Social accountability has gained increasing importance in the development sector over the past two decades, notes the World Bank’s Global Partners Forum. Development partners—including governments, private sector and citizens—recognize the critical role of citizen voice, transparency and participation in improving governance. In turn, this can create more sustainable development outcomes and contribute to growth and poverty reduction.
However, the field faces some key challenges that will influence its ability to scale-up and sustain social accountability work, it adds:
- First, while the aim is to take advantage of more opportunities for constructive state-society engagement, in many areas the space for civil society’s work is shrinking.
- Second, there is a need for more and better coordinated action across diverse civil society groups and donors.
- Third, the field faces capacity-related challenges for adopting new ways of working, learning and adapting across the civil society and government divide that must be overcome to achieve better impact.
- Finally, many in the field are faced with the challenge of financial sustainability that allows them to deliver better and longer-term services and have lasting impact on society.
The May 19-20 meeting of the Global Partners Forum includes a session on Inclusive Institutions for Development Impact, featuring Danny Sriskandarajah, CIVICUS; Carl Gershman (right), National Endowment for Democracy; Rosario Bento Pais, European Commission; Sanjay Pradhan, Open Government Partnership; Sowmya Kidambi, Accountability and Transparency, Government of Telangana, India; and Gilbert Sendugwa, Programme Coordinator at Africa Freedom of Information Centre, Uganda.