Health Policy Project

The Health Policy Project ended in 2016. Work continued under Health Policy Plus (HP+) until 2022.


share this publication:
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter
Social Accountability: A Primer for Civil Society Organizations Working in Family Planning and Reproductive Health
Cover Image

Author(s): Erin McGinn and Alyson Lipsky

Primary Language: English

Date: 9/15/2015


The right to freely and responsibly decide if, when, and how many children to have has been enshrined in numerous international treaties, conventions, and political consensus documents. Governments are obligated to manifest their international commitments to family planning and reproductive health and rights through their policies and funded programs, at the national, state/province, and local level. Yet the reality on the ground is that for most countries worldwide, from the least to the most developed countries, governments fail in many respects to operationalize these international commitments.

In recent years, the international development community has turned its attention to the role of accountability in achieving greater impact of development interventions.Social accountability is characterized primarily by the active involvement of citizens engaging with government decision-making processes to ensure government fulfills its commitments and implements policies and programs appropriately. While the FP/RH community has a long-standing commitment to advocacy and social mobilization to advance reproductive rights, some social accountability concepts and interventions are relatively new to the FP/RH community. This guidance document is a primer for CSOs working in health that are looking to initiate or expand activities aimed to hold government entities accountable for delivering on their national and international commitments related to family planning/reproductive health and rights.

This document provides:

  • An overview of current concepts of social accountability.

  • A synopsis of common methodologies and tools used by civil society to engage in social accountability.

  • Ideas and examples on how social accountability can be used to further FP/RH within a country.

  • Suggestions on what elements CSOs might take into consideration when deciding to implement a particular methodology

  • A selection of documents and resources that may be helpful in implementing social accountability activities.



Tags: Click to view other publications with selected tag.

Advocacy    Best Practices    Capacity Development    Capacity Development Resource    Civil Society Engagement    Family Planning/Reproductive Health (FP/RH)    FP2020/30    Governance, Stewardship & Accountability (GS&A)    Health Systems Strengthening    Non-Government/Community Service Org. (NGO/CSO)    Policy    Repositioning Family Planning    Stakeholder Engagement   
   RSS Feed
Our Work
How We Help
Our Team
What We Do
Maternal Health
All Topics
AFR Region
AME Region
E&E Region
LAC Region
Software and Models
User Info
Privacy Policy
Site Map
Staff Intranet
The Health Policy Project is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development under Agreement No. AID-OAA-A-10-00067, beginning September 30, 2010. The project's HIV-related activities are supported by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It is implemented by Futures Group, in collaboration with Plan International USA, Avenir Health (previously Futures Institute), Partners in Population and Development, Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO), Population Reference Bureau (PRB), RTI International, and White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA). The information provided on this Web site is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

Copyright © 2011 Futures Group. All Rights Reserved.2021,0,14,330296