What’s New 2021

December 2021 – ARC’s 2021 Year in Review newsletter highlights new webpages, publications, blogs and podcasts. Despite everything, we focused on delivering excellent action-research for people power across a range of accountability issues.

December 2021 – ARC senior researcher Judy Gearhart and Evan Matthew Papp of Empathy Media Lab launched the second Labor Link Podcast in December featuring Tola Moeun (@Tolamoeun), a Cambodian and human and labor rights leader. Listen to the full podcast or the short version Garment workers in Cambodia need help hosted by Radio Labour.

November 2021 – New in the November 2021 newsletter: Corporate Accountability & Workers Rights | Events | COP26 | Causal Chains | Accountability in Brazil & Ethiopia.

November 2021 – On November 23, ARC & Integrity Action are co-hosting a webinar: Resolving citizens’ complaints: what makes it happen? And who owns the process? This webinar will share recent research and experiences from grievance redress mechanisms (GRMs), citizen monitoring and other approaches, to explore the importance (or otherwise) of these mechanisms, and the factors that support the resolution of problems and complaints in different contexts.We’re exploring the latest findings on how and why citizen complaints get resolved, with examples from Kenya, South Sudan and more. The webinar can be viewed in full here.

November 2021 – On November 16, a joint ARC and Open Government Partnership (OGP) session in the 2021 OGP Academy where academics and reformers shared research about how social audits and GRMs increase citizen participation & improve service delivery and economic development in places like Kenya & Brazil. Watch on YouTube here.

November 2021 – The first episode of The Labor Link Podcast profiles Thai labor leader Sawit Kaewwan, the secretary general of the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation (SERC). Sawit has mobilized the Thai trade union movement to support migrant workers, especially those at risk for human trafficking. Sawit’s vision has been to build an inclusive labor movement and strategies to empower migrant workers. He provides a clear view into the challenges and risks that come with movement building. Click here for the full podcast, or listen to the 5 minute version from RadioLabour.

November 2021 – ARC launched a new work page on Corporate Accountability and Worker Rights! We also launched The Labor Link – A Podcast on Workers Rights and Global Supply Chains Sharing personal stories and perspectives of the brave individuals organizing the workers who make our stuff. The Labor Link Podcast is hosted by ARC senior researcher Judy Gearhart and produced by Evan Matthew Papp of Empathy Media Lab.

October 2021 – New in the October 2021 newsletter: ARC secured 2 new grants for our work on global value chains and citizen engagement in the World Bank. An invitation to the ARC + Integrity Action Nov 23 webinar on grievance redress and resolving citizen complaints.   A roundup of October #AccountabilityKeywords from Mexico (Contraloría social), Zambia (Ubuntu), The Philippines (Bibingka Strategy), and a final piece on Accountability Ecosystems. And from G-Watch in the Philippines, Making Elections an Accountability Platform in the run up to the May 2022 elections and the latest installment of TPA Now! Monitoring the Philippine Conditional Cash Transfer with analysis from Aniceta Baltar of the Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Government (CCAGG).

September 2021 – ARC’s September 2021 newsletter includes pandemic governance in Bangladesh and the Philippines; publications on civic space and hunger, demanding power and energy, education; events focused on multilateral (World Bank) monitoring; and a quick roundup of September Accountability Keywords posts from Guatemala, Nigeria, India and China.

September 2021 – With our partner in Bangladesh, the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, ARC researcher Naomi Hossain published State of Governance in Bangladesh 2020–2021: Governing COVID-19 in Bangladesh – Realities and Reflections to Build Forward Better.

September 2021 – ARC co-published a working paper with the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) Program at the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex: Demanding Power: Do Protests Empower Citizens to Hold Governments Accountable over Energy? (IDS Working Paper 555).

septiembre 2021 – ARC lanzó oficialmente el Proyecto de Palabras Clave de rendición de cuentas. El proyecto Accountability Keywords incluye más de 30 publicaciones que reflejan los significados y el uso de palabras clave relevantes en sus propios contextos e idiomas. Los autores de la serie de palabras clave provienen de países de Asia, África y América Latina. ¿Qué significa rendición de cuentas para usted?

September 2021 – ARC officially launched the Accountability Keywords Project! The Accountability Keywords project includes over 30 posts reflecting on the meanings and usage of relevant keywords in their own contexts and languages. The authors in the keyword series come from countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. What does accountability mean to you?

July 2021 – Global Policy published an open access article The Implications of Closing Civic Space for Poverty and Hunger by ARC researcher Naomi Hossain and co-author Marjoke Oosterom.

June 2021 – ARC’s June 2021 newsletter features a new Brief on bottom-up accountability in Uganda, newly published World Bank Citizen Engagement research, pandemic lockdown lessons from Bangladesh, monitoring government rollout of vaccines access the Philippines, ongoing Health Worker Protests, and new work in the Philippines based on 20 years of participatory, multi-level monitoring of education.

June 2021 – With BRAC Institute of Governance & Development, ARC’s Naomi Hossain has been researching The State of Governance of COVID-19 in Bangladesh. This new blog “Lessons for Bangladesh’s next lockdown” shares key learning about managing 2021 lockdown to protect people from Coronavirus, while minimizing social and economic costs.

June 2021 – ARC’s Angela Bailey collaborated with co-author Vincent Mujune to consolidate key lessons in a new Brief published in June. The Brief version of “Bottom-up Accountability in Uganda: Learning from People-centered, Multi-level Health Advocacy Campaigns” is based on a longer working paper published in February 2021.

June 2021 – This new blog post ‘The World Bank has made high-level commitments to engaging citizens – so why is it proving so hard to implement?‘ is a quick and conversational read, based on dialogue between ARC’s Naomi Hossain and Rachel Nadelman.

June 2021How do World Bank staff perceive institutional opportunities and bottlenecks for undertaking citizen engagement (CE) as part of projects? ARC sought to answer this question by going beyond formal institutional directives and asking the staff themselves. ARC scholar-in-residence Dr. Rachel Nadelman interviewed 30 World Bank staff involved with stakeholder and civic engagement in different capacities, capturing in the learning in this new June 2021 working paper.

May 2021 – ARC’s May 2021 newsletter focuses on the new six new web-pages we launched this month! To learn more about ARC’s World Bank Citizen Engagement monitoring, action research in Colombia, investigación-acción en Colombia, health worker protests & proposals, sandwich strategy research, and accountability keywords start with our updated Work page!

April 2021 –The ARC April 2021 newsletter features a new Learning Exchange Report on Citizen Participation in Auditing, with an eye towards the future agenda. It also highlights partner action in Mexico as organized farmers continue their advocacy work in Guerrero state. G-Watch in the Philippines delivered a series of trainings to support “MultiplY-ED” (Youth-led, Multi-sectoral. and Multi-level approach to monitoring education in the time of COVID19). Two blogs feature reflections on ARC’s approach to practioner-researcher collaborations. The article ‘Picturing Bangladesh’ in the Bangladesh daily Prothom Alo marks the 8th anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster. Newsletter ends with links to video of engagements with ARC team members in the World Bank spring meetings and SALT. Go to the newsletter for all the details.

April 2021 – New report by Marcos Mendiburu (@mmendi69) discusses the future agenda for citizen participation in auditing. Based on diverse experiences across Latin America, this holds important lessons for ‘institutionalizing’ opportunities for citizen involvement in government transparency and accountability. See Citizen Participation in Auditing in Latin America: The Future Agenda or Relatoría del Seminario Internacional de Participación Ciudadana y Fiscalización: La agenda a futuro.

April 2021 – In the blog Action Research Collaboration on Multi-Level Accountability Politics: The ‘Different’ that Makes a Difference published by @TAInitiative, Joy Aceron of Government Watch highlights 3 key points from an analysis of the land reform campaign by the Peasant Movement of Bondoc Peninsula and RIGHTS Network and their struggle for land rights. These substantive learning points were generated through an action research process in which Filipino action-strategists and campaigners themselves took part in the generation, development and articulation of knowledge in collaboration with an American research center that played the role of a critical friend.

March 2021 –The ARC March 2021 newsletter features the farmer-led action research in Guerrero, Mexico to improve the federal government’s fertilizer program, with support from ARC and partner organization Promotores de la Autogestión para el Desarrollo Social (PADS). In the Philippines, the G-Watch network continues to monitor availability of COVID-19 pandemic and veteran organizers Joy Aceron and Mike Ollave explore the power of the people in the March 2021 plebiscite to prevent the splitting of Palawan province into 3. As the pandemic continues, health workers have to find more innovative ways of making their voices heard. Our Health Worker Protest Project has collected 792 reports from 96 countries. AFIC, ARC, CHRR and GACC have a joint session on the learning from monitoring implementation of World Bank citizen engagement commitments in Ghana, Malawi and Uganda.

February 2021 – ARC’s February 2021 newsletter includes the new working paper on Bottom-Up accountability in Uganda, the Relatoría del Seminario, an overview of the Health Worker Protests ARC has been tracking for several months, coordinated citizen-actions in the Philippines around “Love and Accountability in the Time of the Pandemic” and a few more announcements.

February 2021 – A new ARC working paper explores lessons from Accountability Can Transform Health (ACT Health), a participatory health governance program in Uganda from 2014 to 2018. The paper—Bottom-Up Accountability in Uganda: Learning from People-centered, Multi-level Health Advocacy Campaigns—is co-authored by ARC managing director Angela Bailey (@participangela) and Vincent Mujune (@VincentMujune), and includes a preface by Prima Kazoora of HEPS-Uganda (@hepsuganda).

January 2021 – ARC’s January 2021 newsletter features a working paper and blog on the role of photography and arts for accountability, based on learning from the Rana Plaza Disaster in Bangladesh. It also features the TPA Now! publication series launched in late 2020 by G-Watch in the Philippines. We also link to recent webinar engagements on accountability for education outcomes, action-researcher partnerships, and supporting citizen-led action research for health. It includes a special thanks to ARC researchers Dr. Suchi Pande and Dr. Julia Fischer-Mackey.

January 2021 – The Transparency & Accountability Initiative (TAI) published the blog Picturing Accountability by ARC researcher Naomi Hossain and acclaimed photographer Ismail Ferdous. This punchy blog summarizes some key lessons from the December 2020 Working Paper on the power of photography in the Rana Plaza disaster, and calls for greater investments arts for accountability.