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
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.