The world over, a lack of accountability is undermining fair, equal societies; the most marginalised voices are not heard in critical conversations and leaders are not held responsible for their decisions. This in turn means people in power are not held to account or answerable for the use of that power. Accountability is critical as it ensures that governments and other service providers deliver on their responsibilities by responding to citizens’ demands in an evidence-informed way. This should ultimately lead to effective governance and the development of trust between people and power-holders. Stan Getui of Luminate explains why the group invested in Accountability Lab.
In the discourse on accountability and other public interest issues, narratives are fundamental to the way citizens receive information, adapt to their realities, and shape their identity. The recent global trend plays on the human tendency to prioritise negative over positive elements in society. This has seen public attention grabbed by authoritarian leaders, institutional scandals, poor economic conditions and grand corruption. With the background of wide scale corruption and poor economic growth, negative news and narratives have created social disillusionment especially among the youth in Africa’s more fledgling democracies. At Luminate, we believe there is a pressing need for tools that counter the perception of futility, open channels of engagement, and celebrate positive elements in government and civil service.
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*First published on the Luminate Group blog.