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State and citizens are not homogeneous entities. There is a diversity of agents (on both the state and citizen sides) that engage and participate. TAP initiatives need to consider the diversity of actors and agents that participate. Emphasis can be placed on different actors:

  • State actors
  • Civil society /citizen actors
  • Coalitions

While some TAP mechanisms are tailored to individual citizens, others focus on collective action. In turn, collective action can be community o grassroots based, led by civil society organizations or other civic groups (e.g., professional associations), involve mass mobilization, or rely on the role of the media.

State actors are also diverse. Relevant actors include the national, sub-national and local government institutions, line ministries in specific sectors (e.g. health, education), the judiciary and the legislature, as well as the role of secondary or autonomous accountability institutions such as Ombuds agencies, Supreme Audit Institutions, or Anti-Corruption Agencies.

State and civil society actors can work together and form coalitions that cut across the state and society boundaries. Success of TAP initiatives often depends on the engagement of various groups and coalitions of with sympathetic actors within the state. These coalitions can take the form, for example, of power sharing mechanisms or coalitions between autonomous accountability institutions and civil society groups.

Accountability in International Aid: The Case of Georgia

Bruckner. Till (2011) University of Bristol
This thesis explores accountability in international aid to the Republic of Georgia in 2008-2009. Conceptualizing accountability as the obligation to manage the expectations of multiple stakeholders with often divergent interests, it challenges the common assumption…

Open government guide

Transparency and Accountability Initiative (2013) Transparency and Accountability Initiative
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an international voluntary effort to foster more transparent, effective and accountable governments. The Open Government Guide has been developed to help support governments and civil society working together to develop ambitious action plans as part…

Unpacking context: strategic engagement across levels of government

Guerzovich, Florencia; Rosenzweig, Steven (2014) Transparency and Accountability Initiative, TALEARN
To identify the most promising leverage points, accountability efforts need to consider how powers and responsibilities are divided in practice across levels levels of government. Systematic multi-level analysis and learning has helped T/A groups better define…