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

  • 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 ...
  • Energy Protests and Citizen Voice 

    McCulloch, Neil (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-10-29)
    Recent years have seen energy protests erupt in many countries around the world. Globally, countries are wrestling with the need to achieve a just transition away from fossil fuels while at the same time ensuring access ...
  • An Exploration of the Association Between Fuel Subsidies and Fuel Riots 

    McCulloch, Neil; Natalini, Davide; Hossain, Naomi; Justino, Patricia (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-10)
    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 data set on fuel riots to explore the effects of fuel prices and price regimes ...
  • Demanding Power: Do Protests Empower Citizens to Hold Governments Accountable over Energy? 

    Hossain, Naomi; Agbonifo, John; Atela, Martin; Gaventa, John; Gonçalves, Euclides; Javed, Umair; McCulloch, Neil; Natalini, Davide; Oosterom, Marjoke; Ojebode, Ayobami; Shankland, Alex (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-09)
    Energy protests are becoming increasingly common and significant around the world. While in the global North concerns tend to centre around climate issues, in the global South the concerns are more often with affordable ...
  • Demanding Power: Struggles over Fuel Access in Nigeria 

    Atela, Martin; Ojebode, Ayobami; Aina, Omotade; AGBONIFO, JOHN; Oosterom, Marjoke; Makokha, Racheal; Oluwajulugbe, Oluwabusolami; Okoyomoh, Omeghie (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-08-13)
    Why do some fuel protests in Nigeria lead to a response from government, but others are barely noticed? What are the politics behind government response and who are the winners and losers? Using a multi-method approach, ...
  • Demanding Power: Contentious Politics and Electricity in Pakistan 

    Javed, Umair; Hussain, Aiza; Aziz, Hassan (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-06-03)
    This paper explores Pakistan’s electricity supply crisis that lasted from 2007 to 2015, and the ensuing contention that shaped public discourse and political events in the country. During this period, which witnessed ...
  • Accountability Bargains in Pakistan 

    Loureiro, Miguel; Pracha, Maheen; Ahmed, Affaf; Khan, Danyal; Ali, Mudabbir (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-05-27)
    Poor and marginalised citizens rarely engage directly with the state to solve their governance issues in fragile, conflict and violence-affected settings, as these settings are characterised by the confrontational nature ...
  • Navigating Civic Space in a Time of Covid: Synthesis Report 

    Anderson, Colin; McGee, Rosie; Nampoothiri, Niranjan; Gaventa, John; Forquilha, Salvador; Ibeh, Zikora; Ibezim-Ohaeri, Victoria; Jawed, Asiya; Khan, Ayesha; Pereira, Crescêncio; Alex, Shankland (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-05)
    Since long before the Covid-19 pandemic emerged in 2020, civic space has been changing all over the globe, generally becoming more restricted and hazardous. The pandemic brought the suspension of many fundamental freedoms ...
  • Navigating Civic Space in a Time of COVID-19: The Case of Mozambique 

    Pereira, Crescêncio; Forquilha, Salvador; Shankland, Alex (Institute for Social and Economic Studies, 2021-01)
    This report builds on the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) research project Navigating Civic Space, which seeks to analyze the extent to which COVID-19 is contributing to the opening or closing of space for ...

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