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Colin Anderson

Research Officer

Colin Anderson has more than fifteen years of experience in participatory community development, public service administration, evidence generation and uptake, and strategic development. His expertise includes local governance relationships, education and youth services, and civil society mobilisation and advocacy. He supports IDS research programmes that focus on state-citizen relations and pathways to better governance.

Colin has managed multiple public sector reform processes, overseen grant delivery programmes, and worked extensively on NGO capacity development. He has worked for government, civil society organisations, and as a freelance consultant. A consistent theme of his work has been on motivating greater accountability and service improvement through citizen participation and mobilisation, and the use of newly generated evidence as part of pro-accountability advocacy. At IDS he supports projects examining the ways in which more inclusive and equitable governance relationships are built and sustained. His current research focuses on development interventions that seek to enhance public accountability and responsive governance. This includes contexts of fragility and conflict as part of the Action for Empowerment and Accountability research programme and more broadly in examining how conceptualisation of the social contract in development policy interacts with societal norms and meanings.



Learning with SPARK

Learning with SPARK is an innovative action learning partnership between the Institute of Development Studies, the Accountability Research Center and the International Budget Partnership (IBP). It aims to generate knowledge from a significant new programme run by the IBP – called SPARK...


Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA)

Action for Empowerment and Accountability is an international research programme which explores how social and political action can contribute to empowerment and accountability in fragile, conflict, and violent settings, with a particular focus on Egypt, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan.


Working Paper

How Do Donor-led Empowerment and Accountability Activities Take Scale into Account? Evidence from DFID Programmes in Contexts of Fragility, Conflict and Violence

IDS Working Paper;536

Development donors invest significantly in governance reform, including in contexts characterised by conflict and fragility. However, there is relatively little comparative study of their change strategies, and little understanding of what works and why. This paper explores the strategies of six...

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Colin Anderson & 2 others

3 April 2020

Working Paper

Perceptions of Value Added Tax Filing and Invoicing Compliance in Ethiopia: The Case of Three Federal Branch Offices in Addis Ababa

ATAP Working Paper;11

African governments are increasingly seeking to improve tax compliance in the pursuit of domestic revenue sources. Despite this trend, there is limited understanding of value added tax (VAT) compliance in Africa. In Ethiopia, increased VAT compliance is essential for the government to meet its...

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Colin Anderson & 3 others

17 June 2019

Colin Anderson’s recent work