Skip to content


DFID’s Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) research programme

Donors need quality evidence to say what works and what doesn’t to support the empowerment of citizens and hold governments to account. This is a concern for DFID (the UK Department for International Development) – and particularly in how its aid is delivered in fragile, conflict and violence-affected settings. Since 2016, Itad has delivered high quality research which is starting to help DFID – and their partners – to think more clearly and programme in a smarter way.


Itad plays a key role in a five-year DFID-funded research empowerment and accountability programme.  Led by the Institute of Development Studies, this research is looking at critical development issues concerned with the empowerment of citizens and accountability of government authorities in fragile, conflict and violence-affected settings.  

The research is being carried out in two phases. 

  • During the first phase (2016-18), we carried out joint research with Oxfam looking at what worked well and what didn’t work well in large scale DFID flagship programmes in Myanmar, Nigeria and Tanzania. Our published research was innovative in how we framed an understanding of the programmes – looking at the different but interlinked elements of programme delivery, management and governance.  
  • Moving into the second phase (2019-20) we are now building on this research by looking at how different donors are working together – or not – in how they understand the local politics in fragile and conflict settings, how they design programmes, what activities they support and how they adapt to changes. Our research is being conducted in Mozambique, Nigeria and Pakistan. It will lead to a further set of published research by the end of 2020. 


Contact Nateisha Decruz-Young ( if you would like to discuss this project.


Image © Training Families to Help Themselves. Photo Credit: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Team members
Nateisha Decruz-Young Richard Burge Melanie Punton