The Role of Civil Society in Hindering Corruption: A Case Study about Participatory Budgeting and Social Accountability in Albania
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Participatory budgeting is a tool that can be used to improve social accountability within public institutions through increasing the participation of citizens in decision-making processes about the distribution of public funds. The global experiences from the use of participatory budgeting indicate that the impact of the initiatives has ranged from very weak to highly successful, and that the successfulness depends on certain factors in the environment where it is implemented – even though there is no agreement on what these factors are. Albania is one of the countries where a range of civil society organizations are implementing participatory budgeting initiatives and is at the same time a country that faces one of the highest corruption levels in Europe. Despite the fact that these initiatives could bring very important impacts, very little academic research is done on this topic. The purpose of this thesis was therefore to investigate to what extent the participatory budgeting initiatives in Albania have improved social accountability in the Albanian societies, as well as what factors that have affected this impact and how.
The investigation was carried out as a case study in Albania where nine different participatory budgeting initiatives were examined through conducting semi-structured interviews with the organizations implementing these projects, as well as one expert organization that has helped the other organizations to improve their knowledge on the tool and one public official from a municipality involved in one of the initiatives. The research of this thesis found that the Albanian participatory budgeting initiatives have succeeded to do minor improvements on social accountability through strengthening the voice of the citizens and the enforcement mechanism, while formal answerability still is low and negatively affects the sustainability of these improvements. It was further found that seventeen factors from five different categories have affected the ability of the initiatives to improve social accountability – some more than others. These categories were: formal and informal political systems, supportive legal and policy frameworks, local capacity and knowledge, free media institutions, and availability of information. The contributions of the thesis included also the finding of a factor that was not mentioned by the theory (trust by local governments in civil society organizations), as well as a structure on how these influencing factors interact with each other.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 57 p.
Corruption, Social Accountability, Participatory Budgeting, Albania
Social Sciences Humanities
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294938OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-294938DiVA: diva2:931924
Subject / course
Master Programme in Human Rights
Namli, Elena, professor