Transparency and Accountability in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings
Over the past 10 years, there have been numerous meta-studies and syntheses of the impact and effectiveness of transparency and accountability initiatives (TAIs), many of which attempt to incrementally add value to the existing evidence base or offer new perspectives on existing conclusions. These studies are almost unanimous in their conclusion that little of practical or replicable value is known, much less in fragile and conflict-affected situations. Much of the literature on TAIs focuses on the effectiveness of implementation, rather than on their broader impact. There are few comparative studies that look across various cases and which allow for general conclusions to be extrapolated. Furthermore, most TAIs are based on rather optimistic assumptions about what they are able to achieve, rather than on well-developed theories of change, and few studies pay sufficient attention to context, which is crucial for understanding how such initiatives play out in fragile and conflict-affected settings.