PRRM President, Isagani R. Serrano, spoke on “Increasing Accountability Through Assessments”, at the Experts Roundtable and South-South Exchange Forum organized by the Asia Pacific Regional Centre of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Indonesia last 21-22 March in Jakarta. Mr. Serrano was invited as a member of the experts’ panel for the session on social accountability.
The UNDP regional meeting took stock of its own work in the area of Democratic Governance Assessments, as well as other similar initiatives in the region led by other partners. Mr. Serrano’s discussion was largely based on the work undertaken by the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement as well as by the Social Watch-Philippines.
The Experts Roundtable and South-South Exchange Forum on the theme, “Lessons from Assessing Governance: Towards Inclusive Democracies and Development in Asia”, reflected on experiences of countries which have undertaken governance assessments. The Forum explored the relevance of nationally-driven governance assessments to the challenges identified in the region – inequalities and governance deficits – and how governance assessments can contribute to addressing them. Building on these insights, the meeting intended to take governance assessment to the next phase in Asia-Pacific, particularly in the context of rising inequality and continuously evolving democratic/political space.
Mr. Serrano presented the Philippine experience and how governance assessments were directed at poverty reduction, climate change adaptation and increased participatory governance, especially in public finance. He stated that “Assessments do increase accountability but don’t guarantee sustainable development.”