Citizens and Service Delivery
152 Pages

Citizens and Service Delivery


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In many low and middle income countries, dismal failures in the quality of public service delivery such as absenteeism among teachers and doctors and leakages of public funds have driven the agenda for better governance and accountability. This has raised interest in the idea that citizens can contribute to improved quality of service delivery by holding policy-makers and providers of services accountable. This proposition is particularly resonant when it comes to the human development sectors – health, education and social protection – which involve close interactions between providers and citizens/users of services.
Governments, NGOs, and donors alike have been experimenting with various “social accountability” tools that aim to inform citizens and communities about their rights, the standards of service delivery they should expect, and actual performance; and facilitate access to formal redress mechanisms to address service failures.
The report reviews how citizens – individually and collectively – can influence service delivery through access to information and opportunities to use it to hold providers – both frontline service providers and program managers – accountable. It focuses on social accountability measures that support the use of information to increase transparency and service delivery and grievance redress mechanisms to help citizens use information to improve accountability.
The report takes stock of what is known from international evidence and from within projects supported by the World Bank to identify knowledge gaps, key questions and areas for further work. It synthesizes experience to date; identifies what resources are needed to support more effective use of social accountability tools and approaches; and formulates considerations for their use in human development.
The report concludes that the relationships between citizens, policy-makers, program managers, and service providers are complicated, not always direct or easily altered through a single intervention, such as an information campaign or scorecard exercise. The evidence base on social accountability mechanisms in the HD sectors is under development. There is a small but growing set of evaluations which test the impact of information interventions on service delivery and HD outcomes. There is ample space for future experiments to test how to make social accountability work at the country level.


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Published 01 December 2011
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EAN13 9780821389300
Language English
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Social Accountability
Scorecards Participatory BudgetingCorruption
Community Monitoring
SatisfactionElite Capture Citizen Rights
Complaints-Handling Service Delivery
Local Governance
Information Campaign
Social AuditAccountability
Community MobilizationEmpowerment
Community Participation Civil Society Organization
Human De v elopmen t
Citiz ens and Service Delivery
Assessing the Use of Social Accountability
Approaches in Human Development
Dena Ringold
Alaka Holla
Margaret Koziol
Santhosh SrinivasanCitizens and Service DeliveryCitizens and Service Delivery
Assessing the Use of Social Accountability
Approaches in the Human Development Sectors
Dena Ringold
Alaka Holla
Margaret Koziol
Santhosh Srinivasan© 2012 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank
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ISBN: 978-0-8213-8980-5
eISBN: 978-0-8213-8930-0
DOI: 10.1596/978-0-8213-8930-0
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data has been applied for.
Cover design: Naylor Design, Washington, D.C.Contents
Foreword ix
About the Authors xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Abbreviations xv
Chapter 1 Introduction and Conceptual Framework 1
Rationale: Why Focus on This Topic? 2
Governance and Service Delivery:
A Conceptual Framework 4
Social Accountability Terms and Tools 6
Why Should These Instruments Work? 12
Do Providers Respond to Citizen Influence? 16
Notes 18
References 18
Chapter 2 Social Accountability in the World Bank’s
Human Development Portfolio 23
Implementation Issues in the Shortlist 28
Institutional Arrangements 29
v vi Contents
Summary 30
Notes 31
Chapter 3 Informing Citizens 33
Access-to-Information Legislation 33
Does Having ATI Matter? 36
Information Campaigns 41
“Active” Information Campaigns: Scorecards
and Social Audits 54
The Design and Implementation of
Information Campaigns 58
Summary 62
Notes 62
References 64
Chapter 4 Channels for Using Information:
Grievance Redress 69
What Are Grievance Redress Mechanisms? 69
Do People Use Grievance Redress? 72
Grievance Mechanisms in the Human
Development Sectors 77
Design Issues 84
Summary 87
Notes 88
References 88
Chapter 5 Summary and Looking Forward 93
Influencing Service Delivery through
Social Accountability 93
Incorporating Social Accountability into
Human Development Projects 96
Implications for Future Work 99101
Appendix 1 How Can Evidence on Social Accountability
Interventions Be Improved? 103
Simultaneity of Interventions 103
(Lack of) Representativeness of Sample 105
Nature of the Indicators: Self-Reported versus
Objective 106Contents vii
Low Statistical Power and Type II Errors 107
Design versus Substance 109
How Can We Generate Useful Evidence? 110
References 111
Appendix 2 Portfolio Review Methodology 115
Appendix 3 Summary of Impact Evaluations 119
1.1 A Note about Terminology 8
3.1 Measuring Access to Information in Education and Health 35
3.2 The RTIA in India: A Personal Experience 37
3.3 Civil Society and the Media: Use of ATI in
Health and Education 40
3.4 Bolsa Família: Information on Social Services,
Programs, and Rights 42
3.5 Accountability and the Use of Public Expenditure
Tracking Surveys 46
3.6 Report Cards in Health 52
4.1 Issues with Complaints-Handling in the U.K. National
Health Service 75
4.2 The Court System and Health in Colombia 82
A2.1 Key Words 116
1.1 Accountability Relationships in Service Delivery 5
2.1 Distribution of Social Accountability Key Words
by HD Sector 24
2.2 Social Accountability Measures in HD 26
2.3 Implementation Status of Social Accountability
Components 28
4.1 Have You Filed a Complaint in Education? Responses
from Europe and Central Asia 73
4.2 Have You Filed a Complaint in Health? Responses al Asia 74
1.1 Examples of Social Accountability Interventions 9
2.1 Scorecards in Current HD Projects 27viii Contents
5.1 Social Accountability in HD Projects: Some Examples 97
A1.1 Summary of Resources for Improving Evaluations 110
A2.1 HD Projects That Include Social Accountability in
Their Design, FY2005–FY2010 117