The Case for an Adaptive Approach to Empowerment and Accountability Programming in Fragile Settings: Synthesis report - Christie and Green (2019)


This paper brings together three case studies of large Department for International Development (DFID) governance projects in Myanmar, Nigeria, and Tanzania. It forms part of a larger research programme on social and political action towards empowerment and accountability in fragile, conflict and violence-affected settings (FCVAS). The paper argues that external actors are increasingly adopting an adaptive approach to empowerment and accountability (E&A) programming, whatever the setting. For the authors, this means using a compass rather than map, where real-time political economy analysis (PEA) in relation to context and programme monitoring and evidence-informed learning in relation to intervention are used in combination and in shorter-than-usual planning cycles to maintain and adapt strategic direction. The paper also offers a useful typology to distinguish between different levels of adaptation: adaptive governance, adaptive programming, and adaptive delivery.