What’s New

“Who decides what questions get research attention?
Action strategists should have a seat at the table.”

Jonathan Fox, Director

Transparency and Accountability Strategies & Reproductive Health Delivery Systems hosted by ARC at American University in June 2016. The workshop was co-designed and co-convened with Vicky Boydell, the Evidence Project/IPPF and Sarah Shaw at the RHSC/MSI. Photo credit: ARC

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News and Events

March 2023 – Judy Gearhart’s ARC Working Paper and blog share learning from labor rights advocates in Bangladesh and Cambodia who work with transnational networks to promote new forms of accountability in global apparel supply chains.

January 2023 – In her new ARC Working Paper, Abrehet Gebremedhin looks at ten cases of mulitilevel monitoring and advocacy in health rights programs, reflecting on vertical and horizontal organizing, and the escalation of unaddressed citizen claims.

January 2023 – New article from Rachel Nadelman and colleagues looks at how donor-funded public accountability programs working in the same place interact.

October 2022 – New report and blog from Rachel Nadelman, Katelyn Gallagher (Bank Information Center) and Christian Donaldson (Oxfam) examine how the World Bank can use its existing Country Engagement Strategy to engage with the risks posed by shrinking civic space.

September 2022 – New article from Angela Bailey and Vincent Mujune in International Journal for Equity in Health analyzes outcomes from direct engagements between citizens and the state to improve health services: Multi-level Change Strategies for Health: Learning from People-centered Advocacy in Uganda.

September 2022 – ARC was supported by the MacArthur Foundation to find out more about ‘sandwich strategies’ – interactive processes where reformers in government encourage citizen action from below, driving virtuous circles of mutual empowerment between pro-accountability actors. Details of 18 case studies from 12 countries, all on one page!

August 2022 – In their new Development in Practice article, Julia Fischer-Mackey and Jonathan Fox discuss the challenges of finding the right indicators to evaluate community monitoring and social accountability initiatives: Pitfalls of “Slippery Indicators”: The Importance of Reading Between the Lines.

May 2022 – Working paper by Shuvra Chowdhury and Naomi Hossain, Accountability and Responsiveness in Managing Covid-19 in Bangladesh, published by the Institute of Development Studies.

May 2022 – Literature review by Suchi Pande and Naomi Hossain, Grievance Redress Mechanisms in the Public Sector, co-published with the Open Government Partnership for Open Government Week 2022.

May 2022 – Annotated bibliography by Suchi Pande, Social Audits in Service Delivery, co-published with the Open Government Partnership for Open Government Week 2022.

May 2022 – Veena Sriram and Sorcha A. Brophy’s blog, Workers, Not Warriors: Four Lessons from Health Worker Protests during COVID-19, published by The Conversation, May 3, 2022

April 2022 – ARC affiliated researcher Suchi Pande and director Jonathan Fox authored new blog Fighting Corruption Through Social Audits in India: How Far Can Voice Get Without Teeth? published by Global Anti-Corruption Blog, April 28, 2022

March 2022 – New blog from ARC director Jonathan Fox, What counts as ‘accountability’ – and who decides? published by Oxfam’s From Poverty to Power March 17, 2022.

January 2022 – ARC director Jonathan Fox’s new Accountability Keywords working paper unpacks diverse understandings of accountability ideas, using the ‘keywords’ approach. This tradition takes everyday big ideas whose meanings are often taken for granted and makes their subtexts explicit. The proposition here is that ambiguous or contested language can either constrain or enable possible strategies for promoting accountability. After all, different potential coalition partners may use the same term with different meanings—or may use different terms to communicate the same idea. Indeed, the concept’s fundamental ambiguity is a major reason why it can be difficult to communicate ideas about accountability across disciplines, cultures, and languages. The goal here is to inform efforts to find common ground between diverse potential constituencies for accountable governance.

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January 2022 – New working paper El control social en Colombia: Un balance sobre las veedurías ciudadanas from ARC researcher in Colombia Mariana Cepeda Villarreal launched in January 2022.

January 2022 – ARC affiliated researcher Suchi Pande authored new blog “Towards Effective and Inclusive Grievance Redress Mechanisms in Education” published by UNESCO ETICO January 21, 2022.

January 2022 – ARC senior researcher Judy Gearhart and Evan Matthew Papp of @empathymedialab launched the third Labor Link Podcast in December featuring Kalpona Akter (@kalponaakter), a former child worker who founded the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (@bcws1). Hear Kalpona’s story and what keeps her fighting for apparel workers’ rights. Listen to the full podcast and tell us what you think!

December 2021ARC’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 – 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 2021Global 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.

December 2020 – ARC researcher Naomi Hossain and acclaimed photographer Ismail Ferdous collaborated on a powerful new ARC Working Paper Picturing Accountability: What We Learned from the Photography of the Rana Plaza Disaster. This essay examines the role of photography in creating visual evidence in support of struggles for accountability. It draws on one photojournalist’s experience of photographing one of the worst indus­trial accidents in world history, the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh in 2013, as well as its aftermath in the lives of those affected.

October/November 2020 – ARC’s October-November 2020 newsletter highlights the Bhilwara Framework, first framed by Dalit activists fighting discrimination and structural injustice in India. A new World Development article on Covid-19 in Bangladesh, based on on-going research collaboration including ARC’s Naomi Hossain. Updated information on Health Worker protests around the world, and a link to Jennifer Johnson’s blog. ARC director Jonathan Fox and researcher Suchi Pande engaged in a 3-day national seminar and workshop on social audits in India. The newsletter offers a glimpse of Colombia’s National Accountability Day.

October 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has put unprecedented strain on health care systems around the world. Frontline health workers have faced great risks, from lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) to discrimination and harassment. Some face repercussions for whistleblowing or walkouts. This evolving situation has given rise to a new wave of hundreds of innovative protests and proposals from health workers on the frontlines. For more, read Jennifer Johnson’s October 20 blog Voices from the pandemic frontlines: Health worker protests and proposals from 84 countries. This analysis has grown from the ARC @HealthWorkerPro pilot project.

October 2020 – Launch of new ARC publication From Peoples’ Struggles to Public Policy: The Institutionalization of the Bhilwara Framework of Social Accountability in India. This Accountability Note by @RakshitaSwamy88 explores origins and impacts of the Bhilwara Framework of Social Accountability. Aruna Roy notes in her preface, the Bhilwara Principles focus “on empowering some of the most vulnerable in India to establish a more equal and just relationship with power.”

August/September 2020 – This ARC newsletter covers Health Worker Protest Project updates, new resources on citizen engagement in supreme audit institutions in Latin America (with working papers and links to an international symposium held in Mexico), accountability for social protection in India and the Philippines, as well as a blog on rethinking MSIs by ARCs’ new visiting scholar Judy Gearhart, an award winning international human and labor rights activist.

September 2020 – ARC visiting scholar Judy Gearhart’s blog Rethinking MSIs: MSIs and the Search to Cure the Global Governance Gap reflects on the limitations on Multi-stakeholder Initiatives (MSI) and highlights different models for advancing worker rights: MSIs’ failure to address the power imbalance between rights holders and Multi-national Corporations (MNCs) has fueled growing demands for Worker-driven Social Responsibility (WSR) or enforceable brand agreements (EBAs)—models that are in effect new forms of collective bargaining designed to negotiate a contractual agreement between global brands and workers in their supply chain.

August 2020 – A new working paper by Marcos Mendiburu provides an overview of citizen participation in external auditing in Latin America over the last two decades. This comprehensive review finds the scope of citizen participation in oversight in the audit cycle often emphasizes mechanisms for citizen complaints, with limited citizen involvement in executing audits and following up on the findings and recommendations issued by Supreme Audit Institutions. Citizen Participation in Latin America’s Supreme Audit Institutions: Progress or Impasse? is available in both English and Spanish.

August 2020 – From Poverty to Power blog post Making COVID Social Protection Accountable to India’s Vulnerable Citizens by ARC researcher Dr. Suchi Pande (@ihcus7) discusses two development policies that sound technical, but which are really important. Social protection is the set of services that help protect people against economic shocks or disasters, and from the ups-and-downs all people face in their life-cycle.

June/July 2020 – The ARC newsletter features COVID-19 work in the Philippines, Guatemala, and Bangladesh in addition to ARC’s learning pilot on Health Worker Protests and Proposals. Two pieces of anti-racist work featured are ARC director Jonathan Fox’s webinar on TPA lens on police power and the independent Afro-Colombian monitoring of the implementation of Colombia’s peace agreement. Three new publications – the 30-year anthology of MKSS’ right to information work in India, reversing accountability in the Philippines, and bottom-up monitoring of health system in India. We also highlight the ongoing work of allies in Colombia and Mexico.

May 2020 – The ARC newsletter features the Health Worker Protest Pilot project, four new publications (including two scholarly journal articles), several pieces focused on COVID-19, and an overview partners monitoring the World Bank citizen engagement practices in 12 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

May 2020 – The May 2020 Journal of Peasant Studies elevates grassroots voices from Guatemala. Read the full article Rural public health systems and accountability politics: insights from grassroots health rights defenders in Guatemala,which includes a preface on “Framing struggles for rural health rights” by Jonathan Fox.

May 2020 – The Health Worker Protest Project is an open-source initiative to share and store reports of health worker protests around the world— coronavirus-related and beyond— to raise awareness of accountability challenges. Twitter account: @HealthWorkerPro.

mayo 2020Accountability Note basada en entrevistas presenta el trabajo de dos líderes mayas tz’utujil: Benilda Batzin (CGESS) y Paulina Culum (REDC-Salud). Aprenda más de su trabajo estratégico en Defendiendo el derecho a la salud en Guatemala: Reflexiones de dos indígenas de primera línea.

April 2020 – New short article – Is the World Bank listening to the citizens it serves? – is based on World Bank Citizen Engagement research by ARC’s Rachel Nadelman with the Action for Empowerment and Accountability @A4EA_Research initiative of IDS.

April 2020 – ARC newsletter for April 2020 includes analytical work on government response to COVID in the Philippines, new research on COVID-19 in Bangladesh, a new Accountability Note on health rights defenders in Guatemala, a new working paper on scale in donor-led accountability in contexts of fragility, conflict and violence.

April 2020 – This April 2020 interview-based Accountability Note features the work of two Maya Tz’utujil leaders: Benilda Batzin (CGESS) and Paulina Culum (REDC-Salud). Learn more from their strategic work in Defending the Right to Health in Guatemala: Reflections of Two Indigenous Women on the Frontlines.

April 2020 – New working paper from A4EA, IDS and ARC co-authored by Colin Anderson, Jonathan Fox, and John Gaventa: How Do Donor-led Empowerment and Accountability Activities Take Scale into Account? Evidence from DFID Programmes in Contexts of Fragility, Conflict and Violence.

April 2020 – ARC’s Naomi Hossain, also a research fellow at IDS penned this blog Fear of a fragile planet reviewing “big picture” issues further churned up by the COVID-19 crisis.

April 2020 – Joy Aceron of G-Watch published this [ANALYSIS] Challenges facing social amelioration for the coronavirus in Rappler highlighting the need for independent citizen accountability efforts of targeting and delivery of entitlements.

March 2020 – ARC newsletter for March 2020: Solidarity, Vigilance and Action on COVID-19 includes a message of solidarity, and highlights work of partners including G-Watch in the Philippines, CDD in Nigeria, SATHI in India, the COPASAH network and coalitions of civil society actors in India, plus two new publications.

March 2020 – Institute for Development Studies published ARC researcher Rachel Nadelman’s 4-page policy brief How Do World Bank Projects Commit to Citizen Engagement? Para la versión en español, vea ¿Cómo se comprometen los proyectos del Banco Mundial con la participación ciudadana?

March 2020 – Joy Aceron and Victoria Maglanque of G-Watch leveraged on-going research on the “sin tax” in the Philippines to dissect the preparation and response to COVID-19 [ANALYSIS] Amid the coronavirus crisis, where have all the sin tax funds gone? published on Rappler.

February 2020 – ARC newsletter for February 2020: La construcción de palabras clave │Tendler Network│Afro-Colombian Voices for Peace highlights a new Spanish version of Jonathan Fox’s Political Construction of Accountability Keywords.

February 2020 – Based on a research collaboration with ARC, SATHI produced their first Research Brief on the impact of the Community Based Monitoring and Planning process in the state of Maharashtra.

January 2020 – ARC newsletter for January 2020: Women-led accountability in Mexico City │ Independent monitoring of World Bank Citizen Engagement│ Our Colombia work. New publications and an overview of our collaborations in Colombia.

November/December 2019 – ARC newsletter for November/December 2019: Education accountability │ GPSA │ G-Watch Learning 2019 │ Accountability in Urdu. Professors Felipe J. Hevia y Samana Vergara-Lope bring insights to educational accountability in the November 2019 ARC Working Paper published in both Spanish and English.

December 2019 – Following the GPSA, Naomi Hossain penned this blog for From Poverty to Power Why the World Bank is missing out on an Accountability Revolution: Reflections on the Global Partnership for Social Accountability Forum 2019.

December 2019 – The Accountability Note The Women of Caltongo Who Opened the Government’s Doors: Social Accountability at the Edge of Mexico City by Daniela Rea (@DanielareaRea) with photos by Mónica González (@MonicaGIslas) was co-published with Periodistas de a Pie, Pie de Página, and ControlaTuGobierno.

November 2019 – Professors Felipe J. Hevia (@fhevia) y Samana Vergara-Lope (@svergaralope9) bring insights to educational accountability in the November 2019 ARC Working Paper published in both Spanish and English. This paper addresses the relationship between the concepts of Social Accountability and Educational Accountability.

November 2019 – ARC research professor Dr. Naomi Hossain participated in a panel on Accountability Tactics in Fragile Places during the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA) annual meeting. This session examined how actors and organizations have responded to the changing nature of civic space, drawing on experiences of pro-accountability actors in fragile – and conflict – affected settings where accountability action has long depended on negotiating dangerous space.

October 2019 – ARC newsletter for October 2019: COPASAH 2019│Pioneering Accountability Strategies in India highlights our participation in the 400+person Global Symposium on Citizenship, Governance and Accountability in Health. After the conference, we visited multiple partner organizations in Maharastra and Telangana States.

October 2019 – ARC co-sponsored the Global Symposium on Citizenship, Governance and Accountability in Health organized by Community of Practitioners on Accountability and Social Action in Health (COPASAH) in New Delhi, India from October 15-18, 2019. The convening attracted hundreds of practitioners from 40 countries. After this, an ARC delegation visited collaborators in Maharastra and Telangana states to learn more about civil society and citizen monitoring of India’s social welfare programs.

September 2019 – ARC received an 18-month grant from Open Society Foundations for independent civil society monitoring of the World Bank’s Citizen Engagement Commitments. For more, see the project announcement.

July 2019Joy Aceron, convenor-director of Government Watch (G-Watch) in the Philippines and  research fellow and advisor to ARC published How Participatory Reforms Can Enable Voice But Fall Short of Transformation on piece the International Budget Partnership Open Budgets Blog.

July 2019 – Along with Just Associates and PEKKA, ARC co-published the Bahasa Indonesia version of a working paper entitled Membangun Gerakan Untuk Akuntabilitas: Belajar dari Pengorganisasian Perempuan Indonesia (we published the English version Movement-building for Accountability: Learning from Indonesian Women’s Organizing in 2018).

June 2019 – Duncan Green’s blog PEKKA, an inspiring example of feminist activism from Indonesia focused on the lessons from the Working Paper co-produced with JASS and PEKA.

May 2019 – The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) published a guest blog by ARC director Jonathan Fox How can a rethink of lessons from field experiments inform future research in transparency, participation and accountability? offers a reality check to inform the ‘what works’ question in the TPA field.

May 2019 – A new accountability note Setting the Stage for Increased Accountability: The White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria Campaign to Improve Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health in Niger State penned by Rachel Sullivan Robinson, Associate Professor in the School of International Service at American University and a Faculty Collaborator.

May 2019 – New case studies offering independent reviews of World Bank citizen engagement in Mozambique, Pakistan and Nigeria are published by ARC. ARC researcher Rachel Nadelman co-authored these with Ha Le, Anjali Sah, and Ian Evans.

April 2019 – ARC researcher Rachel Nadelman and two American University MA graduates Anjali Sah and Ha Le published a Working Paper through Institute of Development Studies How Does the World Bank Build Citizen Engagement Commitments into Project Design? Results from Pilot Assessments in Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Pakistan.

April 2019 – Join our team! ARC invites applications for a full-time, non­-tenure track faculty research professor! First consideration to applications received by May 10. However, we will consider applications until the position is filled. Ideal start July 1, 2019. For full details and to apply, go to job posting.

March 2019 – Sandwich strategies for reform are tangible initiatives by state actors to create space for societal action for pro-accountability change. What do these change pathways look like, in the face of likely pushback from anti-accountability forces? ARC is looking for multiple cases of sandwich strategies in practice. To propose a case for consideration in a new ARC research study, please respond to our survey (ideally by April 30).

February 2019 – Ver el nuevo Accountability Note de ARC/Unicam-Sur, escrito por Carlos García Jiménez: Experiencias y desafíos ciudadanos para instituir la transparencia y la rendición de cuentas en gobiernos locales del sur de México.

February 2019 – ARC/Unicam-Sur Accountability Note by Carlos García Jiménez: Citizen Experiences and Challenges in Bringing Transparency and Accountability to Local Governments in Southern Mexico.

December 2018 – The first ARC publication in हिन्दी (Hindi) has arrived! From authors Samir Garg and Suchi Pande, ARC published स्थाईबदलावकेलिएसीखनेकीरणनीतिकीभूमिका (Hindi version of the Accountability Note “Learning to Sustain Change: Mitanin Community Health Workers Promote Public Accountability in India”).

November 2018 – ARC and JASS co-hosted a panel discussion on Movements, Power and Accountability: Grassroots Organizing Perspectives from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Panelists included Joy Aceron (Philippines), Paulina Culum (Guatemala), Nani Zulminarni (Indonesia) and Lucy Mazingi (Zimbabwe).

October 2018 – ARC organized a session on Investing in grassroots leadership development strategies for social accountability during the 2018 GPSA partners forum. ARC Director Jonathan Fox moderated a discussion among panelists Joy Aceron, Director, Government Watch, Philippines; Paulina Culum, Network of Community Health Rights Defenders, Guatemala; Wunna Htun, Myanmar Program Coordinator, Bank Information Center; Nani Zulminarni, Director, PEKKA, Women-Headed Households Program, Indonesia.

October 2018 – Nani Zulminarni of PEKKA documents Movement-building for Accountability: Learning from Indonesian Women’s Organizing in a new Working Paper bringing fresh and reimagined language, analysis, and strategy ideas to the transparency, participation, and accountability (TPA) field.

September 2018 – ARC advisor Fletcher Tembo and associate director Angela Bailey joined a panel on learning, reflection and adaptation at the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM) 2018 Social Accountability Conference. The conference report on exploring what it takes to enhance social accountability in practice is available online.

September 2018 – ARC associate director Angela Bailey facilitated a round table discussion with accountability actors in Lilongwe, Malawi. The meeting was co-convened by UNICEF and USAID. Her report from the event is available here Round Table on Social Accountability in Malawi, September 2018: Report and Suggestions Moving Forward.

August 2018 – Samir Garg and Suchi Pande’s Learning to Sustain Change: Mitanin Community Health Workers Promote Public Accountability in India Accountability Note illustrates how the CHW program of the Chhattisgarh state government in central India— known as Mitanin—has, over time, developed a learning strategy that permits CHWs (Mitanins) to enable sustained action on public accountability, whilst simultaneously providing health services and education, and linking communities with government healthcare services.

August 2018 – ARC with Frente Indígena de Organizaciones Binacionales (FIOB), the International Mayan League, and Comunidades Indigenas en Liderazgo/Indigenous Community Leadership (CIELO) hosted indigenous interpreters and indigenous rights advocates in Washington, DC. Over 20 US-based Maya, Mixteco, Zapoteco and Nahua peoples convened to improve interpretation and advocacy skills and to address the pressing language access challenges facing indigenous people from Central America and Mexico. This exchange is informing ARC reflections about the broader issue of how the field of transparency, participation and accountability addresses language rights issues.

July/August 2018 – From July 31 to August 2, a workshop was convened in Bogota, Colombia by the Comisión Étnica para la Paz y la Defensa de los Derechos Territoriales  made up of delegates of the Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia-ONIC, Gobierno Mayor, and Consejo Nacional de Paz Afrocolombiana-CONPA  to address the goals and priorities of indigenous and Afro-Colombian citizens in the Colombian peace process.

July 2018 – The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded $500,000 to Professors Jonathan Fox (ARC Director) and Rachel Sullivan Robinson, both of American University’s School of International Service, for a multi-year project entitled “Sandwich Strategies: Comparative Analysis of Institutional Change in the Global South.”

June 2018 – Bank Information Center and ARC published How a Community-Led Response to Sexual Exploitation in Uganda Led to Systemic World Bank Reform. The Bigodi community’s 2015 request to the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, bolstered by international media coverage, led Bank management to respond both to the specific harms and to the underlying policy failures that made them possible.

May 2018 – Duncan Green’s blog What kind of Evidence Influences local officials? A great example from Guatemala highlights lessons from the February 2018 Accountability Note by Walter Flores of CEGSS.

May 2018 – ARC published La escala: Su importancia y uso en iniciativas de transparencia y rendición. Versión en español de un resumen originalmente publicado en diciembre de 2016.

May 2018 – ARC published an English summary of a Learning Exchange Report from the First Meeting of Auxiliary Watershed Organizations, convened by Controla Tu Gobierno in Mexico City in September 2017. The full report is also available en español following the same link.

April 2018 – ARC director Jonathan Fox delivered a keynote address at MySociety 2018 #TICTeC on the Political Construction of Accountability Keywords: Lessons from Action-Research. An article in the March 2018 IDS Bulletin covers the topics in more depth, arguing for a two track approach to communicate public accountability strategies: (1) searching within popular cultures to find existing terms or phrases that can be repurposed, and (2) inventing new discourses that communicate ideas about public accountability that resonate with culturally grounded common-sense understandings.

March 2018 – ARC director Jonathan Fox’s article on The political construction of accountability keywords appeared in the March 2018 IDS Bulletin. The article argues for a two track approach to communicate public accountability strategies: (1) searching within popular cultures to find existing terms or phrases that can be repurposed, and (2) inventing new discourses that communicate ideas about public accountability that resonate with culturally grounded common-sense understandings.

February 2018 – ARC’s inaugural newsletter circulated ARC Updates: February 2018.

February 2018 – Together with Center for the Study of Equity and Governance in Health Systems (CEGSS), ARC published our first dual language Accountability Note. Walter Flores, director of CEGSS, traces the lessons learned from a decade of evidence-based citizen action for health in Guatemala. Read the publication in your preferred language: Lecciones sobre acción ciudadana y rendición de cuentas en los servicios públicos de salud de Guatemala or How Can Evidence Bolster Citizen Action? Learning and Adapting for Accountable Public Health in Guatemala.

January 2018 – ARC and AMDD published the Report on the Think-in on Community Health Worker Voice, Power, and Citizens’ Right to Health. Authors Marta Schaaf, Caitlin Warthin, Amy Manning and Stephanie Topp summarize key themes emerging from a June of 2017 learning exchange among 30 researchers, health advocates, and program implementers from eight countries. Can Community Health Workers be all things to all people – extending health services and working with citizens to hold the health system accountable?

December 2017 – Francis Isaac, Danilo Carranza and Joy Aceron analyze and document long-term movement-building app
roaches to build broad constituencies for public accountability in ARC Working Paper 2 From the Ground Up: Multi-Level Accountability Politics in Land Reform in the Philippines.

December 2017 – Ghanaian action-strategist Abdulkarim Mohammed (@paakarim) authors ARC’s first Accountability Note based on his advocacy work with Oxfam Ghana and a coalition of civil society partners. Read more about Following the Money in Ghana: From the Grassroots to the Hallways of the IMF.

December 2017 – ARC director Jonathan Fox, PhD student Julia Fischer-Mackey and three ARC advisors joined the annual meeting of health rights defenders at the invitation of our ARC partner organization Center for the Study of Equity and Governance in Health Systems (CEGSS). The meeting was held in Antigua, Guatemala.

November 2017 – ARC partner OCCDI Global hosted a workshop in Colombia to explore a monitoring system for the Colombian peace accord. Taller seguimiento y monitoreo al punto 4 del acuerdo final para la terminación del conflict y la construcción de una paz estable y duradera: ”Solución de las drogas ilícitas en Colombia.” The workshop partners include Viso Mutop Corporacion and Indepaz.

November 2017 – Carnegie Endowment and ARC co-sponsored round table discussions on ‘Social and Political Action for Empowerment and Accountability: What’s Different in Context of Fragility, Conflict and Violence?’ which drew on the work of the Action for Empowerment and Accountability Research Program (A4EA). Video of the discussions is available on the Carnegie Endowment You Tube channel.

October 2017 – AU SIS associate professor Rachel Robinson presented as part of the Maryland Population Research Center Fall Seminar Series. Her talk took inspiration from research with White Ribbon Alliance “Improving Maternal Health through Social Accountability in Nigeria.”

September 2017 – As part of the A4EA international research consortium, ARC research associate Rachel Nadelman traveled to Myanmar for a field validation of the review of the World Bank Myanmar country portfolio.

September 2017 – Findings from ARCs first action-research incubation are published in Working Paper 1 Citizen Oversight and India’s Right to Work Program: What Do the Social Auditors Say? co-authored by Suchi Pande and Rakesh R. Dubuddu and co-published by ARC and Factly.

September 2017 – ARC published Learning Exchange Report 2 Citizen Action Against Corruption, a report on a workshop for Transparency International (TI) in 2016. The workshop included 17 national chapter representatives and several TI Secretariat colleagues.

September 2017 – ARC and IPPF co-publish Learning Exchange Report 1 Transparency and Accountability Strategies & Reproductive Health Delivery Systems which is co-authored by Victoria Boydell, Jonathan Fox and Sarah Shaw.

September 2017 – ARC partner Controla tu Gobierno, a public interest group, along with the Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico City, convened Mexico’s first national meeting of citizen-led local water management committees.

August 2017 – With support from Just Associates (JASS), Coalition of women living with HIV/AIDS (COWLHA) and MANERELA+ the Our Bodies, Our Lives movement has been working on a shared advocacy agenda on HIV in Malawi for years. ARC co-sponsored a workshop bringing 30 women activists monitoring the campaign together.

July 2017 – ARC director Jonathan Fox traveled to Brighton, United Kingdom in July 2017 to attend an event hosted by the Institute of Development Studies on ‘Unpicking Power and Politics for Transformative Change: Towards Accountability for Health Equity.’

July 2017Rachel Robinson, AU SIS associate professor traveled to Nigeria in July 2017 to begin work on a case study analyzing the environments for maternal mortality and social accountability in Niger State. This case study is a collaboration with White Ribbon AllianceNigeria (WRAN).

June 2017 – In collaboration with Columbia University’s Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program (AMDD), ARC hosted a learning exchange with a group of 30 researchers, action-strategists, and activists from around the world in Washington, DC, to discuss Community Health Worker Voice, Power, and Citizens’ Right to Health.

September 2016 – A two-day learning exchange in Berlin on Citizen Action Against Corruption September 1–2, 2016 facilitated by Accountability Research Center staff and affiliates convened members from several chapters and was rooted in the Transparency International 2020 Strategy Together Against Corruption.

June 2016 – ARC co-hosted a learning exchange at American University in Washington, D.C. The event convened over 40 practitioners and researchers to discuss potential contributions from the field of Transparency, Participation and Accountability (TPA) to the performance of reproductive health (RH) delivery systems.