This series is designed to address issues of importance to the World Bank's Social Development Strategy, which aims to empower people by transforming institutions to make them more inclusive, responsible, and accountable, and transforming subjects and beneficiaries into citizens with rights and responsibilities. Titles in this series undergo internal and external review under the management of the World Bank Social Development unit.
(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015-04-14)
Grandvoinnet, Helene; Aslam, Ghazia; Raha, Shomikho
This publication fills an important knowledge gap by providing guidance on how to assess contextual drivers of social accountability effectiveness. It aims to strategically support citizen engagement at the country level and for a specific issue or problem.
The report proposes a novel framing of social accountability as the interplay of constitutive elements: citizen action and state action, supported by three enabling levers: civic mobilization, interface and information. For each of these constitutive elements, the report identifies 'drivers' of contextual effectiveness which take into account a broad range of contextual factors (e.g., social, political and intervention-based, including information and communication technologies).
Opening the Black Box offers detailed guidance on how to assess each driver. It also applies the framework at two levels. At the country level, the report looks at 'archetypes' of challenging country contexts, such as regimes with no formal space or full support for citizen-state engagement and fragile and conflict-affected situations. The report also illustrates the use of the framework to analyze specific social accountability interventions through four case studies: Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Yemen, and the Kyrgyz Republic.
Building and operating successful public institutions is a perennial and long-term challenge for governments, which is compounded by the volatile conditions found in fragile settings. Yet some government agencies do manage to take root and achieve success in delivering results earning legitimacy and forging resilience in otherwise challenging contexts.
Drawing on mixed-method empirical research carried out on nine public agencies in Lao PDR, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, and Timor Leste, this volume identifies the shared causal mechanisms underpinning institutional success in fragile states by examining the inner workings of these institutions, along with the external operational environment and sociopolitical context in which they exist. Successful institutions share and deploy a common repertoire of internal and external operational strategies. In addition they connect this micro-institutional repertoire to the macro-sociopolitical context along three discernible pathways to institutional success. Institutional development is a heavily contextual, dynamic, and non-linear process but certain actionable lessons emerge for policy-makiers and development partners.