Discuss the role of civic engagement and social accountability at local government level to boost good governance.

Published: April 11, 2018

Local government enshrines the idea of decentralisation. Being near to people the local government is more capable to address the various challenges related to efficient service delivery.
Civic engagement refers to individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Social accountability can be defined as an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement, i.e., in which it is ordinary citizens and/or civil society organizations who participate directly or indirectly in exacting accountability
Role of civic engagement and social accountability at local government level to boost good governance:

  • To bring inclusiveness. Local governments often deal with issues of immediate concern to the people. Inclusive approach through civic engagement and social accountability can aid governments in enhancing the quality of service delivery.
  • Sustainability of the programmes. Local government needs people participation for the programmes to run in a sustainable manner in long run. Civil engagement coupled with social accountability can aid in ensuring the sustainability of programmes in long run.
  • Mechanisms of civic engagement and social accountability can aid in making local governments more responsive. The local governments which are often the implementing agencies of various government schemes can make the programmes more responsive through civic engagement and social accountability.
  • The local government often lag accountability mechanisms. Social accountability and civic engagement can serve as mechanisms of social audit for ensuring the accountability of the local government.
  • Local government often face the challenges of resource mobilisation. Resource mobilisation needs innovative solutions. Social accountability and civic engagement can aid local governments in devising innovative ways for resource mobilisation.

Local governments are facing the trust deficit issues. Social accountability and civic engagement can aid in addressing the trust deficit issues and make local governments responsive to the requirements of the local population. This enhances the effectiveness of governance.

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