CARE's experience with community score cards: what works and why?

Research reports and studies
February 2015
Leni Wild and Joseph Wales, with Victoria Chambers
This report (and policy brief) explores the experience of CARE International in implementing community score card programmes in four countries – Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania and Rwanda – and aims to address the significant research gap around cross-country comparative analysis of social accountability programmes.

The key findings of the research are that:

  • CARE’s Community Score Card programmes have contributed to strengthening service provision and community-state relations in each of these countries, in different ways.
  • Often this requires high levels of engagement with, and working through, different levels of the state apparatus. For support based on the idea of civic engagement, this is a counter-intuitive finding.
  • Impacts are often ‘stuck’ at the local level and have only translated into national level impacts where they have plugged into existing reform processes.