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Table 4 Social accountability elements targeted by project activities

From: A strategic approach to social accountability: Bwalo forums within the reproductive maternal and child health accountability ecosystem in Malawi

Element required for effective social accountability


An informed, aware and engaged citizenry

• Data collected at health facility level

• HMIS data and data from QUIC assessments packaged into dashboards, colour-coded scorecards and fact sheets in local languages to be shared with citizens at community bwalos

• Radio Listening Clubs

• Broadcast of RMNCAH content 3 times per week on YFM

• Training of the community by Cultural Theatre Troupe

• Edutainment theatre performances

• ToRs developed by national CSO task force for engaging citizens

A platform/platforms in which aware citizens can engage in meaningful, multi-directional communication with decision-makers and service-providers

• Community bwalos linking citizens to health facilities

• District bwalos linking citizens to district-level officials

• Radio Listening Clubs contributing to programming for YFM (although unclear whether relevant decision-makers listened to these programmes)

An environment in which decision-makers, having heard the concerns of citizens, respond to them, and are compelled to and have the capacity to take action

• Councillors and DHMTs trained on health budget analysis and tracking

• Dashboards, scorecards and health budget analysis assisted district teams to determine their performance on key RMNCAH indicators

• Monthly, quarterly and annual advocacy meetings held with parliamentary health committee, cabinet ministers and other key players

• Community and district bwalos provided decision-makers with an opportunity to engage with citizens and service providers, and to hear and respond to their concerns

• CSO Task Force mapped social accountability activities and provided a framework for coordinating efforts at the district and national levels

  1. Abbreviations: CSO Civil Society Organisation, DHMT District Health Management Team, HMIS Health Management Information System, QUIC Quality Of Institutional Care, RMNCAH Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health, ToRs Terms of Reference, YFM YONECO FM