About ARC

We collaborate with our partners to contribute to global thinking on how to improve public accountability and build more inclusive societies.

Village social auditor training in the field, prior to commencement of social audit. Photo credit: SSAAT

About ARC

The Accountability Research Center (ARC) is an action-research incubator based in the School of International Service (SIS) at American University. The mission of SIS includes “waging peace.” We collaborate with our partners to contribute to global thinking on how to improve public accountability and build more inclusive societies.

ARC’s two main goals are to:

Help improve the organizational effectiveness of our partners
Inform agenda setting within the global transparency, participation, and accountability field

Each goal reinforces the other. By working together on the real world challenges our partners face ARC provides our partners with both technical and analytical support for research and learning. This also involves playing the role of the “critical friend,” creating the space needed to reflect on problems and limitations in research and practice. In addition, ARC seeks to contribute to international discussions about change strategies by disseminating our partners’ research and insights.

ARC Team

Jonathan Fox

Jonathan Fox is a professor in the School of International Service at American University and the founder and director of ARC. He studies the relationships between accountability, transparency and citizen participation. For more of his work, see https://jonathan-fox.org/.

Angela Bailey

Angela Bailey is the associate director of ARC. She joined ARC in August of 2016. Immediately prior to joining ARC, Angela was director of a health accountability program in Uganda.

Joy Aceron

Joy Aceron is the convenor-director of Government Watch (G-Watch), an action research organization working on accountability and citizen empowerment in the Philippines. Concurrently, she is a research fellow and advisor to ARC.

Suchi Pande

Suchi Pande is a scholar-in-residence at ARC. She holds a PhD in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Suchi’s work with ARC includes research collaborations in India.

Rachel Nadelman

Rachel Nadelman is a PhD candidate in the School of International Service. Rachel’s work with ARC is primarily related to citizen engagement in World Bank operations.

Mariana Cepeda

Mariana Cepeda holds a master’s degree in International Development from SIS at American University. Her ARC research focuses on the implementation of Colombia´s Peace Agreement.

Julia Fischer-Mackey

Julia Fischer-Mackey is a PhD student in the School of International Service. Julia’s work with ARC includes supporting research and the publication process.


The 10 ARC advisors are all thought leaders in the TPA field. Advisors are either public interest strategists or applied researchers, all known for their commitment to rights-based approaches and social inclusion.

Joy Aceron

Government Watch

Victoria Boydell

International Planned Parenthood Federation

Abhijit Das

Global Convener, COPASAH;
Director, Centre for Health and
Social Justice
New Delhi

Brendan Halloran

Senior Fellow, Strategy and Learning, International Budget Partnership
Washington, DC

Anuradha Joshi

Fellow, Institute for
Development Studies

Rosie McGee

Fellow, Institute for
Development Studies

Miguel Pulido

Director of Critical Thinking Advocates,
Creatura [Mexico]

Fletcher Tembo

Program Director,
Making All Voices Count

Albert van Zyl

Learning Coordinator,
International Budget Partnership
Cape Town

Lisa VeneKlasen

Just Associates
Washington, DC

American University Faculty Project Collaborators

Adam Auerbach

Adam Auerbach is an Assistant Professor in American University’s School of International Service. His research and teaching interests include the political economy of development, local governance and representation, and comparative political institutions, with a regional focus on South Asia and India. His main ARC collaboration is with SATHI.

Daniel E. Esser

Daniel Esser is an Associate Professor at American University’s School of International Service. His current research investigates social foundations of political legitimacy in non-democratic settings. His main collaboration with ARC is under the A4EA programme.

Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson is an Associate Professor in American University’s School of International Service and holds a PhD in sociology and demography from the University of California at Berkeley. Her research focuses on sex-related health interventions in sub-Saharan Africa, including family planning, HIV/AIDS, and sexuality education. Her main collaboration with ARC is on the White Ribbon Alliance action-research incubation.


Ford Foundation

Across eight decades, the Ford Foundation has invested in innovative ideas, visionary individuals, and frontline institutions advancing human dignity around the world. The Ford Foundation supports a diverse range of actors and programs advancing civil rights, education, arts and culture, human rights, poverty reduction and urban development.

The Ford Foundation Civic Engagement and Government strategy centers on expanded participation, equitable resources and powerful engagement. Ford Foundation provides core support for ARC to enable transparency and accountability practitioners to engage in action-research and learning exchanges to effect social change.

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William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is a nonpartisan, private charitable foundation that advances ideas and supports institutions to promote a better world. For 50 years, Hewlett Foundation has supported efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries, promote the health and economic well-being of women, support vibrant performing arts, strengthen Bay Area communities and make the philanthropy sector more effective.

The Hewlett Foundation provides core support to ARC through the Global Development and Population Program makes grants to expand women’s reproductive and economic choices, amplify citizen participation, and improve policymaking through evidence.

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Open Society Foundations

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. Since their founding in 1979, Open Society Foundations have been committed to the global struggle for open society and responding quickly to the challenges and opportunities of the future.

The Fiscal Governance Program works to ensure that public resources are used efficiently, effectively, and accountably to benefit those who need them most. The Fiscal Governance Program promotes new global norms, strengthens independent oversight mechanisms, and increases government capacity to harness public resources for development.

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