Social Accountability Improved Development Effectiveness


Social accountability is defined as a method toward building accountability that trusts on civic engagement, in which it is ordinary citizens and/or civil society organisations participate directly or indirectly in exacting accountability.

Social accountability adds to increased development effectiveness. It can contribute to enhanced governance, improved development effectiveness through better service delivery, and empowerment. This achieved through upgraded public service delivery and more up-to-date policy design.

The concept of social accountability emphasises the right of citizens to expect and ensure that government acts in the best interests of the people. It involved series of actions and mechanisms that citizens, communities, independent media and civil society organisations can use to hold public officials and public servants accountable.

Early social accountability initiatives aimed to improve the efficiency of service delivery, and mechanisms and instruments of interventions included citizen report cards and scorecards, community monitoring, participatory planning tools and social audits.

The new social accountability mechanisms include participatory budgeting, public expenditure tracking, monitoring of public service delivery, investigative journalism, public commissions and citizen advisory boards.

These citizen-driven accountability measures complement and strengthen conservative apparatuses of accountability such as political checks and balances, accounting and auditing systems, administrative rules and legal procedures.

Social accountability mechanisms allow ordinary citizens to access information, voice their needs or demand.

Accountability of public officials is the cornerstone of good government.

Social accountability mechanisms can complement public sector reforms, by addressing the demand-side aspects of public service delivery, monitoring and accountability.

Social accountability is one of key way to address governance issues. That’s because it ensures information from the citizen’s perspective is put directly in the hands of government officials who have the capacity to make change happen.


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