What do we know about transparency and non-electoral accountability? An interactive tool mapping evidence from the last ten years.

The evidence review focuses on non-electoral pathways to change, which link information provision and transparency to greater accountability. The online tool focus on two pathways: 1) Within-government accountability: What is the impact of information provision on within-government accountability actors? 2) Citizen-government accountability: What is the impact of information provision on the actions of citizens holding non-elected officials accountable?

Users can search the evidence base by selecting contexts and characteristics relevant to the governance systems where they work. This “solutions in context” approach as well as the evidence review is available in a forthcoming report, which also reviews evidence on a third pathway: Norms and standards: What is the impact of international norms and standards on the actions of accountability actors? Feedback welcome (mitgovlab@mit.edu).

Information and Non-Electoral Accountability: Evidence Review Tool Tutorial.

How to search for studies relevant to your interests. Which government actors do you want to hold accountable? Select different government actors in the “Whose behavior do you want to change?” and “Government level” filter. Who has power (or whom do you want) to hold them accountable? Select actors –citizens, government, politician– in the “Who is doing the change?” filter. Additional filters allow you to sort by sector, urban/rural, type of information intervention, and research methods.

How to expand your search to comparable countries. You can also look at solutions in context based on similar countries. A comparable country depends on which accountability actors you choose. Comparable countries are calculated using 10 governance characteristics, including rule of law, economic development, strength of institutions and civic society, social capital, and regime type. The country compare tool uses a distance matrix and is limited by data availability. The tool is a pilot and does not consider subnational variation.

How to interpret and share your results. Rows in the table show types of information provided to actors working to hold government accountable (e.g. civic duties and responsibilities; government resources). Columns in the table show what the study measures, (e.g. ability and effort to hold government accountable; government accountability and performance). Once you submit a query, hover over the circles to see the relevant studies. Click the circle to download a report of the papers and summaries.