How can citizens better hold social protection officials to account and ensure that they can understand their entitlements? The evidence on social accountability tools for social protection, which also include grievance mechanisms and committees of beneficiaries, is so far very limited. We carried out a research project funded by the UK Government to start filling the knowledge gaps.
The project, started in 2016, involved a comprehensive review of the existing evidence globally and qualitative field research in Ethiopia, Nepal and South Africa. We sought to explore whether, how and when, social accountability mechanisms can strengthen service delivery in social protection programmes. We also set out to understand how such initiatives can improve state-society relations.
We provided recommendations to DFID and presented at fora in the United States convened by the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability and UNICEF New York. We set out in a research report, a technical guidance note for practitioners and in case studies on four practical country experiences (available below).
Our research found that accountability mechanisms can help ensure quality delivery of social protection programmes and build better relations between citizens and the state. One way of doing this is through increased involvement of citizens in programme monitoring.