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Summing Up: Three Major Conclusions for Building Accountability in Service Delivery

The previous section highlights three factors that appear to influence critically the way in which different institutional setups designed to enhance accountability (decentralization, direct citizen’s participation and alternative modes of provision) actually work in practice. These are adequate information flows, sources of financing and political culture and legacy. We discuss in more detail below the evidence from the GDN case studies about how these traits seem to be crucial for building effective accountability in service delivery.

Adequate Information Flows Can Be More than a Necessary Condition for Accountability

Most of the GDN case studies highlight the key importance of adequate information systems for policy makers and regulators on costs and quality and, especially, of wide public dissemination of the information gathered and produced by them, for building effective accountability relations along the service delivery chain. This finding should not be surprising, given that information asymmetries are a major factor behind principal/ agent problems.

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