Engaging Citizens and Civil Society to Promote Good Governance and Development Effectiveness

Publication | August 2015
Engaging Citizens and Civil Society to Promote Good Governance and Development Effectiveness

Development policy makers are recognizing that engaging citizens and civil society can complement government efforts to promote good governance.

The growing movement for governments to engage with citizens and civil society is also being propelled by emerging evidence that citizen engagement improves development outcomes, reduces poverty, and encourages peace by promoting social inclusion. The rapid rise in connectivity, 24/7 instant communications, and social media also enables governments to engage more extensively with citizens.

Conclusions and Operational Implications

  • Citizens and governments around the world are increasingly concerned with, and willing to confront, poor governance and corruption.
  • Citizen and civil society engagement to demand and promote good governance can improve overall effectiveness of good governance and anticorruption programs.
  • Donor-funding strategies need adjusting to take advantage of the full potential of citizen engagement to improve overall effectiveness of good governance and anticorruption efforts.
  • Mainstreaming citizen engagement in operations is the next frontier for multilateral development banks and bilateral donors to aim for in order to strengthen development outcomes.
  • Mainstreaming will also require provision of financial resources to clients as well as operational budgets to staff.
  • The payoffs from investment in citizen engagement initiatives will come from better governance and reduced corruption, more effective service delivery, greater social inclusion, and increased economy and effectiveness of public financial management.