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Shandana Khan Mohmand

Research Fellow

Dr. Shandana Khan Mohmand is a social scientist whose main area of research is political participation and accountability.

Her research is interdisciplinary and comparative, and focuses largely on the following three questions:

1. How does democracy work to empower marginalised voters under conditions of persistent inequality?

This question informs the focus of her book on rural voters in Pakistan, as well as of research projects on political competition across local brokers, and increasing women’s political participation by studying the impact of appeals by political parties and civil society organisations. Much of this work aims to contribute to comparative politics literature by nuancing the conventional dichotomy set up between clientelistic and programmatic politics.

2. How can local governments be made to work better for citizens as a whole, and marginalised groups (women, poor, minorities) in particular?

Her work in this area focuses on questions of representation, accountability, and responsiveness, and takes a political economy approach to the analysis of local government and service provision in the Western Balkans, South Asia, and Africa (with a group of co-researchers in a recent issue of the IDS Bulletin).

3. How can the work of research communities and their relationship with policy actors be strengthened to produce more effective evidence-based policy?

This question defines the focus of a number of professional training programmes that Shandana has designed and led to strengthen research communities in Africa, Latin America, and the Western Balkans, which include the Multi-Method Research Course (MMRC) offered annually in Kenya; and the ELLA network in Africa and Latin America on comparative research.

She has over 15 years of experience teaching undergraduate, graduate, and professional training courses. Her publications include the forthcoming Crafty Oligarchs, Savvy Voters: Democracy and Inequality in Rural Pakistan (Cambridge University Press), journal articles, and chapters in Parties and Political Change in South Asia (Routledge, 2015); Local Democracy in South Asia (Sage Publications, 2008); Devolution and Governance (Oxford University Press, 2007); and Decentralisation and Local Governance (Orient Longman, 2005). She has also conducted policy research for ADB, DFID, CIDA, SDC and the UNDP Human Development Report Office.

Research interests: Political participation and behaviour, political accountability, decentralisation, political economy of service delivery, informal institutions.

Languages: English (fluent), Urdu/Hindi (native), Pushto (native), Portuguese (basic), Punjabi (basic).

Research

Project

Pathways to Accountability Bargains (part of the A4EA research programme)

This research theme, under the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) Research Programme, is concerned with the following question: how can stable and inclusive political settlements (among elites) and a just social contract (between elites and different social groups) emerge that are...

Programme

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.

Project

Evidence and Lessons from Latin America (ELLA)

Evidence and Lessons from Latin America' (ELLA) is a knowledge sharing and learning programme, that seeks to improve knowledge of Latin America's development among African and Asian policymakers, practitioners and researchers - on selected economic, environmental and governance issues.

Project

Multi-Methods Research Course (MMRC) in Africa

The Partnership for African Social and Governance Research has commissioned an innovative, applied, methods course for the region's mid-career faculty engaged in research on governance and social policy.

Opinions

Publications

Working Paper

Invisible Citizens: Why More Women in Pakistan Do Not Vote

IDS Working Paper 524

Why does a gender gap in voting exist in Pakistan? Our research looks beyond the creation of democratic spaces for women's participation, such as voter registration, to look instead at the constraints that women face in being able to use such spaces. This paper uses qualitative fieldwork...

Image of Ali Cheema
Ali Cheema & 3 others

20 February 2019

Brief

Making Local Governance Inclusive for the ‘Leave No One Behind’ Agenda

SDC-IDS Collaboration on Poverty, Politics and Participatory Methodologies Briefing Note 5

A major aim of decentralised governance is to bring government closer to people and, in the process, deliver services in an equitable and efficient manner, in accordance with the expressed needs of citizens. The fact that government is located within smaller units with better information and a...

1 August 2018

Shandana Khan Mohmand’s recent work

Cluster

Governance

The Governance research cluster identifies the following sub-themes of research to ensure citizens are represented and governed fairly in a world of changing state authorities. Taxation Understanding how taxation affects the quality of governance has implications for social justice,...