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Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper

Civil Society, Public Action and Accountability in Africa

ACCOUNTABILITY ACCOUNTABILITY FAILURES ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISMS ACCOUNTABILITY RELATIONSHIP ACCOUNTABILITY RELATIONSHIPS ACCOUNTING ACTIVISM ADVOCACY ANTI-CORRUPTION ASSETS AUDITING BASIC SERVICES BEST PRACTICE BUDGET TRANSPARENCY BUREAUCRACIES BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS CANDIDATES CAPITAL INVESTMENTS CHILD POPULATION CITIZEN DEMANDS CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT CITIZEN PARTICIPATION CITIZEN REPORT CARD CITIZENS CIVIL SOCIETY CIVIL SOCIETY ACTORS CIVIL SOCIETY CAPACITY CIVIL SOCIETY ENGAGEMENT CIVIL SOCIETY GROUP CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS COLLABORATION COLLECTIVE ACTION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS COMMUNITY MEMBERS COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION COMMUNITY RADIO COMMUNITY-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT COMPLAINT COMPLAINTS CONFLICT OF INTEREST CONFLICTS OF INTEREST CONSTITUENCY CONSTITUENTS CORRUPT CORRUPTION CREDIBILITY CRIMINAL DECISION MAKING DECISION-MAKING DEMOCRACIES DEMOCRACY DEMOCRATIC COUNTRIES DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES DEMOCRATIC REGIMES DEMOCRATIC VALUES DEMOCRATIZATION DEMOCRATIZATION PROCESS DEVELOPMENT EFFECTIVENESS DISTRICT AUTHORITIES ECONOMIC POLICIES EDUCATION SECTOR EDUCATION SERVICE DELIVERY EDUCATION SYSTEM ELECTION ELECTIONS ELITES EMPOWERMENT ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS ETHNIC IDENTITY EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES FAIR ELECTIONS FISCAL POLICIES FRAUD GAMES GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY GOVERNMENT SERVICES GOVERNOR GROUP BASIS HUMAN DEVELOPMENT HUMAN RIGHTS INDEPENDENT MEDIA INFANT MORTALITY INFORMATION LAWS INITIATIVE INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT INTEREST GROUPS INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT INTERNATIONAL NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS INVESTIGATION JUDICIARIES JUDICIARY KNOWLEDGE GAP LAWS LEADERSHIP LEARNING LEGISLATION LEGISLATOR LEGISLATORS LINE MINISTRIES LOCAL COMMITTEES LOCAL COMMUNITIES LOCAL ELECTIONS LOCAL GOVERNANCE LOCAL GOVERNMENT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS LOCAL GROUPS LOCAL INSTITUTIONS LOCAL POLITICIANS MARGINALIZED GROUPS MASS MEDIA MECHANISMS OF ACCOUNTABILITY MEDIA MEDIA COVERAGE MOBILIZATION MONOPOLIES MONOPOLY MULTILATERAL DONORS MULTIPARTY ELECTIONS NGO ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY PARTICIPATORY APPROACHES PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING PATRONAGE PENALTIES PETTY CORRUPTION PHONES POLICE POLICY DISCUSSIONS POLITICAL ACCOUNTABILITY POLITICAL LEADERS POLITICAL LEADERSHIP POLITICAL PARTICIPATION POLITICAL PARTY POLITICAL POWER POLITICAL PRESSURES POLITICAL PROCESS POLITICAL PROCESSES POLITICAL STABILITY POLITICAL SYSTEM POLITICIAN POLITICIANS POVERTY REDUCTION PREPARATION PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS PRIVATE BUSINESS PROCUREMENT PROGRAMMING PROGRAMS PROJECT DESIGN PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY PUBLIC AWARENESS PUBLIC FUNDS PUBLIC GOOD PUBLIC INTEREST PUBLIC OPINION PUBLIC POLICIES PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM PUBLIC SERVICES RECONSTRUCTION REPRESENTATIVES REPRESSION RIGHT TO INFORMATION RULE OF LAW SANCTION SANCTIONS SCIENTISTS SELF-HELP SERVICE DELIVERY SERVICE PROVIDERS SOCIAL CAPITAL SOCIAL COHESION SOCIAL EXCLUSION SOCIAL NETWORKS SOCIAL ORGANIZATION SOCIAL STRUCTURES STATE GOVERNMENT TARGET GROUPS TRADE UNIONS TRANSPARENCY TRIALS VILLAGE VILLAGES VIOLENCE VOTER TURNOUT
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Africa | Africa | Africa
2012-03-19T18:03:30Z | 2012-03-19T18:03:30Z | 2011-07-01

This paper examines the potential role of civil society action in increasing state accountability for development in Sub-Saharan Africa. It further develops the analytical framework of the World Development Report 2004 on accountability relationships, to emphasize the underlying political economy drivers of accountability and implications for how civil society is constituted and functions. It argues on this basis that the most important domain for improving accountability is through the political relations between citizens, civil society, and state leadership. The evidence broadly suggests that when higher-level political leadership provides sufficient or appropriate powers for citizen participation in holding within-state agencies or frontline providers accountable, there is frequently positive impact on outcomes. However, the big question remaining for such types of interventions is how to improve the incentives of higher-level leadership to pursue appropriate policy design and implementation. The paper argues that there is substantial scope for greater efforts in this domain, including through the support of external aid agencies. Such efforts and support should, however, build on existing political and civil society structures (rather than transplanting "best practice" initiatives from elsewhere), and be structured for careful monitoring and assessment of impact.

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