To understand the term 'accountability,' it may help to think of a water company providing a town with clean drinking water. By signing up for its services, clients promise to pay the company for the water they consume. The company, in turn, agrees to service the needs of its clients, meaning that it will provide water that is clean and available when needed. By entering into this agreement, the water company and its clients become accountable to each other. This is of course a simplified example, but the basic idea is the same: accountability exists when rights holders are able to make duty bearers deliver on their obligations. This can apply to the relationship between a country and its citizens, between an organization and its clients, or between a country and international donors.
UNDP and its network of partners support national stakeholders by providing the following services:
- Facilitation and strengthening of stakeholder feedback mechanisms through developing monitoring and evaluation systems and independent partner review mechanisms.
- Support to design and implementation of client voice mechanisms (e.g., citizen report cards) and mutual accountability mechanisms (e.g., peer reviews).
- Promotion of public information disclosure at national and local levels.
- Advocacy on literacy and civic education, language reforms and participation measures.
MSEPs can be important vehicles for capacity development and empowerment. This paper focuses on key elements for success, ranging from the enabling environment to capacity requirements for effective engagement. The paper also looks at the issue of monitoring and evaluation, and concludes with a discussion of the roles of international organsiations in the implementation of MSEPs processes.