What do you mean by social accountability? Explain the key steps for enabling a social accountability process mechanism.

What do you mean by social accountability? Explain the key steps for enabling a social accountability process mechanism.
  • Define social accountability in the introduction.
  • Then, discuss various steps required to ensure social accountability.
  • Conclude appropriately
Model Answer :
Social accountability (SA) is an approach to governance that involves citizens and civil society organizations in public decision making. SA interventions can enable citizens and civil society actors to articulate their needs to governments and service providers. SA also brings the perspective of citizens and civil society actors to government activities, such as policy making, the management of public finances and resources, and service delivery.
Key steps for enabling a social accountability mechanism:
  • Mobilizing around an entry point– First point is the identification of an entry point and developing strategy to address the problem. For example, Gram Sabhas (GSs) and ward sabhas offer an important entry point for strengthening community mobilization.
  • Building an information base– Generate relevant information, both supply side and demand side, for building a credible evidence base. Generation of reliable information on process, quality, and outcomes of service delivery helps strengthen accountability even within the system.
  • Going public– To elicit meaningful participation from the citizens, it is fundamental that they are first made aware of what they are entitled to. There’s a need to disseminate information to the public and have a public debate around it.
  • Building coalitions– Informing the citizens of their rights and responsibilities, engaging their interest and mobilizing them to build coalitions and partnerships with different stakeholders are core aspects of social accountability.
  • Advocating and negotiating change– The most crucial and challenging element of a social accountability strategy is to be able to elicit a response from public officials and effect real change.
By bringing together the spheres of public participation, citizen rights, and public sector reform, social accountability puts people at the center of the governance agenda. Ultimately, the effectiveness and sustainability of social accountability mechanisms is improved when they are institutionalized.

Subjects : Ethics – Administrative