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  • REFLECTIONS ON SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY Catalyzing democratic governance to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals July 2013

  • Cover photographs: Left: A view of Busan in the Republic of Korea UN Photo/ Kibae Park Centre: UNAMID patrol in the Abu Shouk Internally Displaced Persons Camp in North Darfur, Sudan UN Photo/ Albert Gonzalez Farran Right: A woman who received vocational training at Walungu Multifunctional Community Centre, Democratic Republic of the Congo UNDP DRC/ Yves Sambu Copyright 2013 by the United Nations Development Programme 1 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017, USA All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission.

  • iii

    Contents

    Contents ............................................................................................................................................................ iii

    Tables, figure and boxes ............................................................................................................................... v

    Abbreviations and acronyms ................................................................................................................... vii

    Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................... 1

    1. The social accountability agenda .................................................................................................................... 2

    2. Linking the MDGs and social accountability ............................................................................................... 4

    3. Social accountability in practice ...................................................................................................................... 7

    4. What influences outcomes? ............................................................................................................................... 8

    5. Good practice in social accountability ........................................................................................................ 10

    Chapter overview ......................................................................................................................................... 13

    Chapter 1: Social accountability and information and communication technology ............ 16

    1. Introduction ........................................................................................................................................................... 16

    2. Conceptual framework and scope................................................................................................................ 17

    2.1. Defining the scope of social accountability ....................................................................................... 17

    2.2. Citizens and social accountability: Voice, choice and demand ................................................. 18

    2.3. Social accountability as a component of an accountability context ....................................... 19

    2.4. Social accountability and ICT .................................................................................................................. 20

    3. Mapping social accountability applications for ICT .............................................................................. 21

    3.1. Transparency ................................................................................................................................................ 22

    3.2. Participation .................................................................................................................................................. 25

    3.3. Holding to account: Answerability and enforceability................................................................. 27

    3.4. Enabling factors to ICT programming for social accountability .............................................. 29

    4. Lessons for programming ............................................................................................................................... 30

    4.1. Fitting the users: capacity, accessibility, literacy ........................................................................... 32

    4.2. Institutional context ................................................................................................................................... 34

    4.3. Political environment ................................................................................................................................ 34

    Chapter 2: Social accountability in the context of urbanization.................................................. 36

    1. Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................... 36

    1.1. Rapid urbanization .................................................................................................................................... 40

    1.2. The MDGs applied to urban areas and social accountability .................................................... 41

    2. Social accountability in urban areas ........................................................................................................... 42

    2.1. How urban dwellers can hold their governments to account ................................................... 42

    2.2. Social accountability efforts to achieve the MDGs in urban areas .......................................... 46

    3. Alternative paths to building responsive government institutions ................................................ 56

    4. Scaling up ............................................................................................................................................................... 61

    5. Useful lessons ....................................................................................................................................................... 63

  • iv | United Nations Development Programme

    Chapter 3: Social accountability in conflict-affected countries ................................................... 65

    1. Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................... 65

    2. Accountability in times of transition: Post-conflict, fragile states .................................................. 66

    2.1. Why social accountability matters in transitions from conflict .............................................. 67

    2.2. Statesociety relations and accountability politics ....................................................................... 68

    3. Fostering social accountability in post-conflict countries .................................................................. 71

    3.1. Building accountable states..................................................................................................................... 72

    3.2. Challenges of sequencing and delivery............................................................................................... 73

    3.3. Dilemmas of engagement ......................................................................................................................... 74

    3.4. A framework for analysis ......................................................................................................................... 75

    4. Case studies ........................................................................................................................................................... 76

    4.1. Afghanistan: Community monitoring of reconstruction ............................................................. 76

    4.2. Guatemala: Democratic dialogue and education reform............................................................. 78

    4.3. Kosovo: Public opinion polling in a divided society ...................................................................... 79

    4.4. Liberia: The poverty reduction strategy tracking network ....................................................... 81

    4.5. Pakistan: Devolution Trust for Community Empowerment ...................................................... 82

    5. Findings and recommendations ................................................................................................................... 83

    Chapter 4: Social accountability, social inclusion and the Millennium Development Goals

    ............................................................................................................................................................................. 87

    1. Introduction ........................................................................................................................................................... 87

    2. Social accountability and social inclusion: Pathways to impact ...................................................... 90

    2.1. Social accountability ................................................................................................................................... 90

    2.2. Social inclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 92

    3. Social accountability initiatives and social inclusion .............

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