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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.


Colin Anderson’s recent work


Power and Popular Politics

Using a power lens on all our work, we examine popular forms of contestation in particular of non-elites. We seek to pioneer new ways of working with community, activist, academic and professional co-researchers from both the global North and South, using qualitative, ethnographic and action...