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Vertical integration of CSO monitoring and advocacy

Accountability Research Center

“Strategic approaches that aim to empower organised social constituencies, and bolster the capacity of the state’s own institutions to hold the rest of the state accountable, can potentially address the underlying causes of social exclusion and accountability failures.”
Start date
July 2016
End date
September 2016
Period: 2 months


Many initiatives have attempted to promote empowerment and accountability, but this has not yet resulted in wide-scale government responsiveness. Some succeed locally, but do not scale up to the national level.


This research will synthesise the evidence on initiatives that have successfully empowered organised social constituencies and bolstered the capacity of the state’s own institutions to hold the rest of the state accountable. Using examples from the Philippines, India and Mexico, it will deliver a paper that synthesises the rationale, theory of change and evidence of vertically integrated policy monitoring and advocacy by civil society organisations.

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Jonathan Fox is director of the Accountability Research Center is a professor in the school of International Service at American University, Washington DC. He studies the relationships between accountability, transparency and citizen participation. He is a member of the International Experts Panel of the Open Government Partnership's Independent Reporting Mechanism.


This working paper from this project argues that the growing field of transparency, participation and accountability (TPA) needs a conceptual reboot, to address the limited traction gained so far on the path to accountability. The paper makes the case for one among several possible strategic approaches by distinguishing between 'scaling up' and 'taking scale into account', going on to examine several different ways that ‘scale’ is used in different fields.

Download a four-page summary on taking scale into acounnt in transparency and accountability initiatives here.


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    Scaling accountability through vertically integrated civil society…

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