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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May 2019 – ARC director Jonathan Fox offers a reality check to inform the ‘what works’ question in the field of transparency, participation and accountability (TPA) in a 3ie guest blog.

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 – Two new case studies offering independent reviews of World Bank citizen engagement in Mozambique and Nigeria are published by ARC. ARC scholar-in-residence Rachel Nadelman co-authored these with Ha Le, Anjali Sah, and Ian Evans.

April 2019 – ARC scholar-in-residence 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 – 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 – 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.