Voice, empowerment and accountability

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.

About this Topic Guide

GSDRC Topic Guides aim to provide a clear, concise and objective report on findings from rigorous research on critical areas of development policy. Rather than provide policy guidance or recommendations, their purpose is to inform policymakers and practitioners of the key debates and evidence on the topic of focus, to support informed decision-making.

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.