, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 79–87

Accountability, Nutrition and Local Institutions in India

  • Jaya Goyal
  • Madhushree Sekher

DOI: 10.1057/dev.2015.15

Cite this article as:
Goyal, J. & Sekher, M. Development (2015) 58: 79. doi:10.1057/dev.2015.15


In contemporary governance discourse, accountability is found linked to almost every conceivable aspect of ‘good governance’ – from developmental effectiveness to empowerment. However, accountability, both as a concept and a strategy, has been reduced to rhetoric while large public programmes especially on health and nutrition continue to record dismal child nutrition outcomes even after six decades of democracy in India. Child malnutrition remains one of the most challenging public health and development issues in India. The article argues that local accountability processes and relationships between users and providers in a community are actual markers of service delivery as opposed to dominant practices of techno-managerial checks. Local institutional design shape actions of frontline health providers in service delivery which can explain differential child nutrition outcomes. The article is one of the original attempts in studying accountability in public-health service delivery from the prism of institutions in a developing democratic country like India.


governance new managerialism public-service delivery rural development provider-user relationship 

Copyright information

© Society for International Development 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaya Goyal
  • Madhushree Sekher

There are no affiliations available

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