Using Social Accountability to Improve Maternal and Child Health in Nigeria

Rachel S. Robinson , American University

Social accountability interventions employ information and generate participation to demand fairer, more effective public services. This paper analyzes a campaign run by the nongovernmental organization White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria in Niger State to increase citizen demand for quality maternal health care and government responsiveness to those demands. The campaign relied on advocacy to key health system actors, town halls to bring together citizens and policymakers, and a cadre of citizen journalists to expose poor quality health care. The analysis is based on more than 40 interviews with relevant actors in Niger State as well as a difference-in-differences analysis of health system utilization data. Although an impact of the campaign on health care utilization is not yet visible, the campaign has convinced the previously unwilling state government to engage with citizens, and anecdotal evidence suggests improvements to health care facilities in response to town halls and citizen journalist reports.

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 Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2