How do we know if social accountability initiatives are working?

Social Accountability for Children's Rights: Evidence, Practice and Impact


Earlier this year,Jonathan Fox, Professor at the American University and renowned expert on social accountability, gave a talk at the World Bank entitled “Social Accountability:  What does the Evidence Really Say?

In his talk, Professor Fox challenged the prevailing view that the evidence for Social Accountability’s impact is ‘mixed’.  He did so by unpacking social accountability initiatives (SAI), and comparing the evidence between those that were tactical (solely demand-side or citizen led), and those which were strategic (the demand-side was combined with the supply-side), strengthening the enabling environment and service provider capacity.

In Fox’s analysis, the evidence for impact of strategic SAI is positive, while it is evidence of tactical SAI which is mixed.  Setting up SAI, therefore, calls for a ‘sandwich strategy’ of coordinating pro-accountability actors embedded in both state and society.

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