Institute of Development Studies, Sussex
In the past decade, strengthening public accountability is
emerging as a key strategy for improving public services.
Increasingly, debates about strengthening accountability have focused
on two types of initiatives: (a) increasing government transparency –
bringing previously opaque information or processes into the public
domain and b) and ‘social accountability’—broadly defined as
citizen-led action for demanding accountability from providers.
The popularity of such initiatives has also raised important questions
about impact. Does increasing transparency or supporting social
accountability initiatives lead to outcomes we desire? What are the
assumed links through which these impacts are expected to occur?
Drawing on a paper commissioned by the Transparency and Accountability
Initiative, Dr. Joshi will outline the available evidence on the
impact of such initiatives in the field of public service delivery.
The main argument is that there is not enough evidence to identify the
conditions under which such initiatives work and have impact. The
reasons for this are several: vagueness about what an initiative
means; the fragmented nature of the evidence, lack of systematic
attention to impact, and few comparative studies that focus on the
identification of key enabling factors.
Date: July 19, 2011
Time: 12:30 P.M.
Conference Hall II,
Centre for Policy Research,
Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri,
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