Vincent Kienzler


Performance Measurement and Social Accountability in Uganda : Lessons from the 'Community-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System' Initiative

In recent years, development agencies have increasingly become interested in quantified forms of performance measurement (performance indicators - PI) for public service delivery. It is widely believed that quantified performance measurement could and should be made available to the wider public so as to improve social accountability, provide strong incentives for government officials and civil servants to be more 'efficient' and thus challenge clientelism and patronage.

The implicit assumption of this approach to social accountability is that PI are objective and neutral - that is to say that they accurately represent the 'real' quality of public services and are unbiased. Therefore, once published, they should provide unchallengable evidence which can be used by civil society to monitor and control public service provision. However, existing research on performance measurement in OECD countries has shown, on the contrary, that defining, informing and interpreting quantified performance indicators is a highly political process which is strongly influenced by power relationships. 

This research project aims to contribute to better understanding of the dynamics which underpin the use of PI for social accountability purposes. It will consist of an analysis of one particular case of a social accountability initiative operating at the sub-county level in Uganda: the 'Community-based Monitoring and Evaluation System'. The purpose is to investigate to what extent the current faith in PI as an essential tool for social accountability is backed by empirical evidence, and to better understand the social mechanisms through which such systems operate.


Professor Nilima Gulrajani (Department of International Development – Department of Government) and Professor David Lewis (Social Policy)

Research interests

  • Development Management
  • Public sector reform
  • Performance measurement and management in the public sector
  • Monitoring and evaluatin of development policies
  • Capacity building in fragile states

Further information/CV/Publications

For further information (CV, publications and other) please go to my personal website -|


  • French (Native Speaker),
  • English (3S, 3W)
  • Spanish (2S, 2W)

1 = basic; 2 = intermediate; 3 = fluent

Contact information

Department of International Development
London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London, WC 2A 2AE
United Kingdom