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accountability

Why don't we see social accountability in the Pacific?

Nicholas Menzies's picture
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Transparent notification of fees on the main door of a rural church-run hospital in Western Province, Papua New Guinea.

From participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil (pdf) to health clinic scorecards in Uganda social accountability mechanisms are a familiar feature of the development landscape across most regions of the world…so why not in the South-West Pacific?

One reason service delivery is poor in many Pacific states is that the same challenges that make it difficult to deliver services also make it difficult for officials to go out and account for them - dispersed populations; high transport costs; and a limited number of trained officials to supervise. This lack of oversight by government officials contributes to shoddy or non-existent services.

Can social accountability make up for some of the shortcomings in government accountability? Social accountability is the fostering of direct linkages between citizens and service providers. It can be thought of as working both prior to the delivery of a service (for example, residents meet with local government officials to set budgets so that spending aligns with community needs) as well as after a service has - or has not - been delivered (such as a complaints mechanism for residents to report police who fail to respond to calls for help).

Does decentralization improve accountability and service delivery?

Deborah Perlman's picture

Decentralization has been a buzz word in the development world for a while, but disagreements remain about when and how different types of decentralization are successful in improving accountability and service delivery.  Although decentralization is often used as a monolithic concept, the term can include political, fiscal, administrative or market decentralization, and can involve var

Good indicators for good governance?

Naazneen Barma's picture

The Bank’s increased attention to governance since the early 1990s has naturally brought with it calls for robust measures that enable us to specify what exactly we are trying to improve in this area and how well we seem to be doing it.  Overall, however, the consensus on the centrality of good governance to development is yet to be matched by agreement on good indicators for it.