Image of Erika Lopez Franco

Erika Lopez Franco

Research Officer

Erika conducts research and advocacy for the meaningful participation of vulnerable groups using a rights-based approach and a power analysis lens. After five years of work in the field of participation, Erika has a particular interest in exploring the meanings and pathways of accountability for the poorest and most marginalised.

This work takes place in the the contexts of increased inequality, resource exploitation, environmental damage, participation fatigue, the growth of ICTs and other digital technologies, and increased decentralisation. She asks what are the drivers, incentives, motivations and avenues that people are finding and creating to hold powerful public, private, formal and informal actors to account?

During her time at IDS, Erika has worked in a number of programmes. Within the Participate initiative she supported network members on methodological design and innovation and the implementation of research processes. She also took part in the meta-synthesis of the findings for a diverse range publications that were generated by the research. As part of the Valuing Volunteering project, she was involved in the learning and reflection process with VSO staff along with providing methodological guidance and support for the field-researchers.

Currently, Erika is the IDS lead of the learning component of the Citizen Engagement Programme (CEP) in Mozambique. Here she has conducted an Action Learning case study on citizenship building for accountability, has advised on the design of a learning system for actors from the district to the national level and also provides support to the programme’s advocacy strategies. Finally, Erika coordinates a research, learning and practice collaboration with Swiss Development Cooperation on Poverty, Politics and Power.

Erika Lopez Franco’s recent work


Representation and Inclusion in School Councils in Mozambique

Published by IDS

This study was conducted as part of the Citizen Engagement Programme (Programa Cidadania e Participação (CEP)) in Mozambique – an empowerment and social accountability initiative to improve the quality of education and health services by increasing citizens’ influence on the management of...

Katia Taela & 2 others

30 May 2018


Using Knowledge from the Margins to Meet the SDGs: The Real Data Revolution

Published by IDS

As efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) gain momentum, we need to consider the inclusiveness of the data revolution. Knowledge from people living on the margins of society needs to be recognized, valued and embedded in the data to make visible the complex realities of their...

1 June 2017


Participatory Accountability for the SDGs: Beyond Social Accountability

Published by IDS

People who are most marginalised need to participate in the monitoring and accountability of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) if the ‘leave no-one behind’ ambition is to be met. Participatory accountability is necessary for their realities to be understood and for their voices to be...

1 June 2017