Institutionalising Social Accountability in Devolved Governance

Institutionalising Social Accountability in Devolved Governance

Kenya’s adoption of the devolved system of governance places citizens at the core of governance and with elevated hopes for improvement in the delivery of public services. Being cognizant that among the objects of Kenya’s devolution are: to give powers of self-governance to citizens and enhance their participation in the exercise of the powers of State and in making decisions affecting them; to recognise the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development; and to promote social and economic development and the provision of proximate, easily accessible services throughout Kenya. A fundamental principle of democracy is that citizens have the right to exact accountability and public officials have a duty to be accountable.

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Governance, Social Accountability and the Civil Society

Governance, Social Accountability and the Civil Society

This paper reviews the current literature on social accountability as a means to achieve good governance and increased public participation for improved public service delivery. After a brief discussion on concept and tools of social accountability, this paper illustrates that such innovations have led to improvements in the performance of state agencies and actors in varying contexts across the developing countries. Increased donor-led efforts to converge good governance agendas and neo-liberal economics tend to overlook politics that is central to struggles for social accountability. The complete faith of the neo-liberal development paradigm in market-friendliness, devolution, and working through NGOs often disregards politics within which such policies have to operate and on which they are ultimately dependent. The overarching issues of poverty and redistribution should caution development practitioners that such innovations and policy transfer[s] pertaining to social accountability might not become blunt instruments of 'traveled formalism' 

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