Catalysing effective social accountability systems through community participation
Worldwide, infrastructure expansion and visions of ‘slum-free cities’ displace people living in informal settlements. Without community participation in these processes and accountability mechanisms in place’ such displacement can adversely impact people’s health and well-being. This piece outlines SPARC’s (Society For Promotion of Area Resource Centres, SPARC is an NGO based in India promoting action of organised communities of urban poor to negotiate with the state on accessing tenure security, housing, sanitation and civic services) experience promoting community participation among residents of a relocation site in Ahmedabad, fostering coalescence, and rebuilding the dismantled community organisation to foster social accountability systems. The experience has reinforced learning from previous work that poorly planned relocation increases the risk of impoverishment and negatively impacts residents’ social relations, which severely affects their ability to come together to demand social accountability. As such, we had to innovate our engagement strategies to rebuild trust and confidence and strengthen community participation and organisation, which we share here.
(2023) Catalysing effective social accountability systems through community participation, Cities & Health,