Civil Society and Accountability in Rwanda

22nd August 2018
Author: Zenobia Ismail

This rapid review synthesises evidence on civil society and accountability in Rwanda including any particular evidence of the role of donors and the impact of their support. The review finds that the evidence on the impact of social accountability interventions is mixed; however, interventions have been more successful in reducing corruption than enhancing service delivery. Recent scholarship on social accountability notes that the theory of change which assumes that transparency leads to accountability relies on the premise that citizens, including marginalised groups, have agency to effect change. However, this premise is overly optimistic in most developing countries (Fox, 2015). Consequently, there is a push for adapting programmes to suit local conditions (Wild et al., 2015), and for the ‘sandwich strategy’ which requires that multiple coalitions advocate for accountability (Fox, 2015). Furthermore, CSOs play a useful role as intermediaries which purvey information in user-friendly formats and advocate for accountability on behalf of the community (van Zyl, 2014). Another finding of the review is voice and accountability interventions which are targeted directly at women and other marginalised groups have yielded some impact on empowerment (Joshi, 2013).

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Suggested Citation

Ismail, Z. (2018). Civil Society and Accountability in Rwanda. K4D Helpdesk Report. Birmingham UK: University of Birmingham


22nd August 2018


Continent: Africa

Country: Rwanda