News | October 30, 2014

Working to ensure the voices of marginalised citizens are heard, and that governments have the capacity and incentive to respond is both technologically and politically complex. This demands Making All Voices Count be more than a standard fund dispersal mechanism, becoming instead a partnership of governance innovators.

This post is intended for potential partners of Making All Voices Count and outlines our new approach to finding and funding projects. This post is not an exhaustive document a complete strategy document which will further outline our activities will be published later this month.

Three Haitian women pray in a street in downtown Port-Au-Prince a month after a major earthquake devastated Haiti's capital.

Roberto Schmidt / AFP Photo

Away from a call for proposals

In our first year, we conducted an open call for proposals and a Global Innovation Competition, both of which attracted fresh ideas to improve government – citizen relations.

Highlighted in our previous, Learning, Adaptation and Change blog, we have moved away from a large open call for proposals to a more focused, in-country approach. We will continue with our Global Innovation Competition and in addition, engage in a range of activities aimed at fostering new ideas and partnerships. In the future, we are also considering the use of smaller more focused calls for proposals responding to particular elements of our theory of change in a given context.

This approach will ensure our programme is being strategic, shaped by the local context and therefore better placed to make a coherent contribution to supporting relevant opportunities to reforms to the way in which governments and citizens interact.

The collaborative approach:

The focus of this will be on building coalitions of actors to support the combination of technology and civil society action needed to produce relevant innovations to enable citizen engagement and open, responsive government.

This approach will involve investing in our understanding of the local context to ensure we collectively contribute to transformative processes of change. This will result in different country foci being pursued in each context.

We will soon be releasing the focus of our country plans which will outline this approach for Indonesia, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, the Philippines and Tanzania.

Once shared, we welcome your ideas on the focus of each of the country plans

The competitive approach:

The Global Innovation Competition (GIC) will continue to cast our net wide to capture and develop good ideas for improving governance relations from all 12 programme countries and build capacity and learning amongst competition entrants. We have strengthened this approach based on lessons from the first yearand in addition will be engaging in Pitching Sessions; a series of smaller, country-level competitions.

Research, evidence and learning:

The quest for more accountable responsive governance is global in scope, and there are no ready-made answers. Evidence on what works in different contexts is thin and scattered and our objective is to widen and deepen this evidence base.

Making All Voices Count will continue to fund and support research by researchers, practitioners, funded partners, either through the collaborative development of research questions within initiatives or the commissioning of research in specific areas via competitive process. The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) will continue to ensure that the Making All Voices Count research portfolio builds an evidence base which responds to key questions pertinent to understanding how all voices can be made to count.

We will award research grants to build evidence and deepen our understanding at different levels:

  1. Practitioner research: Funded partners working on innovation and scaling initiatives, to allow them to explore and reflect on key questions which will improve their initiatives and build evidence on how and why their initiatives may or may not be affecting change. This will be a form of action research either working with and mentoring practitioners to conduct research on their own initiatives, or linking a researcher to work with the initiative as part of the project team..
  2. Research grants: Research grants made to researchers to support strengthening of evidence and theory building in relation to accountable responsive governance. This is either research at country level or meta-analysis across different initiatives and contexts.

If you’d like to share an idea apply on the website here.