55 resources

Thinking and working politically in transparency and accountability

Halloran, Brendan (2014) Transparency and Accountability Initiative
Over the past decade, efforts to promote and strengthen transparency and accountability (T/A) have proliferated.  Yet the impact of these interventions is questionable.  Increasingly, organizations working in the T/A field have realized they need to ‘think…

Information is Power: Experimental Evidence of the Long Run Impact of Community Based Monitoring

Björkman-Nyqvist, Martina; Walque, Damien de; Svensson, Jakob (2014) Policy Research working paper. No. WPS 7015. Impact Evaluation series. Washington, DC: World Bank Group
Policies to enhance beneficiary involvement as way to strengthen demand-responsiveness and local accountability are becoming increasingly popular. The evidence provides mixed results about its short-run effectiveness. Whether it can lead to sustained improvements in service…

Social accountability: What does the evidence really say?

Fox, Jonathan (2014) Global Partnership for Social Accountability
The paper explores the distinction between tactical and strategic approaches to the promotion of citizen voice to contribute to improved public sector performance. Policy discussion of social accountability initiatives has increasingly focused on questions about…

Hope for democracy. 25 Years of participatory budgeting worldwide

Dias, Nelson (2014) In Loco Association
This book seeks to provide an overview on the Participatory Budget (PB) in the world. The authors show how the Participatory Budget has brought about changes in the exercise of democratic power, the transformation of public…

Transparency and accountability

Carter, Becky (2014) GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report
This rapid literature review looks at how, where and under what conditions transparency and accountability initiatives (TAIs) have had an impact on 1) increased access to data by citizens and 2) the accountability of the…

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…

Bridging the context gap through comparative research

Guerzovich, Florencia; Rosenzweig, Steven (2014) Transparency and Accountability Initiative, TALEARN
To make progress on the ‘context matters’ discussion, we need to move beyond general statements while still learning from our collective experiences to improve practice. A promising approach is systematic comparative research across cases that explores…

Civil society for development

Fung, Archon; Kosack, Stephen (2013) Transparency and Accountability Initiative, R4D,Ash Center at Harvard Kennedy School of Government
A series of blog entries that provide a glimpse on ongoing research in the pipeline by T/AI, R4D and Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. The research focuses on how can providing information lead…

Localizing development. Does participation work?

Mansuri, Ghazala; Rao, Vijayendra (2013) World Bank
Based on the assumption that a more engaged citizenry should be able to achieve a higher level of cooperation and make government more accountable, this report asks whether participation can be induced through the type of large-scale government and…

Does Transparency Improve Governance?

Kosack, Stephen; Fung, Archon (2013) Annual Review of Political Science 17:65-87.
In both developed and developing societies, there has been increasing interest in recent years in the potential of transparency — the provision of information to the public — to improve governance. In this article, we characterize…

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…

When Supreme Audit Institutions engage with civil society: Exploring lessons from the Latin American Transparency Participation and Accountability Initiative

Guillan, Aranzazu; Cornejo, Carolina; Lavin, Renzo (2013) U4 Anti-corruption Resource Centre
The Transparency, Participation and Accountability Initiative illustrates emerging partnerships between audit institutions and citizens, and highlights the benefits and challenges of a cooperative approach for engaging with public officials. The Initiative has created a space…

Budget accountability and participation

Carter, Becky (2013) GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report
Budget transparency, accountability and participation is a relatively young sector and experts agree that the evidence base is limited and underdeveloped. However, there are a growing number of case studies and meta-analyses covering a wide…

Putting things into context. Time to rethink social accountability?

Guerzovich, Florencia; Rosenzweig, Steven (2013) Transparency Initative Think Piece
The field of transparency and accountability (T/A) has matured in recent years. Two decades ago reformers sought ‘magic bullets’ – solutions that would work in all countries and all sectors. Today, however, we are increasingly…

Interventions for collective action and accountability

Rao, Sumedh (2013) GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report, University of Birmingham
Collective action has a relatively long history in political science and economic theory, but its application to governance programming in development is a relatively new phenomenon. As such there is little evidence of interventions that…

The impact of transparency and accountability initiatives

Gaventa, J., McGee, R. (2013) R4D
This paper provides an overview of the state of the evidence on transparency and accountability initiatives that emphasizes the critical role contextual factors play. In particular, they identify six important explanatory variables: level of democratization;…

The Media’s Role in Fighting Corruption. Media Effects on Governmental Accountability

Camaj, Lindita (2013) The International Journal of Press/Politics January 2013 vol. 18 no. 1 21-42
This study measures the relationship between media freedom and corruption, accounting for elements of vertical accountability (electoral competitiveness, civil society, and voter turnout) and horizontal accountability (judicial independence and political system). Results suggest a strong…

What is the evidence that the establishment or use of community accountability mechanisms and processes improves inclusive service delivery by governments, donors and NGOs to communities?

Lynch, Una et al. (2013) GSDRC
This systematic review analysed whether community monitoring and accountability mechanisms improve equitable access to service delivery and reduce corruption. Four intervention types were reviewed: greater freedom of information, greater transparency in service delivery mechanisms, an…

Fighting corruption by improving transparency and access to information

Fundar (2012) Evidence and Lessons from Latin America (ELLA) project
Using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), in the last decades countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Paraguay have designed and created electronic platforms that make information about procurement and government officials’ personal assets public. These…

The Latin American approach to transparency and access to information

Fundar (2012) Evidence and Lessons from Latin America (ELLA)
By providing greater access to public information and promoting transparency, Latin American countries seek to improve social oversight, inform citizens about government policies and programmes, advance other human rights, reduce corruption and enhance overall accountability. This Guide analyses various initiatives…

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…

Social accountability in situations of conflict and fragility

Schouten, Claire (2011) U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre
Donor support to social accountability in fragile and conflicted-affected states is a relatively new phenomenon. It has emerged with the lessons that top-down anti-corurption approaches have often failed and different appraoches are needed to improve…

Blurring the boundaries: Citizen action across states and societies

Development Research Center (2011) The Development Research Centre on Citizenship, Participation and Accountability
In 2000, a core concern of many development agencies was how to develop a ‘rights-based approach’ to development. This agenda was then embedded in social development approaches that were, and largely remain, separate from state-led…

Making schools work. New evidence on accountability reforms

Bruns, Barbara; Filmer, Deon; Patrinos, Harry A. (2011) World Bank
This book documents service delivery failures in the education sector in the developing world and assesses innovative interventions aimed at strengthening monitoring and results-based accountability. It finds that information for accountability will work if information…

One size fits all? Decentralization, corruption, and the monitoring of bureaucrats

Lessmann, Christian; Markwardt, Gunther (2010) CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2662
Using cross-country data, the paper analyzes the relationship between decentralization and corruption taking different degrees of the freedom of the press into account. The main finding is that decentralization counteracts corruption in countries with high…

Transparency is not enough: Making transparency effective in reducing corruption

Lindstedt, Catharina; Naurin, Daniel (2010) International Political Science Review, 31 (3): 301-322
The paper tests the assertion that making political institutions more transparent is an effective method for combating corruption. This assertion is confirmed with cross-national data, but also specified and qualified in several respects. Most importantly,…

Scaling up social accountability in World Bank Operations

Agarwal, Sanjay, Heltberg, Rasmus, Diachok, Myrtle (2009) World Bank
Lessons from social accountability pilots suggest that while social accountability interventions hold considerable promise for achieving better governance and development outcomes, they do not ensure better service delivery. Improving service delivery is a long term…

Governance, Social Accountability and the Civil Society

Ahmad, Raza (2008) JOAAG, Vol. 3. No. 1
This paper reviews the current literature on social accountability as a means to achieve good governance and increased public participation for improved public service delivery. It illustrates that such innovations have led to improvements in…

Transparency and corruption: The conditional significance of a free press

Lindstedt, Catharina; Naurin, Daniel (2005) The Quality of Government Institute, Göteborg University
This study shows that previous research to analyze interaction effects have led scholars to draw inadequate and misleading conclusions about the link between transparency, democracy and corruption. Furthermore, it is argued, these findings will help…

A free press is bad news for corruption

Brunetti, Aymo; Weder, Beatrice (2003) Journal of Public Economics
This paper tests the proposition that a free press may be a powerful instrument to control on corruption. It finds evidence of a significant relationship between more press freedom and less corruption in a large…

Vertically integrated policy monitoring. A tool for civil society policy advocacy

Fox, Jonathan (2001) UC Santa Cruz: Center for Global, International and Regional Studies
Drawing from diverse Mexican experiences, Fox argues that effective independent civil society monitoring of public policy processes requires vertical integration to monitor different elite actors simultaneously. Vertical integration is the coordination of policy monitoring and public…

Bringing citizen voice and client focus into service delivery

Goetz, Anne Marie; Gaventa, John (2001) IDS
This is a study of efforts to improve the responsiveness of public service providers to the needs of service users, particularly the poorest service users. This paper examines over sixty case studies of both public-sector…