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April 2018

This month we highlight voices from partner organizations working in Guatemala and the Philippines. To complement these action-strategists who are challenging anti-accountability forces every day, we also share a recent TICTech presentation from Jonathan Fox: Political Construction of Accountability Keywords: Lessons from Action-Research.
Partner News: CEGSS Works with Investigative Journalists in Guatemala
Center for the Study of Equity and Governance in Health Systems (CEGSS) is collaborating creatively with journalists Oswaldo J. Hernández and Sandra Sebastián to expose health challenges--and solutions from citizens--to broad audiences in Guatemala. You can read the English translation of their first of their three Crónicas: Guatemala’s public health defenders. Based on these Crónicas, they have partnered with El Periodico, one of Guatemala's leading daily newspapers, to publish extended journalistic pieces. Two articles, Los vigilantes de la salud and Fallas en casos de emergencia highlight critical health accountability failures affecting access to services.

Strategic Voices: Joy Aceron Fighting Threats to Philippine Democracy

Government Watch (G-Watch) Convenor-Director and ARC researcher Joy Aceron (@joyaceron_ph) discussed Philippine democracy with Devin Stewart for a Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs podcast. Joy discussed threats to press freedom, propaganda, martial law, elite capture, push back against pro-accountability reforms and the retraction of progressive gains under previous administrations. Civil society organizations are a vibrant and vital force to advance democracy over time, though context is complicated and getting more so.

Events: Keynote on Political Construction of Accountability Keywords

ARC director Prof. Jonathan Fox presented a keynote address at mySociety’s The Impacts of Civic Technology Conference (TICTec) in Lisbon on April 18, 2018. This talk builds on lessons of action-research, arguing that accountability keywords are both politically constructed and contested, and that actors in the accountability field must take care in adapting terms across contexts. To illustrate these points, the presentation briefly reflects on the origins, circulation, and transformation of six relevant terms: accountability, the right to know, targeted transparency, whistle-blowers, openwashing, and sandwich strategies. Download the presentation.
Thank you again for following our new research center, please share with colleagues who may be interested to sign up for future monthly updates on our latest publications and highlights of the inspiring work of our partner organizations working for social change and greater accountability around the world. You can also follow ARC on Twitter (@AcctResearchCtr) or
With Regards,
Jonathan Fox
Director, Accountability Research Center
Professor, American University School of International Service
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