In several low and middle-income countries, Social Accountability (SA) interventions have
been introduced as an innovative approach to governance, aiming to improve delivery of public
services. These interventions typically include information provision to citizens regarding
their rights/entitlements and local provider performance, and additionally, facilitation of
community engagement with providers and officials.
The state government of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and the Uttar Pradesh Health Systems Strengthening
Project (UPHSSP) have identified 12 districts where the social accountability initiative will
be introduced on a priority basis. This study focuses on interventions in 2 of these
districts (Sultanpur and Fatehpur), to study mechanisms through which information and
collective action lead to improved accountability and outcomes. Within the 2 districts, the
study is implemented as a cluster randomized evaluation with 120 villages randomized into 2
treatment arms and one control arm.
This study aims to: (a) measure the causal effect of SA interventions on key outcomes (health
status, quality of service); (b) test the effectiveness of social networks based strategies
to disseminate information for community engagement; and (c) study individuals' decisions to
participate in collective action efforts in the context of social networks and information
interventions. In addition to evaluating the impact of the SA interventions, the study aims
to generate new knowledge on relative strengths of information seeding strategies,
identifying those that maximize the spread of information through the village network, and
subsequently estimate peer effects on participation decisions.