This systematic review summarised evidence about community accountability and empowerment interventions (CAEIs in low and middle-income countries).
CAEIs have been increasingly advocated as a way to improve educational outcomes by improving the quality of educational services and participation by students and families. It seeks to increase the ability of communities to hold governments, funders, bureaucracies and service providers accountable to them for the provision of services and opportunities that meet basic rights.
Many different types of initiatives have been implemented to improve accountability in different countries and sectors. However research on community accountability has found mixed results. This review focused on the education sector and on accountability at the local level. It sought to understand more about how and why various strategies work differently in different contexts. The review was undertaken as a realist synthesis. Relevant studies were identified through a comprehensive search strategy and consultation with End User group members. 21,000 documents were initially identified. These were reduced to 140 documents using inclusion and exclusion criteria and quality appraisal. 30 ‘core’ studies were identified which provided evidence of student learning impacts and/or evidence of intermediate outcomes such as enrolment, attendance, or reduced corruption. Additional studies provided evidence in relation to particular mechanisms or features of context. The review was undertaken as a realist synthesis.