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Introduction to Social Accountability in the Health Sector of LMICs

Summer Institute
International Health
Academic Year
2024 - 2025
Instruction Method
Synchronous Online with Some Asynchronous Online
Start Date
Monday, June 17, 2024
End Date
Thursday, June 27, 2024
Class Time(s)
M, Th, 9:00 - 10:50am
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
One Year Only
Next Offered
Only offered in 2024
From stock outs to disrespectful treatment, millions of people experience accountability failures in the health sector every day. Assumptions that ‘information is power’ and that transparency of processes (‘sunshine is the best disinfectant’) will solve problems locally often does not hold up in practice. Join us to explore strategies through which citizens seek to hold the health sector to account, from score cards and health committees to political reforms and multisectoral campaigns.
Enables students to critically assess the wide range interventions seeking to build citizen power and hold health systems to account (from decentralization reform to public planning processes to citizen monitoring through health committees and community scorecards). Explains important gaps in theory, knowledge, and experience on how different social accountability strategies work, how to scale them up, and how to sustain them. Provides a robust understanding of social accountability strategies used in health systems, their theoretical underpinnings, and major critiques. Creates space for students to engage with practitioners (guest lecturers) on real world examples and apply learnings to current health system issues.
Learning Objectives
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the range of social accountability interventions currently utilized in global health practice
  2. Articulate the theoretical underpinning of social accountability interventions in health systems strengthening
  3. Utilize available evidence and practitioner knowledge to identify potential social accountability strategies to address current health system issues
  4. Critique the limits and prospects of social accountability interventions in promoting health system transparency, accountability, and responsiveness
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 25% Participation
  • 35% Assignments
  • 25% Reflection
  • 15% Peer-feedback