Governance and Service Delivery: Practical Applications of Social Accountability across Sectors
Edited by Anna Wetterberg, Derick W. Brinkerhoff, and Jana C. Hertz. Research Triangle Park, NC: RTI Press, 2016
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Jana C. Hertz
While there is growing recognition that both technical and governance elements are necessary facets of strengthening public services, expanded awareness has not reliably translated into effective integration of governance into sectoral programs and projects. Socioeconomic development depends upon a complex array of interconnected processes, resource and capacity endowments, historical pathways, and sociopolitical structures. In practice, however, international donors’ development efforts are often packaged into discrete, sectorally focused programs and projects.
Given the inherent complexity, what interventions make sense, and what results can reasonably be expected? What conditions support or limit both improved governance and better service delivery? How can citizens interact with public officials and service providers to express their needs, improve services, and increase responsiveness? Various models and compilations of “best practices” have been developed, but debates remain, and answers to these questions are far from settled. This volume investigates these questions, and contributes to building understanding that will enhance both knowledge and practice.
The book examines six recent projects that pursued several different paths to engaging citizens, public officials, and service providers on issues related to accountability and sectoral services. Case studies include both sectorally-focused projects in health and education, and projects that targeted governance enhancement. The six cases illustrate the multiple ways in which social accountability—the array of actions and mechanisms beyond the ballot box through which citizens can hold the state to account—can lead to positive effects on governance, citizen empowerment, and service delivery. Overall, the cases underscore the importance of an iterative, contextually-sensitive approach to social accountability, the need to support both citizen empowerment and government capacity, and the importance of government response for the sustainability of social accountability.
The book is available for purchase on Amazon. Hard copies will be available at the event on a first-come first-served basis. It can also be downloaded as a PDF file from RTI’s website at: http://www.rti.org/publication/governance-and-service-delivery-practical-applications-social-accountability-across
Derick W. Brinkerhoff is Distinguished Fellow in International Public Management at RTI International. Dr. Brinkerhoff is internationally recognized for his work on policy analysis, program implementation and evaluation, organization and management, decentralization, and governance issues in public-sector agencies and nonprofits around the world. During his 40-year career, he has worked with international donors, public sector agencies, NGOs, and the US military across a broad range of development sectors in 30 countries. He has a doctorate in public policy and administration from Harvard University.
Jeff Thindwa has held numerous positions in the fields of social accountability and governance, most recently as Practice Manager for Open and Collaborative Governance. His experience includes government, private sector and civil society. He joined the World Bank in 2000 as Senior Social Development Specialist, and later led the Participation and Civic Engagement Cluster in the Social Development Department, integrating social accountability mechanisms and stakeholder participation in the Bank’s operations, and undertaking analytical work on the enabling environment reforms for civil society organizations. In 2009 he joined the Bank’s South Asia Region where he worked with operations teams and managed the “Program on Accountability” in Nepal, a grant making and capacity building program. In 2010, Jeff joined the World Bank Institute as Team Leader for the Social Accountability Cluster, becoming its Manager in 2012.
Helene Grandvoinnet is a governance expert, with nineteen years of experience in research, policy dialogue, and project design and management on a whole gamut of governance areas: transparency and accountability, decentralization, public finances, justice reform, anti-corruption and civil service reform. In her current position at the World Bank, she provides managerial and strategic support to the Global Governance Practice in the Africa region. Previously, she worked in low capacity and fragile countries in the Africa region, and spearheaded the implementation of the governance and anti-corruption strategy as the Africa coordinator. She led the work on the book “Opening the Black Box: the Contextual Drivers of Social Accountability” as the Cluster leader of the Social Accountability team in the Social Development Department, where she built a very active Community of Practices on Social Accountability, expanded training and capacity building activities, and task-managed the Civil Society Fund.
Tony Baker is the Associate Director, Global Education at RESULTS, a nonprofit citizens' advocacy organization. RESULTS works to create the public and political will to end poverty by empowering individuals to exercise their personal and political power for change. Tony's work focuses on the right to education, global education finance, research-to-action advocacy, and civil society engagement at home and abroad. Prior to joining RESULTS, he served as a Technical Advisor in the Policy Analysis and Advocacy unit of HakiElimu, an education and democracy rights civil society organization in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He focused on policy vs. practice issues in the Tanzanian education sector by tracking government expenditures, mobilizing civil society coalitions, and engaging parliamentarians and central government officials. Tony also volunteered with the Peace Corps in Tanzania. He has an MA in Sustainable Development from the School for International Training.