Social accountability for sustainable services means embedding social accountability as a key intervention for sustainable services that reach everyone. See RWSN blog

Social accountability can be defined as ‘an approach that refers to the extent and capacity of citizens to hold the state and service providers accountable, and make them responsive to needs of citizens and beneficiaries’. There are many different definitions of the term, We are interested to highlight any ways in which accountability for reaching everyone with water services is strengthened.

E-discussions and webinars on this topic in RWSN have encompassed initiatives that seek to empower citizens to hold to account not only service providers (direct accountability) and governments (indirect accountability) for water services, but also donors. It also explores ways of supporting governments and service providers to strengthen their own accountability mechanisms.

Discussions and webinars on this topic are very relevant to all aspects of governance in water supply.and closely linked to the theme on sustainable services.


Aim by 2030 (end of SDG period): Governments and service providers are increasingly held to account by citizens for the sustainability and quality of water supplies

Aim by 2023 (end of RWSN strategy period): Social accountability mechanisms are well understood across the sector, underpinned by a body of evidence and growing community of practice

Activities planned 2018-2020:

  • Knowledge sharing and networking:
    • Webinars (English/French)
    • E-discussion in RWSN community
    • Promote updates through Secretariat services
    • Peer support
  • Inspiring and embedding: In-country projects in different contexts Developing policy with governments and donors

Key publications

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