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Using Access to Information to Advance Women’s Health Rights: The Case of Legal Abortion in Brazil

The International Conference on Human Rights, held in Tehran in 1968, established that people have the right to receive adequate education and information related to their sexual and reproductive rights1. Hence, all countries must promote, in every situation, the people’s right to be informed about those issues. Nevertheless, even in countries where legal abortion is guaranteed like Brazil, women still face major restrictions on this right’s fulfilment. In Brazil, abortion is legal under three circumstances: when the pregnancy is resulting ...

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Mission to Mars or Why is it so Impossible to Open Parliaments?

For decades, space agencies have undertaken missions and extensive research to explore Mars’ conditions, so that one day we can achieve the impossible: sending humans to Mars. Back in our own planet, the Earth, practitioners around the world are trying to achieve what seems like another impossible mission: opening parliaments. However, unlike the case of Mars, here we already know what conditions parliaments must meet to be transparent, accountable and open. If the recipe is already there, political will seems ...

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TRUST… BUT VERIFY: Building stronger media collaborations to advance social accountability

“Our school has no books.” Standard six student Esther Chakwana had a poem ready for the morning’s visitors to her rural Malimbwe Primary School in Mitundu District, down a dusty red dirt road about 40 kilometers from Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe: Shyly, she announced its title: “Our school has no books.” Whole classes at Malimbwe shared a single textbook, or had none at all. “How can we learn without books?”, Esther asked in her poem (please see Esther read her poem ...

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Stock-take of the stock-taking: eight somewhat left-field observations on social accountability

Given the enormous popularity of social accountability initiatives (SAcc) and the proliferation of excellent empirical syntheses on the topic that have been produced over the last few years, it may be a good time for taking stock of some of the stock-taking. This is the idea behind a new working paper I just published in the Social Science Research Network. It aims to distil and critically annotate some of the main insights from the evidence reviews already in existence, identify ...

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Bridging the Gap: The Role of Local Churches in Fostering Local-Level Social Accountability and Governance

Local churches are not about the buildings, but about the people who are members of their congregations. These people are integral to, and embedded into, the communities they serve. At their best, churches are places of radical community, where everyone is welcome and relationships are formed across social barriers. They can be safe spaces where people talk to different groups in an environment that promotes trust and understanding. Tearfund is a Christian international NGO, working to combat poverty in over ...

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How Can I Contribute to the Knowledge Platform

You may contribute to the Knowledge Platform in many different ways: you can send and disseminate your social accountability materials (toolkits, reports, videos, etc.) in the knowledge repository; you can contact, interact and collaborate with other peers and join a global community of social accountability practitioners; you can participate in the different learning and knowledge exchange activities of the GPSA KP such as online courses, thematic forums, webinars and blogs; and you can develop a partnership with the GPSA KP to implement collaborative knowledge activities.

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