While the global community has made great progress reaching SDG indicators, accountability mechanisms are critical to keep countries and the global community on track. In recent years there has been a global emphasis on respectful maternity care (RMC) to bring accountability for quality women's care services back to the forefront of health service delivery at all levels. At the community level, there is an increasing emphasis on social accountability actions such as scorecards, dashboards, and other stock-taking mechanisms to promote improvements and uphold quality standards in primary health care services. Social accountability refers to the ways by which citizens and civil society groups hold the health system and its actors accountable for their commitments, and are being used more frequently in health programming in developing countries. Supporting civil society actors to use social accountability approaches and document their successes and challenges is key to creating accountability systems that work in the health sector.
To achieve progress, stakeholders must know how to measure social accountability systems, identify where gaps exist, and have access to evidence to draw from to improve their own national efforts. Therefore, it is the goal of the HEARD Project to increase the knowledge and skills of social accountability actors and contribute to the evidence base on the efficacy of social accountability efforts by strengthening documentation, reporting, and knowledge sharing of social accountability interventions.