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Accepted Paper:

Accessing public services in fragile governance settings – the case of disadvantaged citizens in Myanmar, Nigeria and Zimbabwe  
Maria Josep Cascant-Sempere (Jaume I University (Spain)) Talatu Aliyu (Christian Aid UK) Judith Kaulem (Poverty Reduction Forum Trust) Wai Hlaing Soe (Christian Aid) Giant Mudimba (Christian Aid) Uzochukwu Amakom (University of Nigeria) Seng Lawn Dan (Kachinland Research Centre)

Paper short abstract:

This research seeks to understand how inclusive governance takes place in fragile countries, in particular, comparing how state (and non-state) actors respond to the demands of disadvantaged citizens (e.g. people with disabilities) for public services in Myanmar, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Paper long abstract:

Myanmar, Nigeria and Zimbabwe are countries where states show a low capacity to respond to and be accountable to citizen demands and where civil society has very limited space to manoeuvre. This restricts the capacity of disadvantaged groups to access public services and related decision-making. The WJP Rule of Law (2020) index locates the three countries in positions 119, 112 and 108 of the worldwide table, with position 128 being the worst case for the rule of law. Civicus’ report on the State of Civil Society (2020) lists the three countries in the category of ‘repressed’ civil society.

The research strand of the 3-year programme ECID (, funded by FCDO, seeks to understand how inclusive governance takes place in fragile countries. What similarities and differences exist in the three countries regarding the challenges of official state responses to the demands of the disadvantaged citizens targeted in ECID (mainly people living with disabilities, but also rural women living in remote areas, adolescents, drug users, female sex workers, people living with HIV/Aids, internally displaced people and LGBT+ communities)? Why does the state respond to some citizen demands while it leaves others unattended? How do these reasons and actors compare between the countries? What non-state actors (e.g. traditional institutions, rival political factions) exist that respond to these citizen demands when the official state does not?

This paper will present a comparative analysis of the mixed-methods research pieces in the three countries, with empirical case studies. Some short videos may be presented.

Panel P18c
Governance at the margins: Understanding public authority in FCVAS III
  Session 1 Thursday 1 July, 2021, -