Citizen Empowerment in Service Delivery | Asian Development Bank

Citizen Empowerment in Service Delivery

Publication | June 2014
Citizen Empowerment in Service Delivery

This paper examines different approaches for promoting empowerment and discusses conditions required for effective empowerment. It focuses on grievance redress, participatory performance monitoring, and community-driven development.

There are three sets of factors that affect people’s ability to influence service delivery: institutional properties of empowerment models, citizen participation, and responses of service providers and public officials.

Evidence suggests that all three models can enhance people’s capacity to engage with service providers and government agencies, articulate their needs, and demand better service quality and accountability. Yet, these models are based on distinct institutional arrangements that account for the variation in their empowerment and service delivery outcomes.

Citizen empowerment in service delivery necessitates the need to enhance people’s ability and willingness to participate and express their voice. It also requires commitment of service providers and government agencies to facilitate fair and effective redress. To address these conditions, policy makers need to ensure careful design and effective outreach as well as support broader policies to allow opportunities for citizen participation, enforce the rule of law, and ensure inclusive access to services.


  • Abstract
  • Main Objectives and Contribution
  • Structure of the Paper
  • Empowerment in Service Delivery
  • What are the Benefits of Citizen Participation?
  • Service Entitlements: Rights-based and Program-based Services
  • Grievance Redress Mechanisms
  • Participatory Performance Monitoring
  • Community-Driven Development
  • Policy Lessons for Supporting Citizen Empowerment
  • References