Voice, Empowerment and Accountability

Refugees from Guinea speaking at a local radio station in Cote d’Ivoire about the problems they face (Photo: Ami Vitale / World Bank)
Topic Guide

Voice, empowerment and accountability (VEA) interventions aim to support poor and marginalised people to build the resources, assets, and capabilities they need to exercise greater choice and control over their own development, and to hold decision-makers to account. This guide provides an overview of the best available evidence on the impact of VEA interventions. It identifies what we know about the barriers to VEA in different contexts, and emerging lessons on how to address them.


Concepts and debates

Effectiveness and impact of VEA: the evidence

Approaches, tools and frameworks


About this topic guide

The research for this guide was undertaken by Emilie Combaz (GSDRC, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute; emilie@gsdrc.org) and Claire Mcloughlin (GSDRC, University of Birmingham; claire@gsdrc.org). Its production was supported by the UK Department for International Development.

GSDRC appreciates the contributions of Maggie Carroll and Clare Ferguson (DFID); Becky Carter, Róisín Hinds, Brian Lucas and Anna Strachan (GSDRC); Roy Daley and Rubina Jasani (HCRI); external advisers Simon M. Brook (Oxford Policy Management) and Francis Watkins (Social Development Consultant); gender reviewer Andrea Cornwall (University of Sussex); and freelance writer Eleanor Chowns, who helped write summaries of references.

Suggested citation

Combaz, E. and Mcloughlin, C., (2014). Voice, empowerment and accountability: Topic guide. Birmingham, UK: GSDRC, University of Birmingham.

Image: Refugees from Guinea speak at a local radio station in Cote d’Ivoire about the problems they face (Ami Vitale / World Bank)


Executive summary