Friends of SAY give their definitions of social accountability

Social accountability is an overall approach to governance that involves citizens and civil society organizations (CSOs) in public decision making. For example, using social accountability processes, citizens and CSOs can:

  • explain their needs and priorities to government and service providers;
  • provide ideas to government on policy making, the management of public finances and service delivery;
  • get involved in monitoring the public sector and giving feedback on government performance.

Social accountability is one way to strengthen government’s own efforts to ensure that civil servants are performing appropriately, that public finances are being well-managed and that public accountability institutions (including parliament, the judiciary, and ombudsman) are responsive to the needs of citizens.

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