Promoting Embedding Voice Mechanisms for Accountable Governance: Concepts, Tools and Practices

In an era of unparalleled progress and wealth creation, poverty continues to pose formidable challenges. As rapid changes, fuelled by technology and shrinking distances, are reshaping the economic and social contours, considerable sections of humanity find themselves in the margins of progress and well-being. The challenge in the coming years will be to bring politics back into the governance discourse and praxis by locating legitimate spaces and channels for the poor to engage with political structures, processes, and actors that rely on representation and negotiation. Central to this premise is the assertion that basic needs are basic rights and that any engagement in service delivery will work only in ways that help to strengthen people’s power to claim their rights from the state more effectively and sustainably. It is in this context that the Rights-Based Approach (RBA) to governance has come up as a strong theme in the face of the rising ascendency of neoliberal concepts and practices. This working paper makes an attempt to locate the concept and praxis of ‘voice’ as a potent trigger for opening up spaces for the poor and the disadvantaged to claim their rights and entitlements and hold the state to account.

Author: Thampi, Gopakumar
Type: Working Paper
Year: 2013