Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) is an international research programme which explores how social and political action can contribute to empowerment and accountability in fragile, conflict, and violent settings, with a particular focus on Egypt, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan.

The programme is led by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and is being implemented by a consortium which also includes: the Accountability Research Center (USA), the Collective for Social Science Research (Pakistan), the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (Pakistan), Itad (UK) Oxfam (GB and Myanmar), and the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (Kenya). It is funded by UK aid from the UK Government.

Recent Submissions

  • Celebrating Adaptive Delivery: A View from the Frontline in Myanmar 

    Barnes, Katrina; Lonsdale, Jane (Institute of Development Studies, 2023-02-02)
    The conversation on adaptive management has grown fast amongst development actors. These conversations often focus on designing, commissioning, and managing large-scale development programmes. Exactly how this impacts the ...
  • Governance Diaries: An Approach to Researching Marginalized People’s Lived Experiences in Difficult Settings 

    Loureiro, Miguel; Joshi, Anuradha; Barnes, Katrina; Chaimite, Egidio (Sage Publications, 2023-01-12)
    How do chronically poor and marginalized citizens interact with and make claims to the different public authorities that exist in fragile, conflict and violence-affected contexts? In other words, how does governance from ...
  • Everyday Governance in Areas of Contested Power: Insights from Mozambique, Myanmar and Pakistan 

    Anderson, Colin; Joshi, Anuradha; Barnes, Katrina; Ahmed, Affaf; Ali, Mudabbir; Chaimite, Egidio; Forquilha, Salvador; Khan, Danyal; Khan, Rizwan; Loureiro, Miguel; Myanmar Research Team; Posse, Lucio; Rowlands, Jo; Shankland, Alex (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2022-12-05)
    How do poor and marginalized people solve problems and claim rights and entitlements in places affected by conflict and where state authority is contested? Understanding such processes is important as the numbers of poor ...
  • International Aid Actions for Accountability: Identifying Interaction Effects Between Programmes 

    Nadelman, Rachel; McGee, Rosie; Khan, Ayesha; Goncalves, Euclides; Fox, Jonathan; Burge, Richard; Aremu, Fatai; Anderson, Colin (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2022-10-26)
    Aid agencies that support public accountability reforms commonly do so in the same places, and with similar state and civil society actors. However, the combined effects of their separate programmatic actions are rarely ...
  • The Governance Shock Doctrine: Civic Space in the Pandemic 

    McGee, Rosie (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2022-11-02)
    Emergencies heighten societies’ need to be governed. Accordingly, the COVID-19 pandemic put systems of public governance under severe pressure across the globe. Civic freedoms were widely curtailed for public health reasons. ...
  • Repertoires of Citizen Action in Hybrid Settings 

    Gaventa, John (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2022-08-24)
    In recent years, a growing literature has emerged analysing how organized citizen action can achieve more accountable and inclusive governance mostly focused on relatively open, democratic or more stable contexts, often ...
  • Researching Governance in Difficult Times and Places: Reflections from Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan 

    Khan Mohmand, Shandana; Anderson, Colin (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 2022-06-22)
    Fragility and closing civic space present significant challenges for research, making research processes more onerous and difficult, particularly on social and political issues. And yet these contexts may be those that may ...
  • Protests and Accountability in Nigeria’s Energy Sector 

    Otieno, Joel; Atela, Martin; Ojebode, Ayobami (Institute of Development Studies, 2022-08-17)
    Since 2016, Nigerians have experienced a stable fuel supply even if prices have continued to rise. This supply stability came to a sudden halt in January 2022, bringing back memories of long queues and harsh living conditions ...
  • Women’s Leadership and Political Agency in Fragile Polities 

    Nazneen, Sohela (Institute of Development Studies, 2022-06-28)
    Recent evidence from Afghanistan shows that even in the most difficult contexts, women will still protest for their rights. This paper draws on evidence from the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) research ...
  • Canvassing the Gatekeepers: A Field Experiment to Increase Women Voters’ Turnout in Pakistan 

    Cheema, Ali; Khan, Sarah; Liaqat, Asad; Khan Mohmand, Shandana (Cambridge University Press on behalf of the American Political Science Association, 2022-05-18)
    How can we close persistent gender gaps in political participation? We develop a theory highlighting the role of male household members as “gatekeepers” of women’s participation in patriarchal settings and argue that the ...
  • An Exploration of the Association Between Fuel Subsidies and Fuel Riots 

    McCulloch, Neil; Natalini, Davide; Hossain, Naomi; Justino, Patricia (Elsevier Ltd, 2022-04-25)
    Between 2005 and 2018, 41 countries had at least one riot directly associated with popular demand for fuel. We make use of a new international dataset on fuel riots to explore the effects of fuel prices and price regimes ...
  • Seeing the Combined Effects of Aid Programmes 

    Burge, Richard; Nadelman, Rachel; McGee, Rosie; Fox, Jonathan; Anderson, Colin (Institute of Development Studies, 2022-05-10)
    Multiple aid agencies often try to support change in the same places, at the same time, and with similar actors. Surprisingly, their interactions and combined effects are rarely explored. This Policy Briefing describes ...
  • Donor Action for Empowerment and Accountability in Nigeria 

    Aremu, Fatai (Institute of Development Studies, 2022-03-16)
    Multiple development actors are interested in stimulating more inclusive fiscal governance. Efforts to generate greater budget transparency, citizen participation in resource allocation, and public oversight of government ...
  • Against the Odds: Action for Empowerment and Accountability in Challenging Contexts 

    Anderson, Colin; Gaventa, John; Edwards, Jenny; Joshi, Anuradha; Nampoothiri, Niranjan; Wilson, Emilie (Institute of Development Studies, 2022-02)
    How and under what conditions does citizen-led social and political action contribute to empowerment and accountability? What are the strategies used, and with what outcomes, especially in settings which are democratically ...
  • Algumas Notas Sobre a Acção Cívica no Contexto da COVID-19 em Moçambique 

    Pereira, Crescêncio; Forquilha, Salvador; Shankland, Alex (IESE, 2022-01-11)
    This paper analyses how civil society organisations (CSOs) explore the possibilities that exist to undertake civic action in a context of COVID-19 in Mozambique. The analysis explores some of the strategies that CSOs use ...
  • Women and Protest Politics in Pakistan 

    Khan, Ayesha; Jawed, Asiya; Qidwai, Komal (Routledge, 2021-12-07)
    This article draws on qualitative research on five different gendered contentions in Pakistan: a feminist mobilisation, a protest against child sexual abuse, a workers’ mobilisation for greater employment benefits, an ...
  • Women Organising in Fragility and Conflict: Lessons from the #BringBackOurGirls Movement, Nigeria 

    Atela, Martin; Ojebode, Ayobami; Makokha, Racheal; Otieno, Marion; Tade, Aina (Taylor & Francis Group, 2021-12-07)
    Public protests, including women-led struggles, are increasingly gaining a foothold in many parts of the world in response to multiple crises and growing exclusion, in a context of fragility. In the global South, most ...
  • Commissions of Inquiry and Pathways to Accountability in Plateau State, Nigeria 

    Oosterom, Marjoke; Sha, Dung Pam; Dowd, Caitriona (Cambridge University Press, 2021-12-01)
    For decades, Plateau State in Nigeria's Middle Belt has witnessed repeated ethnoreligious violence. Over this period, both state and federal governments have established formal Commissions of Inquiry (COIs) in response to ...
  • Understanding Governance from the Margins: What Does It Mean In Practice? 

    Barnes, Katrina; Anderson, Colin; de Chassy, Stephanie; Ahmed, Affaf; Ali, Mudabbir; Aung, Myo Min; Chaimite, Egidio; Joshi, Anuradha; Khan, Danyal; Loureiro, Miguel; Posse, Lucio; Rowlands, Jo; Shankland, Alex; Wazir, Rizwan (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-11-29)
    What does governance look like ‘from below’ – from the perspectives of poor and marginalised households? How do patterns of conflict affect that? These were the questions at the heart of the Governance at the Margins ...
  • Revisitar o Espaço Cívico Moçambicano em Tempo de Crise 

    Pereira, Crescêncio; Forquilha, Salvador; Shankland, Alex (IESE, 2021-11-08)
    With the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an increased attention on the state-citizen relationship, and the fact that many governments have used the law to restrict civic space, for example by putting ...

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