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John Gaventa

Research Fellow and Director, Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) programme

Professor John Gaventa is a political sociologist, educator and civil society practitioner with over 40 years of experience in research, teaching and organisational leadership in North and South.

Professor Gaventa is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies and Director of the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) research programme. He previously served as Director of Research at IDS (2015-2019), and as Director of the Coady International Institute and Vice President of International Development at StFX University in Canada (2011-2014). Prior to that, he was a Fellow in the Power, Participation and Social Change team at IDS, and Director of the Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability, based at IDS.

Linking research and practice, he has written and/ or edited a dozen books and over sixty articles, book chapters and research reports related to issues of citizenship and citizen engagement, power and participation, governance and accountability, inequality and social change in a number of countries around the world. His most recent books include Citizen-Led Innovation for a New Economy (co-editor with Alison Mathie), Globalizing Citizens (co-editor with Rajesh Tandon) and Citizen Action and National Policy Reform (co-editor with Rosemary McGee).

A former Rhodes Scholar and MacArthur Prize Fellow, in 2011 he also received the Tisch Civic Engagement Research Prize for his distinguished scholarship on civic learning, citizen participation and engaged research. In 2012, he was awarded an OBE for his service to Oxfam Great Britain, where he was chair from 2006 – 2011. He holds a DPhil degree from Oxford University.

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Research

Programme

Pakistan international development research and mutual learning hub

Transformational change requires equitable and sustainable partnerships that generate knowledge, action and leadership that is shaped by a range of perspectives. We are committed to promoting collaborations around research, learning, teaching through the establishment of international...

Project

Navigating Civic Space in a Time of COVID-19

Navigating Civic Space examines changing civic space in Nigeria, Mozambique and Pakistan under the impact of COVID-19. How has the pandemic affected ongoing trends of changing civic space? How do civil society actors operate where space is narrowing further, and how do they make the most of...

Opinions

Opinion

Can transparency make extractive industries more accountable?

Over the last two decades great strides have been made in terms of holding extractive industries accountable.  As demonstrated at the Global Assembly of Publish What You Pay (PWYP), which I attended recently in Dakar, Senegal, more information than ever about revenue flows to governments from...

8 February 2019

Publications

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...

Image of Colin Anderson
Colin Anderson & 2 others

3 April 2020

Journal Article

Power and Powerlessness in an Appalachian Valley – revisited

With the rise of Trump support in rural Appalachia – the coal mining, mountainous region in the heartland of the eastern United States – media and other commentators have rushed to explain this conservative politics in ‘exceptionalist’ terms, largely based on cultural stereotypes....

7 May 2019

John Gaventa’s recent work

News

What have we learned from the powercube?

Over ten years ago John Gaventa and the Power, Participation and Social Change team at IDS, developed the power cube. We want to hear from people who have used the tool to understand what can we can learn from it.

18 December 2017