Think Piece

Bridging the Context Gap Through Comparative Research
By TAI
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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 through comparative research.

The Think Piece builds on other work 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 argue that while we know that context does matter, there is a need for comparative research about how and why T/A approaches were successful or not under different conditions, looking at the interaction of contextual factors and features of the intervention or approach. Such comparative approaches will help us understand how and why certain approaches worked (or did not) in a given context.

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Report insights + takeaways

Magic bullets
Most smart decision-makers know that there are no ‘magic bullets’ that work across all contexts.
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Calculated risks
We need to focus on the needs of the field, embrace the challenge, and take some calculated risks.
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