Open Access

The Role of Accountability Arrangements in Social Innovations: Evidence from the UK and Slovakia


Our research focuses on selected accountability mechanisms in the two countries. In Slovakia these are the Supreme Audit Office (SAO) and the Ombudsman. In the UK, at the national level we chose the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC), the National Audit Office (NAO) and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) and on the local level the relatively recently introduced local government system of Scrutiny and Overview.

The goal of our article is to assess the potential contribution of these accountability arrangements to the anchoring of social innovation in the public sector. The theory anticipates that accountability institutions such as the SAO and Ombudsman may create feedback loops supporting public innovations. We undertook detailed checks on the concrete situation in the Slovak Republic and in the UK. On the basis of the comprehensive set of data reviewed, including reports, interviews and more generally available information, we can confidently conclude that while in Slovakia such a feedback loop barely functions, in the UK it does function on a limited but still significant scale. In the last part we provide selected arguments why the Slovak situation is less positive.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Social Sciences, Political Science, Local Government and Administration