The TAP nexus

How can we create Accountable and Responsive government through Transparency and Participation?

Graphic taxonomy B actors.001

Transparency, Participation and Accountability (TAP) and the nexus between them lie at the heart of the Transparency and Accountability field. We have learned much about these linkages, yet some fundamental questions remain.

Understanding how participation can be leveraged to ensure effective accountability requires unpacking the causal chain of TAP initiatives to better understand how they may lead to the desired outcomes in particular settings.

Unpacking TAP

TAP Knowledge helps understanding the TAP nexus. It provides access to resources organized according to the components of the interventions, the nature of these components, the actors involved, relevant macro contextual conditions, associated processes and their characteristics, and the micro contextual factors underpinning those processes.

Materials are organized according to the following categories:

Actors 

Getting to know the diversity of agents that participate is relevant for understanding TAP initiatives and their conditions for success.

  • State Aside from being the objective of many initiatives, state officials and agencies frequently promote and implement them.
  • Civil society Civil society is a crucial actor in demanding accountability and promoting and making effective transparency and participation initiatives. Civil society initiated projects have important requirements, but also specific conditions for their success.
  • State-Civil society coalition Current research suggests that the most effective TAP interventions involve cooperation between state actors and civil society actors.

 

Context

Understanding the contextual factors that influence TAP initiatives in specific settings is essential for designing and implementing effective projects.

  • Information  The availability of and access to public information is indispensable for meaningful participation and for effectively demanding accountability.
  • State Action State actors are constitutive elements of effective TAP interventions. Understanding the contextual factors that make state action more or less likely is crucial for assessing the viability of specific interventions.
  • Civil Society Action Civil society actors and citizens play a critical role in demanding and making use of mechanisms for transparency and participation. Successful interventions require understanding the conditions for effective civil society action.
  • Collaborative State-Civic Action TAP initiatives require interaction between state and citizens/civil society. The existence of appropriate channels and mechanisms and other conditions for collaborative action is important for the success of TAP initiatives.

Strategy and implementation

There is increasing awareness that strategic TAP initiatives lead to better results and impacts. We need to consider strategic and implementation related issues in particular settings.

  • Characteristics of TAP A review of process and implementation related issues that matter for TAP initiatives.
  • Approach/Tool Carefully selecting among the wide repertoire of TAP tools available, considering their different goals, is an important step.
  • Intended outcomes The identification of clear outcomes is crucial  for the implementation of TAP initiatives.