Think Piece

Unpacking Context: Strategic Engagement Across Levels of Government
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Donors and practitioners in the transparency and accountability (T/A) sector increasingly understand that there are no ‘magic bullets’ for success and that ‘context matters’. Yet it’s time to move this conversation forward. In this Think Piece, Florencia Guerzovich and Steven Rosenzweig highlight several productive avenues for exploration of the issue of context across levels of government.

The Think Piece builds on earlier work (here and here) on context for T/A interventions, as well as incorporating insights from the TALEARN community of practice involving donors, practitioners and researchers in the T/A sector (see highlights of our recent TALEARN workshop here). The authors discuss how organizations working on T/A need to consider different levels of government in their approaches. For a specific problem (e.g. lack of medicine in local clinics), more promising leverage points may exist at a higher or lower level of government. However, analysing the opportunity structure and incentives that allow for action across levels of government requires strategic analysis and reflection, and must be incorporated in funding, design and implementation decisions for T/A efforts.


Report insights + takeaways

State Structure
Failure to consider how the state is structured in complex systems may be limiting our ability to achieve impact
Maintaining unity
Excessive fragmentation often gives us ‘tunnel vision’ and means we do not identify key actors and avenues for change.