Social Accountability in Public Procurement: How Citizen Engagement Can Make a Difference

Social accountability refers to citizens’ direct involvement in monitoring the overall performances of bureaucratic agencies or representative institutions and is a mechanism to hold government officials accountable for ensuring the proper utilization of taxpayers’ money. In Bangladesh, various social accountability mechanisms are being used in different projects in an experimental manner though at least in one important case it has been adopted as a standard policy and implemented on a national scale (LGSP). One very recent initiative in this regard is the incorporation of social accountability mechanism in public procurement, which is being piloted under the Procurement Reform Project (PPRP)-II. This policy brief reflects on the design and experiences of this piloting initiative specifically in public construction works and tries to draw interim lessons for the development of strategies so that replication of similar projects can be done on a wider scale. The brief particularly explores the experiences of the project interventions in detail, examining its achievements and challenges. It then concludes by suggesting some recommendations, including- dissemination of information in a more accessible manner to ensure implementation of social accountability in public procurement work, and quick response from the authorities to successfully scale up the project. The brief also suggests that citizens should always visit the field collectively.

Authors: Hassan, Mirza M.; Aziz, Syeda Salina; Shah, Nadir
Type: Policy Brief
Year: 2016