The Role of Social Accountability in Improving Health Outcomes: Overview and Analysis of Selected International NGO Experiences to Advance the Field

The 1993 World Development Report (WDR), Investing in Health, deemed strengthening accountability as one of the core elements of health sector reform. Engaging communities and community-based workers in the process of measuring health status of children, in assessing causes of deaths, in defining high- risk groups, and in measuring changes in mortality over time will enable governments to achieve levels of under-5 mortality according to their commitments.

Models involving International NGOs that used a social accountability approach in various sectors and at different levels including community, district, and national level, were reviewed as part of this paper and are presented regarding the processes undertaken to increase accountability and improve health outcomes. This paper presents common themes, challenges, and recommendations to expand and bring this approach to scale in the context of health and development.