Literature review of gender-transformative change and social accountability

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This is a Working Paper prepared as part of the research award; Gender-transformative social accountability for inclusive WASH, implemented in partnership by the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney, World Vision Bangladesh, World Vision Australia and the University of Rajshahi. The research project is funded under The Water for Women Fund, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade being
delivered as part of Australia’s Aid Program.

Gender-transformative social accountability for inclusive WASH research project explores the contribution of social accountability to inclusive water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), with a focus on improving water service levels in rural Bangladesh.

Whilst social accountability is proven to be effective in strengthening governance and service delivery outcomes across multiple sectors including WASH (UNDP 2013), there is a gap in understanding whether such approaches lead to gender and social inclusion outcomes (Domingo, P. et al 2015), and in turn, the effectiveness of gender-transformative social accountability for sustainable WASH.

The research award considers how social accountability practice can be gender and socially inclusive, and what contribution this approach may offer to gender transformation and strengthening of sector systems for sustainable inclusive WASH.

The research contributes to World Vision Bangladesh (WVB) implementation of Citizen Voice and Action (CVA). CVA is an approach which mobilises and equips citizens to monitor and advocate for the improvement of government services. The research provides learning in adaptive and iterative practice and assessment of outcomes of gender-transformative social accountability.

This Working Paper has been prepared in the first phase of the research project to inform research design and consideration of gender-transformative change in the context of social accountability. We seek to explore the ‘gender-transformative change’ as defined through a range of gender studies literature and current and emerging development practice and consider the application of this thinking to social accountability.


Winterford, K., Megaw, T., Gero, A. (2020). Literature review of gender-transformative change and social accountability. Gender transformative social accountability - Working Paper 1. Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney.


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