This report was originally posted by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative as part of the Learning from Evidence series.

Transparency – or access to information about the responsibilities and actions of those in government – is widely viewed as a prerequisite for effective democratic governance. Various studies testify to the results made possible by transparency initiatives, particularly in the context of democratic elections. Yet there is relatively scarce evidence to explore the effects of transparency on non-electoral accountability or to inform practitioner and policy-maker investments in strengthening accountable democratic governance.

These evidence syntheses offer a conceptual framework to understand the causal mechanisms and types of information interventions to enhance accountability and to identify gaps in the evidence base. The report discusses the quality of evidence examined and the implications of these findings to help us develop more nuanced models for understanding the relationship between transparency and accountability.

These evidence syntheses are part of the Learning from Evidence series, a learning process undertaken by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative to engage with and utilize the evolving evidence base on the support of our members’ transparency and accountable governance goals. We are pleased to have partnered with MIT’s Governance Lab and Twaweza on this initiative.

Header image of a suggestion box in Kenya by Lindsay Bremner on Flickr