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June-July 2019

Publication: Membangun Gerakan Untuk Akuntabilitas: Belajar dari Pengorganisasian Perempuan Indonesia 

A new Bahasa Indonesia version of ARC’s Working Paper about the Indonesian feminist organization PEKKA, Membangun Gerakan Untuk Akuntabilitas: Belajar dari Pengorganisasian Perempuan Indonesia, by Nani Zulminarni, Valerie Miller, Alexa Bradley, Angela Bailey, and Jonathan Fox. The English version of the publication, Movement-building for Accountability: Learning from Indonesian Women’s Organizing, published in October 2018, has received a great deal of interest and was picked up by Duncan Green’s blog. This version will help PEKKA tell its story among Bahasa Indonesia readers, in line with ARC’s commitment to publish its products in languages most relevant for authors and action strategists.
Publication: Citizen Engagement: An Independent Review of the World Bank's Commitments in Mozambique & Nigeria

ARC published two new cases in a series of studies on World Bank citizen engagement commitments in May 2019. For the World Bank’s Mozambique and Nigeria country portfolios, these studies ask: how and to what degree is the World Bank putting its new institutional citizen engagement commitments into practice? These reports assess the specific citizen engagement (CE) commitments in World Bank projects at the design stage. They provide the detailed data and analysis which contributed to the report co-produced with the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) Action for Empowerment and Accountability  (A4EA)  work on how  external  actors  can best support local processes  of  and  conditions  for  empowerment  and  accountability. For all the World Bank citizen engagement reports by ARC researcher Rachel Nadelman (co-authored with Ian Evans, Ha Le, and Anjali Sah) see How Does the World Bank Build Citizen Engagement Commitments into Project Design? Results from Pilot Assessments in Mozambique, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Blog: How Participatory Reforms Can Enable Voice But Fall Short of Transformation

Joy Aceron, convenor-director of Government Watch (G-Watch) in the Philippines and  research fellow and advisor to ARC published a piece the International Budget Partnership Open Budgets Blog on July 9, 2019. She shares the finding of her recent ARC Working Paper, Pitfalls of Aiming to Empower the Bottom from the Top: The Case of Philippine Participatory Budgeting. As she summarizes: “My paper argues that because of the top-heavy design, [Participatory Budgeting in the Philippines, known as Bottom-up Budgeting, or BuB] fell short in achieving its main political reform agenda of empowering grassroots organizations through downward accountability, thus preventing lasting, pro-citizen power shifts.”
ICYMI: How can a rethink of lessons from field experiments inform future research in transparency, participation and accountability?

Strategists in the field of transparency, participation and accountability are rethinking overly optimistic theories of change. How can a reassessment of existing studies help to inform this needed reboot? What do ‘mixed results’ from field experiments with transparency and accountability interventions tell us about where the field should go next? To offer a reality check to inform the ‘what works’ question in the field of transparency, participation and accountability (TPA), this 3ie guest blog (May 9, 2019) by ARC director Jonathan Fox offers three propositions for discussion:

  1. We should not be surprised when ‘low dose’ interventions lead to uninspiring impacts.
  2. Some field experiments are based on 'fuzzy proxies', which leads to fuzzy results.
  3. Large-scale evaluations have assessed only a narrow range of theories of change in the TPA field.
Thank you again for your interest in ARC and our platform for sharing the work of our collaborators around the world. Please share with colleagues who may be interested to sign up for future monthly updates on publications and highlights of our partner organizations’ work for social change and greater accountability. Those who prefer can also follow ARC on Twitter (@AcctResearchCtr) or Facebook
With Regards,
Jonathan Fox
Director, Accountability Research Center
Professor, American University School of International Service
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