of trainers” programme to equip participants not only to enhance their own accountability but also to share their knowledge and train others in SA practices.

Participants emphasised the significance of accountability within CSOs and community-based organisations. They expressed their intent to integrate accountability practices, including checks and balances, into their internal management.

A participant underscored two major takeaways from the training: the importance of inclusive decision-making processes and the effectiveness of service delivery. He noted that through the workshop, he realised the significance of involving stakeholders, service providers, and constituents in the decision-making process.

Participants, working primarily at the community level, recognised the value of stakeholder and beneficiary participation in achieving better outcomes, transparency, accountability, and overall credibility.

Participants stressed that improving public service delivery was not solely the government’s responsibility but also a duty of CSOs. Implementing SA tools, they said, could lead to a substantial growth in the effectiveness of CSOs.

Participants suggested that SA training should extend to government agencies and other service providers, enhancing collaboration between CSOs and the government to deliver more effective public services.

Such training, they argued, could build cooperation to address public issues and potentially curb corruption within governmental agencies.

BTI has conducted SA training with local governments in various districts and has ambitious plans to expand this initiative to all 205 gewogs in Bhutan.

Rinzin Rinzin emphasised that SA was a vital tool for promoting democracy, accountability, transparency, integrity, and good governance.