This paper aims to analyse the processes of establishing diverse forms of social accountability mechanisms, their application and their outcomes in varying political and socio economic contexts of different South Asian countries. The countries in focus here are India ,Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, where despite the existence of democracy, whether sixty years old or only a decade, the people’s experiences remain largely similar in terms of the democratic deficits they face in the form of poor accountability and lack of transparency in public institutions, non participatory methods of designing policies, and corrupt and inefficient institutions. Hence, in the given scenario the relevance of social accountability mechanisms becomes even more pronounced as it offers citizens opportunities to engage with government and monitor the delivery of public services which are quite critical to the development of South Asia’s poor citizens of.
The study is based on primary research conducted through tools like focused group discussions with stakeholders, interviews with community leaders and government officials in the countries in focus. The study aims to explore the factors responsible for making social accountability initiatives successful; the role participation can play in the empowerment of the people; the ways different forms of social accountability initiatives interact and create new models of accountability; and if social accountability initiatives can be instrumental in making local governance institutions accountable. To capture these processes effectively, the scope of this study is limited to local governance institutions.