“Performance monitoring” refers to the involvement of citizens, service users, civil society organizations and government agencies in the monitoring and evaluation of public services such as water, healthcare, and other services that have a direct effect on the daily lives of everyday citizens. In the context of social accountability, performance monitoring uses citizen involvement and data collected by citizens to observe the performance of public services, actions and expenditures to ensure that user expectations and requirements are satisfied.
Performance monitoring tools and techniques provide a natural and effective complement to some of the previous tools we’ve discussed, such as budget analysis and expenditure tracking. While these tools focus on quantity, such as the amount of money allocated to education or the amount of money actually reaching schools in the communities, performance monitoring initiatives are designed to measure the quality of services, such as how well local schools and teachers are performing.
In this module, we’ll go through some of the most commonly-used performance monitoring social accountability tools, including , , , and . In the last section of the module, we’ll briefly introduce some additional tools used by citizens to provide feedback on public services. While a wide range of participatory tools are used to monitor performance, they are all means to an end – aiming to strengthen the accountability relationship between governments, service providers, and the citizens who depend upon such services.