Working Paper

IDS Working Paper 534

Governance Diaries: An Approach to Governance Research from the Ground Up

Published on 14 February 2020

Research on empowerment and accountability tends to focus on collective action and its potential for empowering citizens undertaking the action and on achieving state accountability.

In fragile, conflict and violence-affected settings collective action is rare and risky. So how do citizens, particularly the chronically poor and most marginalised, interact and make claims on the different public authorities that exist in these settings, and how do these interactions contribute to citizens’ sense of empowerment and accountability? Given the current agenda of ‘leave no one behind’, an understanding of how such populations interact with public authorities to meet their governance needs can help identify the constraints to achieving development for all in these challenging settings. We developed ‘governance diaries,’ a cross between a panel survey and multi-sited ethnographies, as an iterative approach to capture their experiences around governance issues over time. We explain here how this approach works, and the challenges and opportunities it offers for research.

Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) research programme

This paper was produced as part of the A4EA research programme.

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Loureiro, M.; Joshi, A.; Barnes, K. and Chaimite, E. (2020) Governance Diaries: An Approach to Governance Research from the Ground Up, IDS Working Paper 534, Brighton: IDS

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Image of Miguel Loureiro
Miguel Loureiro

Research Fellow

Image of Anuradha Joshi
Anuradha Joshi

Research Fellow

Image of Egidio Chaimite
Egidio Chaimite

PhD Researcher

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