IDS staff or research student

Colin Anderson - Research Officer

Power and Popular Politics


Colin Anderson has more than fifteen years of experience in participatory community development, public serviceadministration, 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 improvemen tthrough 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.

Making All Voices Count: A Grand Challenge for Development (MAVC) is a four-year $45 million fund to support innovation, scaling-up, and research that will deepen existing innovations and help harness new technologies to enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness.

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This theme supports the programme in addressing: What are the best ways for external actors, such as donors, NGO’s etc., to support internally led social and political actions or to create enabling conditions that contribute to empowerment and accountability?’

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IDS publications on international development research

Appropriating technology for accountability: messages from Making All Voices Count

Making All Voices Count was a programme designed to solve the ‘grand challenge’ of creating more effective democratic governance and accountability around the world. It used funding from four donors to support the development and spread of innovative ideas for solving governance problems – many of them involving tools and platforms based on mobile phone and web technologies. Between 2013 and 2017, More details

IDS publications on international development research

Supporting innovation and the use of technologies in accountability initiatives: lessons from Making All Voices Count

Making All Voices Count was an international initative that harnessed the power of innovation and new technologies to support effective, accountable governance. More details

Thematic Expertise:
Accountability; Governance; Participatory methodologies; Politics and Power.

Related Programmes and Centres:
Action for Empowerment and Accountability.