Strategies for Empowering Communities to Demand Good Governance and Seek Increased Effectiveness of Public Service Delivery
This paper provides readers with the basic idea of how demand for good governance (DFGG) strategies, in particular social accountability (SA) strategies, can be employed to help citizens demand greater authority responsiveness and thereby enhance their living conditions. Empowering Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to demand good governance through increased transparency, a higher degree of qualitative participation and the capacity to exert greater accountability from service providers, makes a difference in the effectiveness and impact of public service delivery. Fighting corruption at the grass-roots level thus becomes a two-fold priority: The empowerment of civil society is an end by itself in accountable and open societies. It allows citizens to make their rightful choices and determine the direction of community, state or even national development policy as a whole. In addition, the paper argues, that citizen engagement and empowerment to demand good governance using social accountability tools is effective in lowering corruption and holding service providers accountable. The impact of initiatives is to provide citizens with every-day efficient and effective service that affects their quality of life directly and instantaneously – preventing misery, economic distress and even the loss of life. The paper details four basic strategies how citizens around the world work to express DFGG and achieve greater responsiveness of local service providers through the “short route of accountability”. Each strategy is followed by a list of examples and details the tools most commonly used when pursuing any one strategy. Most anti-corruption projects follow more than one strategy within any one intervention. This fact can be clearly observed in chapter nine following the results chain, describing how each strategic elements builds on another until citizens have successfully experienced greater responsiveness of authorities and thus broaden their own expectations of what to rightfully expect from public service providers. Chapter 12 mentions the overall political conditions and parameters necessary to make demand for good governance measures work successfully.