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An example of Social Accountability

In Chawama Constituency , the Community Action Groups (CAGs) – platforms for dialogue between the community and the Ward Development Committee (WDC) members – were created. The community members questioned the WDC officials about how they had used the Ward Development Fund (WDF). Unfortunately, it was discovered that the WDF implementation had been decided upon by councillors without the participation of the WDC. The meetings led to more dialogue between the CAGs and the WDC officials on how in future they would together ensure that budgets as allocated by the Lusaka City Council would be implemented.

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What is Social Accountability?

Friends of SAY give their definitions of social accountability

Social accountability is an overall approach to governance that involves citizens and civil society organizations (CSOs) in public decision making. For example, using social accountability processes, citizens and CSOs can:

  • explain their needs and priorities to government and service providers;
  • provide ideas to government on policy making, the management of public finances and service delivery; and
  • get involved in monitoring the public sector and giving feedback on government performance.

Social accountability is one way to strengthen government’s own efforts to ensure that civil servants are performing appropriately, that public finances are being well-managed and that public accountability institutions (including parliament, the judiciary, and ombudsman) are responsive to the needs of citizens. There are therefore three sides to social accountability: [Click on each heading to expand and view more information.]

Responsiveness and Responsibility of the State
Rights and Role of Citizens and Civil Society Organisations
Commitment and Motivation of Service Providers

 

 

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