Processes and effects of citizen assessment of State action

Claire Launay, 2016

Accountability initiatives, often known as ‘citizen assessment’ are widespread in Latin America. Assessment or ‘citizen control’ has been set up by groups of citizens to make institutions accountable for their performance.

The goal of the online course is to study these control mechanisms and their impact on State action (institutions and policy). We must ask ourselves if such participative democracy mechanisms are effective: does more citizen control lead to better management, and does it make institutions and State actors more responsible? How do citizen actions contribute to the construction of new modes of governance? Our reflection will be heavily based on case studies and videos made between 2012 and 2014 in Latin America by the Institute for Research and Debate on Governance. We will also use some feedback on a French case study.

The course is divided into five sequences: The first is devoted to the origin and motives for these processes. The second shows the diversity of forms of citizen control, as well as common characteristics. In the third sequence we look at one of the actors concerned by citizen control: the local public institution. Finally, the fourth and fifth sequences focus on the effect that citizen assessment has on State action, and in particular the relationship between citizens and public institutions that it implies.

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  • Launay-Gama Claire, Pachón Mónica, Claire (éd.), 2011, Practicas de evaluación de la gobernanza en América latina, IRG – Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombie.

  • Isunza Vera E., et Gurza Lavalle, A. (dir.), 2010, La innovación democrática en América Latina. Tramas y nudos de la representación, la participación y el control social, México, CIESAS-Universidad Veracruzana. 447 p.

Rapports et autres publications


An analysis

8 case studies