Lead authors: Renzo Lavin & Carolina Cornejo (ACIJ)
Contributing authors: Sruti Bandyopadhyay (World Bank)
An Approach to CSO's
Although the normative framework establishes institutional mechanisms that govern how the audit process takes place and how audit reports are officially used, evidence shows that formalized external monitoring mechanisms alone are not sufficient to make government bodies accountable. CSOs and other actors of the demand side of accountability (the media, researchers, the private sector) play a critical role in promoting transparency and holding the government to account. Effectiveness of SAIs requires active interaction with all the relevant actors of the accountability system to hold the government and public sector entities accountable.
What is a CSO?
“The term civil society refers to the wide array of nongovernmental and not-for-profit organizations that have presence in public life, expressing the interests and values of their members or others, based on ethical, cultural, political, scientific, religious or philanthropic considerations.”
“CSOs include legal entities that fall outside the public or for-profit sector, such as NGOs, not-for-profit media organizations, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional organizations, labor unions, associations of elected local representatives, foundations, and policy development and research institutes.”
In summary, CSOs encompass a wide of array of organizations formed voluntarily by citizens to advance shared goals or interests. CSOs can be grouped according to different features: mission, values, and geographical scope, among others. Above all, a sense of collective identity is at the core of CSOs´community.