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Sustainability Research

Grant Amount
Jan 2020 - Jan 2021
Integrity Action core funds

Citizen monitoring, social audits, community score cards, procurement monitoring… these are just a few ways in which citizens feedback on and scrutinise things they are entitled to, and hold the corresponding authorities to account.

This collaborative research initiative is asking: how can we sustain processes like these – which we term citizen-centred accountability mechanisms? And more generally, how can we sustain the outcomes they generate?

This is a question which has received relatively little attention within the field of social accountability. It is also a question that Integrity Action needs to address, to ensure our interventions produce the most sustainable outcomes possible.

It also encompasses some other important questions, such as: do citizen-centred accountability mechanisms need to last indefinitely? Is the use of technology, such as mobile apps, a barrier to sustainability? And to what extent, and in what circumstances, should such mechanisms be funded and administered independently of the service they feedback on?

The research began in early 2020 and has involved interviews with over 25 practitioners, government figures and other experts; a literature review covering around 200 shortlisted research, policy and evaluation reports from a variety of fields; and interviews and focus groups with Integrity Action project participants.

We ran an online brainstorm, inviting anyone with knowledge of citizen-centred accountability mechanisms to provide input and ideas on two areas: (1) funding models for CCA mechanisms, and (2) how such mechanisms can be governed and administered.

The survey has now closed and the full results are available at the link below. We will present further research outputs shortly.

Research outputs and publications 

If you'd like to hear more about the research, please contact us here:

Photo: Anthony Mwami/Restless Development