BBL | Citizens, Governance, and Outcomes in India: Lessons and Frontier Issues from the Field

February 10, 2015
Washington DC



The Global Partnership for Social Accountability with the South Asia Unit and the Open and Accountable Governance Unit in the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice present a BBL:


Citizens, Governance, and Outcomes in India: Lessons and Frontier Issues from the Field


Tuesday February 10th, 2015 | 12:30 - 2:00pm | Room J6-050, | 701 18th Street NW, Washington DC | Light lunch will be served


Download the BBL Report here.




Click here to view the presentation made by the presenter


Opening Remarks


Jeff Thindwa
Practice Manager, Governance and Inclusive Institutions, World Bank


Simon O’Meally
Governance Specialist, World Bank


Mark Robinson
Director, Governance, World Resources Institute


Jonathan Fox
Professor, American University


Aheli Chowdhury,

Consultant, World Bank


Seema Thomas
Global Partnership for Social Accountability, World Bank


It is now widely recognized that engaging citizens and other societal actors in development processes is a good thing.  The Bank has recently set a target for citizen engagement in all World Bank projects with clearly identifiable beneficiaries by FY18.  Although this presents a monumental opportunity, it also presents a monumental challenge – there are few magic bullets for ensuring that citizens engage in such a way to further development outcomes.  The stakes are, as such, high. 

This BBL contributes to this important agenda.  It presents emerging findings from a selective and rapid synthesis of key approaches to citizen engagement, accountability and governance reform in India.  India is a hot-bed of activity in this space; and much can be learnt from its experiences. More specifically, the BBL will focus on extracting some of the key policy and practice lessons from this review.  It will also attempt to situate the findings within the global knowledge base in order to identify key ‘frontier’ challenges, which will need to be addressed in order to make the citizen engagement agenda more effective in the coming years. It hopes to spark an open and frank conversation about what needs to be done, and how.  




Jeff Thindwa
Jeff Thindwa, a Malawian national, is Practice Manager in the World Bank’s Governance and Inclusive Institutions Directorate, where he leads the work on Open and Collaborative Governance. Prior to this he was the Manager of the Social Accountability Practice in the World Bank Institute, which he led from December 2010 to June 2012. Mr. Thindwa joined the World Bank in 2000 and has served in various positions including as Team Leader of the Participation & Civic Engagement Cluster and Team Leader of the Global Civil Society Team; and Sr. Social Development Specialist South Asia Region. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked in international development for 17 years, with Civil Society Organizations, and before that as a Legal Aid lawyer for the Government of Malawi, as well as in the private sector. Mr. Thindwa went to Law School at the University of Malawi and University of London King’s College.



Simon O’Meally
Simon O’Meally is a Governance Specialist working in the World Bank’s South Asia Region, based in New Delhi, where he is involved in designing and implementing a range of governance initiatives.  Prior to this, he worked for the World Bank’s Social Development Department where he led work on social accountability and social inclusion. Before joining the Bank, Simon worked for Care International as a Governance Advisor for Eastern and Southern Africa and for the Overseas Development Institute. He has country experience in the DRC, Ethiopia, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. He received his PhD in political economy and development from the University of Manchester, and has a particular interest in the political economy of pro-poor governance, participation and accountability.


Mark Robinson
Mark Robinson is Global Director, Governance at the World Resources Institute, where he manages the Governance Center of Excellence and leads governance work across the various program initiatives of the Institute.  Mark was previously Deputy Director at the UK Department for International Development with responsibilities for professional management, thought leadership and research in the field of governance and conflict.  In earlier roles he served as Team Leader for the Governance Team at the Institute of Development Studies and Program Officer for Governance and Civil Society at the Ford Foundation in New Delhi where he was closely engaged with organizations promoting citizen engagement, transparency and accountability.  Prior to joining WRI in January Mark has been leading an independent evaluation of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability for the World Bank and served as a Principal of the Policy Practice.


Jonathan Fox
Jonathan Fox is a professor at American University, in the School of International Service. His research addresses the relationships between accountability, transparency and citizen participation, and he has carried out field research in rural Mexico since 1982. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Oxfam-America and Fundar (Mexico) and is a member of the International Expert Panel of the Independent Reporting Mechanism of the Open Government Partnership. For access to publications, see:


Roby Senderowitsch 
Roby Senderowitsch is currently serves as Program Manager of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA). Previously he served as Country Manager of the World Bank in the Dominican Republic. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, his work in the Bank included a strong focus on political economy analysis, building coalitions for change, anti-corruption, and performance based management of public institutions. Before joining the Bank, Roby work with several NGOs in Argentina and Cuba, where he served as the Field Representative of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. He has been a lecturer in Human Resource management in nonprofit organizations, as well as director of educational programs and community development and human resource management in the private sector. Roby holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Buenos Aires and a series of postgraduate courses at Harvard and Stanford University.


Video Recording will be made available after the event.




Please RSVP with name and organization to, in order to obtain a visitor pass.


This event is part of the GPSA Brown Bag Lunch series.
More information at:


The GPSA is a Global Partnership of the World Bank Group.