As well as recognising the need to work in more adaptive and less linear ways, increasingly people working to generate greater accountability and responsiveness on the part of authorities are interested in how to ‘connect the dots’ between localised projects, initiatives, and reforms to impact the wider set of decision-making processes that affect people’s lives. This has also been of interest for international donors such as the UK Department for International Development, who have supported many different activities that have sought to join up the efforts of citizens, activists, and reformers across different ‘sites’ of decision-making in fragile and conflict-affected settings. DFID-funded programmes working in this way include, for instance, SAVI in Nigeria, DIALOGO in Mozambique, and Pyoe Pin in Myanmar.
Together these programmes represent a substantial investment in new ways of working to try to support local actors to pursue opportunities for reform and realise rights and entitlements. The programmes are generating a wealth of data, and many have been the subject of close case studies, but they are now at a stage of evolution and implementation to allow more systematic cross-country comparisons and explore a number of key questions of wider relevance.
About the research project
Through this research project we aimed to expand our understanding of how this range of different approaches play out in challenging contexts. Looking across a set of DFID-funded programmes in different countries, the project draws out comparative findings on the practices of building pro-accountability coalitions across multiple parts of the governance landscape. It also explores the implications for doing this against the backdrop of the kinds of governance challenges faced by fragile and conflict-affected settings, with the aim of informing future programme design and practice and the ways in which these activities can contribute to the evidence base for future action.