Hence, it becomes necessary that the users of social services take the views of the users into consideration in order that the best service would be rendered. In recent times citizen participation in the provision of social service has very well being advocated for. The importance of social service producer in listening to the voices of the users and incorporating this in policy formulation would not only lead to an efficient provision of these services, but also make the right choice of service that is dearly needed by the users. But in reality most service users of social service have no voice in the choice of service they desire, even when they do, no one cares to listen to their pleas and suggestions as ways of improving the provision of these services. The difficulties in which service users have in registering their voices and participating in service decision making have most time lead to poor service provision and dissatisfaction from the users. Since social service is a large scale provision of service to mass of people, it then requires that for an adequate and more satisfying service provision that service users are made to partake in opinion, voice out their views in social policy making.
This write up will look at the need for service users in participating in social policy decision making,; the mechanism for effecting a better users participation in social policy, prospects for a better users or citizen participation in social service policies.
CONCEPTUALIZATION OF TERMS
Social service is a broad base service delivery to a large number of people, in a state. The generality constitute the beneficiary of social welfare services. Thus, social service is the provision of service to meet the needs of citizens in areas of health, education, social security, and programmes on housing and infrastructures provision, among others. Social service can be distinguished from welfare service in the sense that social service entails the provision of service to a large and broad category of people in the society, while welfare service is restricted to a specific segment of people in the society. Thus, welfare service constitutes services to the disabled in the society, the sick, the poor and needy, low- income earners, destitute, services for the old in the society. On the one hand social service is a compulsion, while the provision of welfare services is based on humanitarian ground; out of pity and sympathy. Thus, a government may choose to do away with the provision of welfare service, but not social service. The provider of the service, whether social or welfare, determines the how they perceives the users of these services. According to Cornwall & Gaventa (1999:1), "State- centred conceptions of social policy often view citizens a s recipients of state delivered programmes. Market- led versions focus on the clients of social welfare as consumers; who participate through exercising choice from a range of services".
Consumer or citizen participation in service delivery entails the direct or indirect involvement of the service users in decision-making, concerning the policy framework, the structure of service to be delivered and information dissemination to bring about better service provision. Looking at the health care service, consumer participation would entail "the process of involving health service planning, policy development, setting priorities and quality issues in the delivery of health