Role of Legislation for Social Accountability: A Comparison of South Africa and Zambia

Chapter
Part of the Public Administration, Governance and Globalization book series (PAGG, volume 11)

Abstract

The quality of governance in Africa can be determined, to a large extent, by the ability of citizens to exact accountability from the state. Of the various forms of accountability, social accountability is receiving growing attention in Africa as a method through which citizens can demand accountability from those who govern them. The concept social accountability refers to an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement (Malena et al. 2004, p. 3). Citizens, civil society organizations, media, and communities, through a range of actions and mechanisms used to monitor the behaviors and decisions of public officials and agencies, demand accountability from duty-bearers (i.e., state actors). The forms and successes of civic engagement largely depend on a number of “enabling” or “disabling” environment factors (McNeil and Malena 2010). These factors (internal or external to the context) can be grouped as political context and culture, sociocultural and economic factors, and legal and policy framework (Malena and McNeil 2010, p. 187). They can create, facilitate, stagger, or hinder civic engagement that prompts state responsiveness to governance issues.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

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