News from the initiative

Civil Society for Development


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These blog posts are from a seven-post series “Civil Society for Development” that was researched and written as part of the Transparency for Development program and funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development.

The series explores how civil society organizations (CSOs) that seek to use transparency and accountability to improve social service delivery think about a range of issues, including:

  •           Access to information;
  •           Achieving accountability;
  •           Responding to political context;
  •           Engaging with citizens to ensure community participation; and,
  •           Working with researchers to find evidence about “what works” in transparency and accountability.

Blogs 1 through 3  highlight findings from a series of interviews with CSOs that engage in transparency and accountability work.  The posts present lessons from these interviews, focusing on how organizations explicitly or implicitly form their theories of change for ensuring transparency, accountability, and better services and spending.

Blog 4 presents thoughts about how researchers can identify strong CSO design and implementation partners for rigorous evaluations of transparency and accountability – and how CSOs can conduct their own cost-benefit analysis of whether working on an evaluation is a good fit for them.

Blogs 5 through 7 explore a new framework for how political context may guide decisions around transparency and accountability.

These posts are based on the development of a theoretical model for a new evaluation of transparency and accountability as well as an extensive review of the existing literature investigating the impact of information and collective action interventions.

About Transparency for Development: 

The Transparency for Development (T4D) Program is a rigorous five-year, multi-country research and outreach program on the impact of community-led transparency and accountability initiatives on health and other social sector outcomes.  Led by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government and in collaboration with Results for Development Institute, the Program will work with CSO partners to design and evaluate whether – and in what circumstances – transparency and accountability can enhance citizen participation, health service quality, and ultimately health outcomes while providing actionable recommendations to improve the effectiveness of those working in the governance and health sectors.  The Program has been generously funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Department for International Development in the United Kingdom and has been coordinated by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative.

One response to “Civil Society for Development”

  1. […] attempts to identify specific circumstances where T&A projects have an impact (see here, here, here and here for some longer reads). All of them call for a bigger, more solid evidence base, which […]