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Scaling-up social accountability in World Bank operations (English)

Social accountability is an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement, in which citizens participate directly or indirectly in demanding accountability from service providers and public officials. Social accountability generally combines information on rights and service delivery with collective action for change. Examples of social accountability tools and mechanisms include participatory budgeting, public expenditure tracking, citizen report cards, community score cards, social audits, citizen charters, and right to information acts. After some years of quite extensive piloting, the World Bank is now taking a scaled up approach to social accountability which has received recognition in major corporate and sectoral strategies and is finding growing use in lending and country programs. Lessons from pilots and inclusion in some the World Bank projects suggest that social accountability holds considerable promise for achieving better governance and service delivery. However, the Bank needs to pay additional attention to areas such as linking supply and demand sides, upgrading staff skills, improving monitoring and evaluation, increasing the evidence base, and expanding external partnerships with a view to creating coalitions of change.

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Citation

Agarwal, Sanjay; Heltberg, Rasmus; Diachok, Myrtle;

Scaling-up social accountability in World Bank operations (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/423211468164948681/Scaling-up-social-accountability-in-World-Bank-operations