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Social Accountability to Change the Balance of Power


Dhaka, 21 November 2019: Social accountability (SA) challenges existing notions that those providing services have the power and those seeking services have none. Manusher Jonno Foundation’s (MJF) work on SA has demonstrated that such social norms and structures that pre-determines the power imbalance between service provider and service receiver has been broken. “SA has empowered poor and marginalised communities to monitor pubic services and has motivated services providers to provide prompt and quality services in the health, education and agriculture sectors”, MJF’s Executive Director Ms. Shaheen Anam said.

Speaking at a breakout session held on Wednesday (20 November) during Global Partners Forum meeting of Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) in Washington DC, Ms. Anam observed that SA tools such as Public Hearing, Community Score Card, and Soc cial Audit have been used by local stakeholders to engage in dialogues with public service delivery authorities. This resulted in resolving existing problems such as absenteeism of teachers in school or doctors not coming on time to attend to patients etc. Leakage of resources, wrong targeting, corruption and weak monitoring failed to attained the desired results, she observed adding that use of social accountability has the potential to improve public services.

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