1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Blogs and Think Pieces by Keyword - Accountability

  • We Cannot Take on Inequality Without Tax Justice (2 Jul 2019) | Fariya Mohiuddin
    At the heart of inequality is uneven access to key human rights such as health, housing and adequate living standards. Effective taxation is fundamental to addressing inequality in this form: by funding access, it creates a pathway for the progressive realization of human rights. Yet the links between inequality, rights provision and taxation have not always been clearly made in policy or in activism. This think piece is a contribution to filling this gap.
  • Profiling and Automated Decision Making: Is Artificial Intelligence Violating Your Right to Privacy? (5 Dec 2018) | Tomaso Falchetta
    Artificial intelligence is affecting our human rights, in positive and negative ways. And particularly so when it comes to privacy. As states and businesses increasingly use big data analytics and artificial intelligence to obtain fine-grained information about people’s lives, this think piece asks what human rights violations can ensue, and how legal frameworks could protect our human rights in the age of AI.
  • Technology and Freedom of Expression: Opportunities and Threats through the Journalist’s Lens (26 Mar 2018) | Mariateresa Garrido Villareal
    The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the role that journalists play in ensuring fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression and access to information. SDG 16 in particular calls for the effective monitoring of crimes against journalists as an indicator to measure progress towards promoting peaceful and inclusive societies. Despite this, threats against journalists and media personnel are on the rise, and an accurate and comprehensive measurement system is still missing. Technology can help us to address this gap, and this Think Piece proposes a way forward.
  • Whose Emissions, Whose Responsibility? Eco-social Policies for Climate Justice (29 Sep 2016) | Dunja Krause
    Just 90 companies are responsible for 63% of global industrial CO2 and methane emissions between 1751 and 2010, according to a pioneering 2014 study on so-called “climate majors” conducted by climate accountability researcher Richard Heede.The ensuing debate has revealed much about the perceived emissions responsibilities of actors beyond the nation state, but also a crucial blind spot.
  • Fair Compensation and other Prerequisites to Mining for Development (31 Aug 2015) | Cielo Magno
    This piece challenges conventional approaches to a country’s economic development by suggesting a departure from the mainstream “mining for development” approach. It suggests that mining ventures should follow a set of preconditions that take into account other significant factors such as fair taxing schemes that benefit the state, clear transparency and accountability mechanisms, and an expanded monitoring scheme that covers environmental and social impacts of extractive activities.
  • Promoting Tax Bargains in Uganda and Beyond: The Importance of Civil Society and Parliamentarians (20 Jul 2015) | Jalia Kangave
    While developing countries have acknowledged the importance of domestic resource mobilization in development, in practice, not enough attention is being paid to the importance of tax bargains. Attempting to increase tax-to-GDP ratios without promoting negotiations between the taxing authorities and those being taxed is bound to undermine sustainable tax collection and promote poor governance. Successful domestic resource mobilization requires that (1) tax bargains are made more open; (2) civil society organizations (CSOs) and parliamentarians are given more political space in the bargaining processes; (3) systems are put in place to ensure the accountability of CSOs and parliamentarians; (4) governments introduce or reintroduce personal taxes at the local government level (such as the graduated tax – a direct tax that mostly affected poor and vulnerable households – which Uganda abolished in 2005) and (5) indirect taxes are made more visible.
  • The role of civil society in keeping vigil over the human rights implications of states’ social protection policies, programmes and activities (25 Aug 2014) | Letlhokwa George Mpedi
    One of the fundamental roles that civil society organizations play is to ensure that states respect and promote the fundamental right to social protection and provide for vulnerable and marginalized members of society. To do this, civil society organizations must firstly actively monitor the social protection provisioning of the relevant state actors. Secondly, they have the important function of holding state actors accountable through activities such as exerting pressure on political decision makers and court action if their efforts do not comply with expected standards. This is, however, easier said than done. This think piece reveiews some of the difficulties that can be encountered, and suggests four key strategies for civil society organizations to pursue.
  • Pro-Poor and Pro-Development Transparency Laws and Policies (15 Apr 2014) | Issa Luna Pla
    Access to information laws are not being effectively utilized by the poor—the most technologically marginalized population—to exercise their rights to social protection. Pro-poor access to information legislation is needed and must achieve two goals: (1) macroaccountability and transparency in public spending; and (2) provide information to the poor in a physically, intellectually and socially adequate way. If well implemented, policies for proactive transparency of information can contribute to reducing both poverty and information poverty.
  • The Role that Civil Society can Play in Ensuring Accountability in Social Protection Programmes (14 Apr 2014) | Felipe J. Hevia
    The experience of the last 20 years suggests there are four obstacles to ensuring accountability in social protection programmes. The first obstacle has to do with social protection’s contested status: is it a right or only a service or a favour? Others concern the the opacity and discretionality of actors implementing social protection programmes and indifference from citizens to holding service providers accountable. The author suggests that civil society and collective action can contribute to breaking the deadlock.
  • The EU Commission Proposal for a Financial Transaction Tax: Problems and Prospects (23 Feb 2012) | Heikki Patomäki
    In the midst of the ongoing Eurocrisis, the European Commission is arguing that a fairly comprehensive FTT is both feasible and desirable. This represents a welcome departure from neoliberal orthodoxy, and some recognition of the need for measures to address market failures and systemic risks in the financial sector. But it is also a disappointment for the global justice movement and alter-globalizers: far from providing resources for development and poverty eradication, the Commission is looking for an alternative to national contributions for financing the EU budget. As such, the campaign for a global currency transaction tax is as necessary as ever.