Evaluation Of Citizens’ Voice & Accountability – Review Of The Literature & Donor Approaches Report

O’Neill, T., Foresti, M. and Hudson, A. (2007) Evaluation of Citizens’ Voice and Accountability: Review of the Literature and Donor Approaches. London: DFID.

Excerpt

1.3 A core group of DAC partners are collaborating on a joint evaluation of development
aid for strengthening citizens’ voice and the accountability of public institutions. The
Overseas Development Institute has been contracted to undertake the first stage of
this evaluation, which involves the development and piloting of an evaluation
framework. This literature review is the first output from this first phase. It aims to: (i)
review the theoretical debates on voice and accountability and how they relate to
development; (ii) review the different donor approaches to supporting voice and
accountability and identify commonalities and differences across contexts; (iii)
provide an overview of evaluation theory and practice in relation to voice and
accountability interventions; and (iv) identify key knowledge gaps in relation to the
effectiveness of donors in supporting voice and accountability.

1.4 This review has three main sections. Section 2 surveys the academic literature to
present current thinking on what voice and accountability means, how they operate in
practice and how they relate to the achievement of broader development objectives.
Section 3 turns to the donors’ own understanding of voice and accountability as set
out in their relevant policy and guidance documents. It discusses how the donors see
voice and accountability contributing to their poverty reduction mandates and what
approaches they have adopted to strengthen them, including in different contexts.
Section 4 considers the main issues relating to the evaluation of interventions to
strengthen voice and accountability. It first reviews some of the methodological
debates in the theoretical literature before summarising the donors’ own evaluative
efforts in this field, identifying both common findings and key gaps in their
knowledge.

Contents:
1. Introduction 1
2. Voice and Accountability: A view from the literature 3
Voice and accountability: a basic static model 3
Voice and accountability: a complex dynamic reality 5
Relating voice and accountability to other key concepts 6
Voice, accountability and development outcomes 9
3. Voice and accountability: A view from the donors 13
Why do donors want to strengthen voice and accountability? 13
What strategies do donors adopt for strengthening voice and accountability? 18
Do donor approaches take account of context? 25
4. Evaluating voice and accountability 29
Approaches and frameworks for evaluating voice and accountability interventions 29
What have donors learnt about their effectiveness? 36
5. Conclusions 47
Annexes 49
References 53

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