Public accountability: Capacity is political, not technical: The Case of HakiElimu in promoting accountability in education in Tanzania

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Publication Date: 
09 August 2011
Rakesh Rajani
Thematic thrusts: 
UN Millennium Development Goal: 
Achieve universal primary education
Keyword tags: 

Being held to account is a driver for performance and capacity development. However, accountability to local constituencies is often weak in many 'aided-development' programmes, with negative consequences for results and the ownership of such programmes by their intended beneficiaries. Increasing mutual and public accountability can therefore be an important force for enhancing the overall performance of actors around an issue of collective concern.


In this chapter, Rakesh Rajani sketches various ways in which a Tanzanian NGO deploys information and public media to boost citizens' demand for accountability in the provision of education and other public services. These experiences have interesting implications for expanding a practitioner's repertoire of capacity development beyond discrete organizations. They also stimulate thinking about how capacity development is connected to activism.

Acknowledgements: Edited by Jan Ubels, Naa-Aku Acquaye-Badoo and Alan Fowler, (2010), Public Accountability in 'Capacity Development in Practice', London:Earthscan