Our Work

Delivering excellence in social development consultancy and research


Why we work on governance, voice and accountability

Work on governance, voice and accountability is a key part of SDDirect’s practice. We support citizens and communities, particularly people from vulnerable or excluded groups, to become empowered to make choices about their own development – and to act on these choices. We engage with communities, government, business and other critical players to foster a culture of active citizenship.

Our approach

We apply a social inclusion and gender equality lens to everything we do. We aim to expand the access of poor and marginalised people to the knowledge, resources, assets and capabilities required to:

  • make their voices heard in decision-making and policy change
  • negotiate with political and economic elites
  • realise their rights and exercise their responsibilities
  • secure responsiveness and accountability from public and private sector duty-bearers around public services and rights protection

Building effective states to protect people’s rights and provide security, inclusive economic growth and more accountable public services is an important focus of our work. However, more effective states are only one part of the solution for better governance and accountability. Markets, business, aid agencies, NGOs and other non-state institutions have increasing influence on the lives of poor and vulnerable people, particularly in conflict and fragile state environments. As a result, SDDirect engages with a wide range of stakeholders from government, business and civil society to promote active citizenship and more responsive institutions.

On the ‘demand side’ of governance and accountability, SDDirect provides technical and capacity-building support to people’s organisations that play a critical role in securing more inclusive governance. This includes community-based organisations, NGOs and social movements. We work with these organisations to– mobilise poor and socially excluded people through formal and informal organisations or networks; amplify their voices in public deliberations; convene dialogue between citizens, government and business; and take forward agendas for pro-poor change. On the ‘supply side,’ SDDirect supports governments, parliaments, judiciaries, security bodies and public service providers to be more accountable, responsive and inclusive.

In addition to the services we offer across all of our thematic areas, in the GVA field, we have particular skills and experience in:

  • Facilitation of dialogue, participatory processes and stakeholder feedback
  • Advice and facilitation support to multi-stakeholder partnership building
  • Capacity-building and institutional development advice

Examples of current and previous work in governance, voice and accountability:

  • Implementation and Analysis in Action of Accountability Programme (IAAAP), Somalia, 2015-2020
  • Research Study on the Development and Implementation of the BRAC Strategic Partnership Arrangement, 2014-2015
  • Voices for Change (V4C), Nigeria, DFID, 2012-2017
  • Reducing Maternal and Child Mortality in South Africa through Strengthening Primary Health Care (RMCH), DFID/South African Government, 2012-2015
  • Final evaluation of the Pro-Poor Integrity Programme (PPI), Integrity Action, 2013
  • Technical Assistance to the Namibia Social Accountability in Education Project, UNICEF/Government of Namibia, 2012
  • Empowerment and Accountability Topic Guide, Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, DFID, 2011
  • Design of the Africa Regional Empowerment and Accountability Programme, DFID, 2011
  • Support to DFID in the Preparation of Guidance Notes on Empowerment and Accountability, DFID, 2010
  • Mwananchi citizen engagement programme Mid-Term Review, DFID, 2010
  • DFID Working Paper 34 - Measuring Change and Results in Voice and Accountability, DFID, 2009