Photo of Rosemary McGee

Rosie McGee - Research Fellow

Power and Popular Politics
T: +44 (0)1273 915738


Erin Lewis

Google Scholar URL:

I am an interdisciplinary social scientist trained in development studies. My work focuses on accountability, transparency and openness in governance; the use of technologies in governance; power relations and citizen engagement, including in contexts of fragility and violence; and the role of critical reflective learning in social and organisational change.

Coming from a background in NGO advocacy, in my IDS role I have undertaken advisory and consultancy work for official bilateral, philanthropic and non-government aid organisations, applied qualitative and participatory research and research management.

I convene IDS's MA in Power, Participation and Social Change, where I teach on the above subjects and on action research methodology, and mentor students undertaking action research and action learning projects. I'm interested in supervising PhDs in these subject areas.

Currently I coordinate an action research initiative for the International Budget Partnership's SPARK programme. I serve as IDS's Convenor of Professional Development and Learning, supporting colleagues across the Institute who facilitate learning among professionals and practitioners of development aid and social change in a range of organisational settings and thematic areas.

In recent years my work has included coordinating the Research, Evidence and Learning component of Making All Voices Count; conducting action research on Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency with human rights defenders and social activists in Colombia; and monitoring, evaluating and supporting learning in the Diálogo (Democratic Governance Support) programme in Mozambique.

An advisor to the Accountability Research Centre at American University, Washington DC, I have also served on the International Experts Panel of the Independent Reporting Mechanism of the Open Government Partnership.

I'm co-editing a book on 'Power, Empowerment and Social Change' with Jethro Pettit, to be published in 2019.

The Unequal Voices project - Vozes Desiguais in Portuguese - examines the politics of accountability in health systems in Brazil and Mozambique, exploring how accountability can be used to deliver better health services for citizens everywhere.

More details

The aim of this cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation is to strengthen their Democratisation, Decentralisation and Local Governance Network's understanding, learning, and policy engagement in decentralised and democratic local governance.

More details

IDS is the external monitoring, evaluation and learning partner for Diálogo, a programme which aims to contribute to improved governance and accountability for Mozambican citizens.

More details

An empowerment and accountability programme aimed at improving the quality of health and education services in Mozambique.

More details

Making All Voices Count: A Grand Challenge for Development (MAVC) is a four-year $45 million fund to support innovation, scaling-up, and research that will deepen existing innovations and help harness new technologies to enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness.

More details

A new partnership between the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and IDS has been formed with the aim of supporting SDC’s ‘Democratisation, Decentralisation and Local Governance Network’ (DLGN) between 2012 and 2014. IDS’ contribution will seek to improve DLGN’s effectiveness and impact of policy strategies and operations.

More details

The Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency (PVCA) project is an action research project designed by researchers at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and carried out with a number of institutional partners.

More details

This collaboration between IDS and the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) aims to bring appropriate participatory methods into quality assurance within SDC. It will also bring new levels of rigour to the principles of participation, poverty orientation and empowerment in the work of SDC and its partners.

More details

This collaborative project between IDS and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation (HSI) was designed to contribute to learning on accountability initiatives in fragile contexts by exploring the dynamics and enabling factors within three ongoing accountability projects.

More details

Promoting greater citizen participation in local governance through international dialogue and exchange.

More details

This theme supports the programme in addressing: What are the best ways for external actors, such as donors, NGO’s etc., to support internally led social and political actions or to create enabling conditions that contribute to empowerment and accountability?’

More details

IDS publications on international development research

Appropriating technology for accountability: messages from Making All Voices Count

Making All Voices Count was a programme designed to solve the ‘grand challenge’ of creating more effective democratic governance and accountability around the world. It used funding from four donors to support the development and spread of innovative ideas for solving governance problems – many of them involving tools and platforms based on mobile phone and web technologies. Between 2013 and 2017, More details

IDS publications on international development research

Supporting innovation and the use of technologies in accountability initiatives: lessons from Making All Voices Count

Making All Voices Count was an international initative that harnessed the power of innovation and new technologies to support effective, accountable governance. More details

This is the fornt cover of MAVC Learning Event Report More Accountable and Responsive Governance: ho to technologies help make it happen

More Accountable and Responsive Governance: How Do Technologies Help Make It Happen?

The change Making All Voices Count wants to see is more responsive, accountable governance. The programme has contributed to this change by supporting tech-enabled initiatives which amplify citizen voice and nurture government responsiveness, and by building understanding of when and how the technologies help create and support change. More details

This is the font cover to IDS Working Paper 474, 'Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency: A Colombian Case Study'.

Power, Violence, Citizenship and Agency: A Colombian Case Study

IDS Working Paper 474 (2016)

In a situation of longstanding and complex violent conflict in Buenaventura, Colombia, we used action research to explore with social activists what power, violence, citizenship and agency mean to them and how they experience and exercise citizen agency in relation to the violence. More details

This is the front cover of MAVC learning Event paper Transforming Governance: What Role for Technologies?

Transforming Governance: What Role for Technologies?

The technological innovations of the last two decades – cell phones, tablets, open data and social media – mean that governments and citizens can interact like never before. Around the world, in different contexts, citizens have fast-increasing access to information and communications technologies (ICTs) that enable them to monitor government performance and express their views on it in real time. More details

Thematic Expertise:
Accountability; Conflict Violence and Security; Participatory methodologies; Poverty; Monitoring and Evaluation.

Related Programmes and Centres:
Addressing and Mitigating Violence; Action for Empowerment and Accountability; Centre for Development Impact.

Geographic Expertise:
Bolivia; Brazil; Chile; Colombia; Mozambique; Nigeria; Spain; Uganda.