Social accountability: What is it and how does it help democracy?


Esperanza from Mexfam, IPPF’s Member Association in Mexico, presented a session on social accountability at the International Conference on Family Planning. But what is social accountability and how does it help democracy? 

“Governments should be accountable to their citizens. The community should be able to have a have a say in the services they receive from government – are they on time, of good quality, located in the right places?” says Esperanza.


“A true democracy allows the community to hold its government to its promises and there should be a recognised, official mechanism for citizens to do that.”


“12 years ago I would say that Mexico wasn’t able to provide such a mechanism. Now it’s different and there’s scope to express your opinion.


“My other tip for promoting social accountability is to build your own organisation’s internal accountability first - once you have a strong organisation with robust protocols - then you can challenge governments, regardless of who’s in power.


“As for the future - I believe the SDGs will transform a world that desperately needs change. In Mexico  I would like to see a peaceful society and one that respects human rights.


Respecting sexual and reproductive health and rights are critical for change. When the SDGs wrap up in 2030 I hope Mexico will be a country where women and girls participate fully in public life and policy making – that will be better for society and for our country.”