Accountability Weakened after Independence, said Bharat Singh

Jaipur, December 16, 2009

“The country witnessed significant growth in the field of health and education etc. but the phenomenon of accountability has weakened after independence. The outcomes are not always in proportion to the amount of expenditures made for the social development schemes and programmes. This is where the question of accountability comes in”, said Bharat Singh, State Minter for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj. He was presenting the inaugural address in the inaugural session of a two-day workshop entitled, ‘Social Accountability in India: Moving from Mechanisms to Outcomes and Institutionalisation in Large Scale Public Programmes’ held in Jaipur, on December 16-17, 2009. Further, he emphasised on the need of introspection by every one.

Giovanna Prennushi, Economic Adviser, World Bank, in her keynote address stated that World Bank is trying to incorporate social accountability mechanism into its flagship schemes for better public expenditure outcomes. While sharing her personal experience, she said that in the course of her work in the area of development, she has learnt that community activism is the best way to ensure accountability.

Parmesh Shah, Lead Rural Development Specialist of the World Bank in his opening remarks stressed on the need of institutionalising a system by which public expenditure outcomes can be enhanced. The experiences accompanied by achievement and outcomes should be incorporated in the system. He put a question that in spite of efforts made by civil society organisations (CSOs) and government policies, the changes are not achieving the desired outcomes.

“Citizens have the right to demand accountability and public actors have an obligation to be accountable to its citizens. It is a challenge before us that how we can institutionalise the social accountability mechanism in the system, however, there is enabling environment for good governance in the country”, said George Cheriyan, Director, CUTS.

To deliberate upon the possible strategies for institutionalisation, scale-up and replication of social accountability approaches based on learning from social accountability pilot interventions and their impacts and outcomes, The World Bank and CUTS is jointly organising this workshop. This workshop will disseminate various behavioural and institutional changes, triggered as a result of three social accountability interventions.

Nearly 50 participants including senior policy makers and high level authorities from various government departments related to development, academia and prominent CSOs from various states would be participating in the workshop. A N P Sinha, Secretary, Department of Panchayati Raj, Government of India will be giving valedictory address on December 17, 2009.

For more information, please contact:

George Cheriyan, Director (98292 85930)
Om Prakash Arya, Project Coordinator (99280 39210)
CUTS International, D-222, Bhaskar Marg, Jaipur;
Tel: 5133259/4015395: Fax: 4015395; E-mail: