…social accountability processes almost always lead to better services, with services becoming more accessible and staff attendance improving. They work best in contexts where the state-citizen relationship is strong, but they can also work in contexts where this is not the case. In the latter, we found that social accountability initiatives are most effective when citizens are supported to understand the services they are entitled to.
That’s from a blogpost describing a macro evaluation of 50 DFID projects (selected from a pool of 2,379 for their data quality, full report here). The findings here are super interesting (though they’ve been discussed for a while, the final report was published this summer, and the team held a webinar last week). The “almost always” language in some of the findings is a bit over-enthusiastic, given the nature of their project pool and all the hidden factors that play into becoming a DFID project. They don’t really suss out what this means for external validity (generalizatoin gets a 70 word bullet on pg 19). But this is still likely the most evidence-based analysis, and worth further testing in other contexts. Their take on the accountability trap (factors that constrain scaling local wins) is also worth close consideration. Continue reading “Evidence on social accountability programs”