Social Accountability

Accountability is an integral component of ‘empowerment’ and hence poverty reduction. Social Accountability relies on ordinary citizens and/or civil society organizations participating directly or indirectly in exacting accountability from leaders and public officials.

PeaceOpoly is a demand-driven accountability initiative designed to improve governance and transparency by empowering youth and women to play a role in their nation’s democracy. Traditionally, efforts have concentrated on improving the supply side of governance through political checks and balances and administrative rules, but these have had very limited success. PeaceOpoly strengthens the voice and capacity of citizens (including the poor, vulnerable and disabled) to directly demand greater accountability and responsiveness from public officials.

PeaceOpoly amplifies the voices of citizens and enables political leaders to listen and respond effectively, with the goal of creating a more efficient and transparent democratic government. The effectiveness and sustainability of social accountability mechanisms are improved when they are ‘institutionalized’ and when the state’s own ‘internal’ mechanisms of accountability are rendered more transparent and open to civic engagement. PeaceOpoly helps that process along by empowering its participants to take matters into their own hands.

PeaceOpoly leverages information and communication technology (ICT) to develop informed, inclusive and accountable relationships between citizens and political leaders. ICT provides government with the tools it needs to be more transparent and accountable to its citizens. PeaceOpoly draws on skills for media-making, research, writing, collaboration, problem-solving, public speaking, leadership and digital literacy.

By providing critical information on rights and entitlements and soliciting feedback from the marginalized, social accountability mechanisms provide a means to increase and aggregate the voice of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.