Social accountability refers to actions other than voting that citizens and civil society can use to hold the state to account. These include budget advocacy, community monitoring, and social accountability monitoring. Legal empowerment refers to actions that promote the implementation of law and access to justice for marginalized people.
Joining both approaches together has the potential to better enable socially excluded groups to claim their health and rights and obtain accountability for service delivery.
In December 2014, Open Society convened a small group of practitioners and thought leaders to explore the potential that integrating these areas of work may yield. The convening aimed to provide a space for reflection on lessons, achievements, challenges, and remaining gaps in knowledge and practice. This paper outlines the meeting background, synthesizes the discussions, and summarizes conclusions reached.