New Think Piece Series on Citizens, Movements and State Accountability24/08/2015
How do citizens ensure that their governments are more accountable to them? This question is at the center of many pro-accountability efforts across diverse contexts. External actors have invested significant resources in supporting citizen and civil society-led accountability approaches, often under the labels of ‘civil society advocacy’ and ‘social accountability’. Some of these efforts have led to important improvements, others have been superficial and disappeared as soon as funding ran out.
But are we missing something? Around the world citizens movements are taking to the streets and demanding changes. At a gathering of funders, researchers and civil society representatives last year to explore the big challenges and opportunities in the transparency and accountability field, many wondered ‘Where are the citizens? Where are the movements?’
People’s organizations and movements work visibly or behind the scenes to push for rights, equality, inclusion, and governments that are accountable to their citizens. Funders and other external actors need to think much more carefully about how to engage with and strengthen these progressive efforts to ensure more accountable governance.
In a series of three think pieces, several authors re-examine the role of citizens, organizations and movements, and suggest ways to support these efforts: