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TitleCan we improve accountability through participation? Practical action’s learning : paper presented at the IRC symposium ‘ Pumps, Pipes and Promises: Costs, Finances and Accountability for Sustainable WASH Services' in The Hague, The Netherlands from 16 -
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsAli, M
Pagination14 p.; 8 refs.; 1 tab.
Date Published2010-11-16
Keywordscommunity participation, organizations

Participation of citizens is often seen as one of the pathways to improve accountability. Many NGOs and donors programmes are designed to mainstream participation in the planning,
design, choice of technologies, ownership and management of the physical assets. Various methods and approaches are developed and claim to be successful on both enhancing
participation and improving accountability. Good participation aims to change the relationship of demand and supply between citizens and their service providers to one of mutual
accountability. In the last 8 years, Practical Action, an international NGO, has been testing participatory approaches to better deliver basic services. More recently Practical Action has
scaled up participatory approaches to address components of good governance, such as improved accountability and collective decision making. This paper is based on the key learning
of Practical Action from its projects, its situation analysis research and its learning and networking activities with other NGOs in the UK. This paper presents a synthesis of this learning
around a guiding question; Can we improve accountability through participation? This question was examined at 4 levels; the local level, citizens and their organisations; municipal governments; national governments; and international financing institutions responsible for funding large programmes and driving institutional reforms. [authors abstract]

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