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What works for Social Accountability? Findings from DFID’s Macro Evaluation

Jeremy Holland

Publisher: Itad and DFID


A wide-ranging evaluation of the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) support to social accountability initiatives has found that service delivery is improved when local citizens are informed and learn about their rights and entitlements and have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with service providers. This briefing summarises the main findings from the evaluation which looks at what works best and highlights key lessons learned.

DFID supports social accountability across many countries and contexts. Social accountability processes are supported either as standalone projects or as components of broader sector or governance reform projects. In 2016, DFID commissioned a macro evaluation of its social accountability portfolio looking at evidence across 50 different projects. This evaluation tested a number of hypotheses and generated key findings about what works in social accountability, for whom and in what contexts. The evaluation was designed primarily to inform policy and practice within DFID and secondarily to contribute to the debate on social accountability with other development actors.

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