Solving problems in public service delivery
Social accountability interventions aim to boost citizen engagement in public service delivery, increase responsiveness of duty-bearers (service providers and relevant officials), and ultimately improve service quality in line with citizen demands. In many social accountability approaches, citizens identify problems with basic services and then seek solutions to these problems. However, too often, problems raised by citizens remain unsolved. So, what factors contribute to the successful resolution of problems?
This research studied citizen monitoring programmes being implemented by Integrity Action and its partners in Kenya, Palestine and Afghanistan. The researchers focussed on 16 projects or services that had been monitored – predominantly infrastructure delivered at the community level, such as new classrooms, water supplies, and solar energy systems.
The researchers then looked at 32 problems that had been raised by citizens – half of which had been solved, and half of which hadn’t. By interviewing citizens and duty-bearers involved in each case, and using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), they identified the most important combinations of pathways and configurations that could influence problem resolution.