Citizen Action Against Corruption

Date: September 2017
Authors: Joy Aceron, Angela Bailey, Shaazka Beyerle, Jonathan Fox
Publication type: Learning Exchange Report
Published by: Accountability Research Center

This two-day learning exchange in Berlin on September 1–2, 2016 facilitated by Accountability Research Center staff and affiliates was rooted in the Transparency International 2020 Strategy Together Against Corruption. From this preliminary exchange, it is clear that many Transparency International (TI) staff are very open to new ways of thinking about citizen engagement (coalition-building, volunteer recruitment and broader roles for citizen action) but have relatively limited experience. Against this backdrop, ARC offers more detailed observations and recommendations (Section VII) for TI moving forward, including:

  1. Shift focus of discussion from “social accountability” to citizen action
  2. Focus on strategy in order to guide tactics
  3. Explore options for deeper citizen action within existing National Chapter (NC) approaches
  4. Seek to balance and integrate learning and research in NCs and TI-S
  5. Balance NC “breadth” and “depth” balance in future learning exchanges

“The conceptual distinction between strategy and tactics, as well as discussions of scale and vertical integration did resonate with participants. This will be relevant for Transparency International National Chapter (NC) planning for future citizen action.”

– Report Authors

Joy Aceron

Joy Aceron is 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 at Accountability Research Center (ARC). A graduate of the University of the Philippines-Diliman with bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public administration, she has 15 years’ experience in citizen monitoring, citizenship education and civil society government engagement and has been invited to over 20 countries to speak in international conferences and to facilitate learning workshops. Joy has published works on political reform, civil society participation in governance and leadership, the most recent of which is a publication with Jonathan Fox on vertically-integrated citizen monitoring and advocacy campaigns. Formerly a program director and senior knowledge and practice leader at Ateneo School of Government for 10 years, Joy is at present a member of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS)-Making All Voices Count (MAVC)’s Research Outreach Team and the Philippine Researcher for Open Government Partnership (OGP)’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM).

Angela Bailey

Angela Bailey joined Accountability Research Center in August 2016, after a decade of working for several international NGOs. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), but learned infinitely more about the realities and implications of accountability for service delivery while working on humanitarian, post-conflict and ‘development’ programs in Africa (mostly in Liberia and Uganda). Prior to joining ARC, Angela was director of a social accountability program in the health sector in Uganda.

Shaazka Beyerle

Shaazka Beyerle is a 2017 Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she is developing a handbook on external actor support for organized civic initiatives and nonviolent action to impact corruption and gain transparency, accountability, and rights, including in fragile contexts. She was the lead researcher for a World Bank Nordic Trust Fund project and co-author of the corresponding report, “Citizen participation: A human rights- based perspective on the World Bank’s citizen engagement mandate” (June 2017). She is the author of Curtailing Corruption: People Power for Accountability and Justice (Lynne Rienner 2014), and Freedom from Corruption: A Curriculum for People Power Movements, Campaigns and Civic Initiatives (2015).

Jonathan Fox

Jonathan Fox is a professor in the School of International Service at American University. He studies the relationships between accountability, transparency and citizen participation. He is the director of the Accountability Research Center. His most recent publications include articles in World Development and the IDS Bulletin, and reports published by Making All Voices Count, U4: Anti-Corruption Resource Center and the Transparency and Accountability Initiative. His books include Accountability Politics: Power and Voice in Rural Mexico (Oxford 2007) and Mexico’s Right-to-Know Reforms: Civil Society Perspectives (co-editor, Fundar/Wilson Center 2007). He was a founding member of the International Expert Panel of the Independent Reporting Mechanism of the Open Government Partnership and currently serves on the boards of directors of Fundar (Mexico) and the Bank Information Center (DC). For online publications, see