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How to Account for Context? Using a Causal Chain Approach in Social Accountability Anuradha Joshi Institute of Development Studies GPSA Webinar 18 June.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Account for Context? Using a Causal Chain Approach in Social Accountability Anuradha Joshi Institute of Development Studies GPSA Webinar 18 June."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Account for Context? Using a Causal Chain Approach in Social Accountability Anuradha Joshi Institute of Development Studies GPSA Webinar 18 June

2 2 1. Structure I. What is Social Accountability? II. Does it work? The Evidence III. Outcome Expectations IV. The issue of Context V. Components of Social Accountability VI. Causal Chains

3 3 2. What is the Issue? The Evidence  We have mixed and incomplete evidence of impact —incomparable interventions, different impacts measured, contradictory outcomes  Difficult to make generalizations  Types of evidence vary—RCTs to qualitative studies  Yet, assessments of existing evidence find common themes

4 4 3. What does the evidence seem to say?  Information alone is not enough  Collective citizen action is essential  Facilitated interaction is critical  State capacity to respond matters  Combination of carrots and sticks  Multiple accountability pressures work  Questions about time frames of outcomes  Outcomes depend upon context

5 5 Institutional Instrumental State State-society relationships Social actors Responsive public officials Reduced corruption Institutional channels for interaction Improved provision of public goods Better policy design Good governance State-building Democratic Deepening Legitimacy TrustConstruction of Citizenship Empowered citizens Inclusive Social Norms 4. Expanding the Range of Outcomes

6 5. Assumed Links: Information, Citizen Action and State Response Point: Knowledge gaps 6 State Response Outcomes Service Delivery Governance Empowerment InformationCitizen Action

7 6. Dynamic Links : Information, Citizen Action, and State ResponsePoint : Knowledge gaps 7 Information can lead directly to change State response can take the form of information disclosure Citizen Action Information State Response ACCOUNTABILITY Information catalyzes citizen action Citizen action to generate information Citizens action triggers state response State responses shape citizen action

8 Our Approach 8 ContentProcessAssumptions Performance Compared to standards Compared to others Inspirational Transparency Generating New Information (e.g. Perception data, monitoring data) Media campaigns Literacy/Access Legitimacy/ credibility of Information Demand Information Generate Information Monitor performance Seek accountability Seek Grievance Redress Formal bureaucracy Protests Political articulation Formal complaint channels Litigation Priorities Belief in efficacy of channel Sense of entitlements Release Information Reform Processes Increase Resources Demands at higher levels Investigation/sanctions Transparency Reduced corruption Behaviour change Formal and informal channels of reform demands Formal and informal channels of enquiry and punishment Legitimacy of grievance Capacity Public service motivations Reputational concerns Channels of influencing higher levels Threat of sanctions Information Citizen Action State Response 7. Social Accountability Component Characteristics

9 Do I think citizens have legitimate grievances? Do I hold responsibility for the particular public good? Am I likely to be officially sanctioned due to citizen action? Do I care about my reputation? (If not, possibility of reprisal) Do I care about the service? Do I think I can do something about the situation? (if not, then could lead to helplessness) Do I have the capacity and resources to take action? (If not, then could lead to frustration) Do I need others to contribute in terms of resources/reforms? Can I motivate others? Are others likely to collaborate? Do I have access to higher levels? (Depends upon whether resources, reformists are identifiable within the system) Reforms/increased resources IMPROVED SERVICES 8. An Illustrative Causal Chain: State Responsiveness

10 10  SA as part of a long term ongoing political engagement by social actors with the state  SA can have a range of outcomes of interest  Causal chains help highlight the different potential pathways towards reaching desired outcomes  Causal chains can help develop a theory of change for interventions, provide a framework for understanding context and documenting it, enable tweaking as initiatives unfold and offer a means of assessing impact 9. Conclusions


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