There has been growing concern about the challenges faced by donors and development organisations working in contexts that are increasingly fragile, highly volatile and insecure. In such conditions, the first instinct of many external development actors might be to simply withdraw their staff, funding, or operations from the area. But such a strategy could result in vital support not being provided for empowerment and accountability activities, precisely when local stakeholders say they need it most. If Western donors choose to continue to support local actors in their work on empowerment and accountability, working under the radar is an approach which external actors and local partners should consider in order to adapt to the exigencies of fragile contexts. This brief presents eleven key messages about how to work in contexts with deeply circumscribed spaces. It draws on the experiences and insights of the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) programme, gained from supporting local partners in Egypt, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria and Pakistan.