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[Hub Hosted Event] Strengthening Public Accountability: Lessons from Practice

  • Open Gov Hub 1110 Vermont Ave NW Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 USA (map)

This is an event hosted at Open Gov Hub by some of our members and network.

You are invited to join Chemonics, the International Budget Partnership, and Root Change for a panel event on innovations in strengthening accountability, including insights from the USAID/Nigeria Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) project.

Are public actors accountable for delivering inclusive and equitable public services and rights? Is this possible within complex systems of actors, institutions, and other factors? Today, programs such as USAID's Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) in Nigeria are increasingly turning to accountability ecosystems to inform democracy and governance interventions. Innovative ideas and practice have evolved the thinking, yet there are still only a handful of program examples on which much of this understanding rests. In other words, while the theory behind the new consensus in development is sound, we still need to test these innovations in the field and learn from the results. Furthermore, these new insights have brought about important shifts in context, as many countries see economic growth alongside continuing corruption and increased restrictions on civic activism and engagement. In these contexts, the question that arises is what are the most effective ways to contribute to positive change public accountability in challenging circumstances?

Charles Abani, Chief of Party, Chemonics International

Charles Abani has more than 20 years of experience in community development and governance, working with marginalized communities in sub-Saharan Africa to encourage dialogue and partnerships. With a background in cross-sector and integrated governance, Mr. Abani currently serves as chief of party of the Nigeria Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE) program, which supports local civil society organizations and promotes transparency and good governance. He previously worked with disenfranchised groups to overcome political and social problems and influence democratic reforms. Previously, Mr. Abani led a DFID-funded governance program that supported improved equitable access to quality services and accountability at the local level.

Evan Bloom, Co-Founder and Managing Partner for Innovation, Root Change

Evan Bloom sets strategic direction for Root Change's organizational strengthening initiatives and action research agenda. He loves to tinker in the Root Change "lab" on new capacity building technologies and to exchange ideas with local changemakers. Evan has worked in the field of international development and community development for over 30 years. Before founding Root Change, he served as the Vice President for Capacity Building at Pact. From 1996 to 2008, Evan authored one of the most widely used capacity diagnostic tools in international development, co-founded the global action network, Impact Alliance, researched localization strategies and introduced network analysis applications to the development sector. Today, he teaches innovation and strategic partnering at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California and leadership at Emory University. 

Brendan Halloran, Head of Strategy and Learning, International Budget Partnership 

Brendan Halloran is the Head of Strategy and Learning at the International Budget Partnership (IBP), where he supports strategy and learning processes. He focuses on complex change dynamics and how to support organizations to both navigate and strengthen their accountability ecosystems. Prior to joining IBP in 2016, Brendan lead the learning work of the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, where he helped shape and interpret evidence about what works and supported collective learning spaces. Brendan spent five years living, researching and working in Guatemala, including as a Governance Advisor for USAID. Brendan has a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

Sharon Van Pelt, Director of Democracy and Governance Practice, Chemonics International 

Sharon Van Pelt brings 25 years of experience in policy dialogue, transparency, local governance, civil society, conflict and violence prevention, and peace building. In 2002, she received the USAID Meritorious Honor Award for advancing policy dialogue and reform on decentralization and transparency in a difficult political environment. Ms. Van Pelt previously worked in Guatemala, Moldova, and Sri Lanka on policy reform as well as for USAID and UNDP, as well as chief of party for a civil society and media project in Moldova. She has also directed governance efforts worldwide, including Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America