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

  • 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: Mozambique Country Report 

    Pereira, Crescêncio; Forquilha, Salvador (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 ...
  • Navigating Civic Space in a Time of Covid: Nigeria Country Report 

    Ibezim-Ohaeri, Victoria; Ibeh, Zikora (Spaces for Change, 2021-01)
    No country in the world expected the pandemic and the resulting health crisis. The sudden outbreak of the scourge forced countries, including Nigeria, to take charge and make difficult choices to contain disease spread. ...
  • The Civic Space in Nigeria: Before and Beyond Covid-19 

    Ibezim-Ohaeri, Victoria; Ibeh, Zikora (Spaces for Change, 2020-10)
    This baseline report sheds some light on the historical trajectory of the Nigerian civic space, particularly before and post-COVID, highlighting the emerging constraints and disruptions to political systems, and their ...
  • Navigating Civic Spaces in Mozambique Baseline Report 

    Pereira, Crescêncio; Forquilha, Salvador (Institute for Social and Economic Studies, 2020-09)
    This report explores the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) under the context of the recent history of Mozambique, arguing that civic spaces before the arrival of Covid-19 should be observed in the framework of the ...
  • Navigating Civic Spaces During a Pandemic: Pakistan Report 

    Khan, Ayesha; Khwaja, Aslam; Jawed, Asiya (Collective for Social Science Research, 2020-12)
    The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated trends in civic spaces underway before 2020 in Pakistan, reinforcing the state’s on-going deep discomfort with rights-based actors and mobilizations whilst allowing the divisive rhetoric ...
  • Fuel Subsidy in Nigeria: Lessons in Leading the People's Side of the Tussle 

    Ojebode, Ayobami; Atela, Martin (PASGR, 2021-03)
    In this briefing for the A4EA Demanding Power Workstream PASGR researchers explore how organised labour and civil society organisations in Nigeria have recently lost their role in organising popular public protest against ...
  • Donor Action in Pakistan: A Comparative Case Study of CDIP and AAWAZ 

    Khan, Ayesha; Qidwai, Komal (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-03)
    This paper analyses findings from a study of the Consolidating Democracy in Pakistan (CDIP) and AAWAZ Voice and Accountability programmes, both funded by the UK government. The study is a contribution to the A4EA Research ...
  • Networking on Anti-Sexual Harassment Efforts across Egyptian Universities 

    Hamada, Amal (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-03-09)
    This paper explores efforts across Egyptian universities to enhance responsiveness and accountability for addressing and mitigating sexual harassment on campus. Though not a new phenomenon, harassment in Egyptian universities ...
  • Covid-19: A Stress Test for Trust? 

    Governance at the Margins Research Team (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-03-04)
    To tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, governments need citizens to trust messages on behaviour change, and to support more draconian steps like lockdowns. Yet, lack of trust in public authority and a prevalence of rumours ...
  • Strengthening Women’s Inclusion in Social Accountability Initiatives 

    Nazneen, Sohela; Silva Olivares, Maria Fernanda (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-02-18)
    In the last 20 years, social accountability initiatives have facilitated the inclusion and participation of marginalised groups in governance processes. This Policy Briefing focuses on how and what factors prove effective ...
  • Shaping Social Change with Music in Maputo, Mozambique 

    Taela, Kátia; Gonçalves, Euclides; Maivasse, Catija; Manhiça, Anésio (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-02-16)
    In Mozambique, development programmes have traditionally drawn on music as a means to promote social transformation by educating citizens on key social development issues. Shifting the focus from music as a teaching medium ...
  • Women’s Political Participation and its Predictors in Northern and Southern Nigeria 

    Oladapo, Oyewole; Atela, Martin; Agbalajobi, Damilola (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-02-15)
    The United Nations Development Programme states that women’s political participation is a necessary ingredient for a peaceful and resilient society, yet large gender gaps obstinately persist in many countries around the ...
  • The Empty Promise of Urbanisation: Women’s Political Participation in Pakistan 

    Cheema, Ali; Liaqat, Asad; Khan, Sarah; Khan Mohmand, Shandana; Rauf, Shanze Fatima (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-02-11)
    Do big cities enable or hinder women’s electoral participation? What are the determinants of women’s participation in big cities and how are they different from those in rural areas? We use the Election Commission of ...
  • Who Can We Count On? Authority, Empowerment and Accountability in Mozambique 

    Chaimite, Egidio; Forquilha, Salvador; Shankland, Alex (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-02-02)
    In this paper, we explore the use of a governance diaries methodology to investigate poor households’ interactions with authority in fragile, conflict and violence-affected settings in Mozambique. The research questioned ...
  • Supporting Women’s Empowerment in Pakistan: Lessons for Donors 

    Khan, Ayesha (Institute of Development Studies, 2021-01-05)
    In a context where democratic culture and civil society space are under threat, rights-based organisations face increased restrictions on their activities, and donors are finding it harder to engage with them. However, ...

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