New Online Platform Drives Civil Society-Led Improvements to Basic Services Across the World

February 05, 2015Calla McCabe

Civil society leaders around the world are working to ensure people have access to quality health, education, and other essential services. Using social accountability approaches, they are leading efforts to make sure funding and other resources for these services results in reliable teachers in classrooms, functioning health facilities, clean water – and ultimately, longer, healthier, and more prosperous lives.

To support civil society efforts around the world, R4D is proud to launch the Social Accountability Atlas - a new online platform funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) - for practitioners, donors, researchers, and others to learn about and leverage civil society-led social accountability projects.

The Atlas provides information that civil society leaders can use to advance their own work including information on what other projects on the Atlas hoped to accomplish and what they achieved, as well as ways to connect with civil society project leaders.

"For many years, those interested in learning about real examples of social accountability had to rely on a very small pool of regularly cited cases from the early days of the field.  The Atlas represents a major leap forward, showcasing a large and growing set of real-life social accountability efforts and providing information on objectives, what worked, and what did not work.  This collection of profiles will provide a basis for understanding trends in social accountability and for connecting civil society, donors, and researchers alike interested in studying, implementing, and strengthening social accountability worldwide." – Courtney Tolmie, Senior Program Director, R4D

Unlike other resources in the field, Atlas project profiles have a concise set of standardized and searchable information to facilitate easy access to pertinent information and comparison across projects, while providing a quick snapshot of who is doing what, and where. The Atlas adapts R4D’s approach to promoting more effective health and education services through the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI) and the Center for Education Innovations (CEI). 

"More than anything else, the Atlas is a platform for addressing adaptive challenges, where individual and collective learning are central. So, more than a technical instrument, the Atlas should be regarded as a tool for dialogue and problem-solving among key players of social accountability." - Adelfo Briones, Learning Manager, Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, East Asia and the Pacific

We encourage you to explore the Atlas, to share this resource widely, and to send your feedback and questions to the Atlas team at

Here is how you can make the most of the Atlas:

  • Explore projects by social accountability approach, location, sector, and more!
  • Learn about what each project sought to accomplish, how it was designed, and what results it had.
  • Contact us at to suggest projects to be included on the Atlas.
  • Read blog posts from R4D’s Courtney Tolmie and Sam Polk on how the Atlas came about, and what R4D learned in the process.

To learn more about social accountability, click on the below resources:


Disclaimer: The author’s views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.

About USAID: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent federal agency that provides economic, development, and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States. Since 1961 USAID has been the principal U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.

Connected Expert(s) and Staff:

Connected Project(s): 

Funder:  United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Attached File(s):
SAc Atlas - Overview and Benefits.pdf
SAc infographic.pdf

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