An annotated bibliography of literature and websites


February 2011

Update February 2018














Bradshaw, S.

Gender and Social Accountability Ensuring women’s inclusion  in citizen-led accountability programming relating to extractive industries. Oxfam America, 2016.

This report seeks to identify gender bias in programming aimed at contesting power in “accountability politics.” That is, it focuses on citizen-led social accountability efforts that largely operate outside formal electoral politics. The study consists of reviewing the literature and taking stock of existing Oxfam and international nongovernmental organization (INGO) gendered social accountability and active citizenship initiatives. It aims to generate a set of recommendations by which Oxfam can ensure that its programming around citizen-led accountability, related to its work on extractive industries, is gender sensitive.


Goetz, A.; Jenkins, R.

Accountability to women in development spending. Experiments in service-delivery audits at the local level. Brighton / London: Mimeo, Institute of Development Studies / Birkbeck College, 2002.

What matters to consumers of public services is local-level accountability. Local monitoring and auditing is the only way to ensure commitments on paper at the local and national level - particularly in areas of concern to women - are translated into practice. Local-level analysis and activity make it easier to identify the impact of spending patterns, to understand the use of resources at local government level, and to pick up on corruption and mis-spending of funds. This paper shows how groups in India hold governments accountable for their spending and the delivery of public services. Gender-sensitive analysis and monitoring of this spending at the local level can give women the tools to campaign and lobby directly for money that should go to them and their families. Citizens can participate in monitoring spending in two key areas: decentralised local government budgets and large development programmes. These are the areas in which women and the poor most closely engage with public sector spending programmes. In India, some village assemblies have gained the power to examine annual budget statements and to audit reports. However, many challenges are still faced and women are often sidelined with the local administration, local politicians and many male citizens colluding in order to divert funds intended for women's benefit.


Murthy, R.K.

Accountability to citizens on gender and health. Chennai, 2007.

Background paper prepared for the Women and Gender Equity Knowledge Network of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health. This paper reviews the practice of accountability to citizens on gender and health, draws out lessons, assesses gaps, and recommends strategies. Through a review of literature, the paper examines who within the health sector is held accountable, to whom (amongst citizens), with regard to what, and how accountability is operationalised.


United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
Progress of the world's women 2008/2009. Who answers to women? gender and accountability. Unifem, 2008.

UNIFEM's biennial flagship report argues that realising women's rights and achieving the Millennium Development Goals depends on strengthening accountability for commitments to women and gender equality. Progress 2008/2009 demonstrates that for women's rights to translate into substantive improvements in their lives, and for gender equality to be realised in practice, women must be able to fully participate in public decision-making at all levels and hold those responsible to account when their rights are infringed or their needs ignored.

Published at the half-way point to the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs, the report presents the case that women's empowerment and gender equality are drivers for reducing poverty, building food security, reducing maternal mortality, safeguarding the environment, and enhancing the effectiveness of aid.


United Nations Development  Program (UNDP) / United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

A user’s guide to measuring gender-sensitive basic service delivery. UNDP / UNIFEM, 2009.

This guide is intended to contribute to the development and more effective use of gender-sensitive indicators so that services are delivered more efficiently and effectively to women. It should be seen as a generic and basic tool to map and analyse governance of basic service delivery from a gender perspective. It includes indicators and measurement tools developed by multilateral and bilateral agencies as well as by national counterparts. The guide also presents examples of newly developed and innovative measurement initiatives in women's access to public services.







Fick, Glenda

Gender checklist for free and fair elections. Johannesburg: Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), 1999.

Checklist for free and fair elections for the State and authorities responsible for managing an election. Checklist for ensuring gender equality in free and fair elections: political rights, registration of voters, the right to vote, the right to stand for public office, voter education, the right to express political opinions, access to information, the right to campaign, secrecy of the ballot, and review of electoral procedures or decisions.


Ndulo, Muna

Constitutional provisions and enhancing participation of women in elections. UN-OSAGI, 2004.

The Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and the Advancement of Women (OSAGI), organized an Expert Group Meeting on "Enhancing women’s participation in electoral processes in post-conflict countries", in New York, January 2004.

This paper discusses the participation of women in post conflict societies from a perspective of the legislative measures that can be taken to enhance the participation of women. It also considers non legislative measures such as the role of the media. The paper first provides a background on constitutional provisions relevant to elections, next examines the participation of women in elections and the problems they face in their efforts to participate in elections. It then considers legislative approches that have been taken in several countries to increase women participation. It ends with a conclusion that focuses on the chances of achieving the objective of improving women participation in elections.


Woroniuk, B.; Schalkwijk, J.

Electoral support and equality between women and men. Stockholm: SIDA, 1998.







Bell, Emma

Gender and governance. A bibliography. Brighton: BRIDGE, 2001.

Section one of the bibliography lists general texts on the State and good governance. This is followed by references for donor policy documents. The rest of the bibliography is organised to reflect the central tenets of good governance: effective public management; government accountability; and rights, policy and the rule of law. Owing to a paucity of materials, a fourth aspect of good governance, transparency through freedom of information, free media and association, is covered in other sections and does not feature separately.


Bell, Emma

National machineries for women in development. Experiences, lessons and strategies for institutionalising gender in development policy and planning. Brighton: BRIDGE, 2002 (Report 66).

What are national governments doing to promote the status of women? Governments have created women’s committees, divisions, and bureaux, but have these had any impact? This report reviews the experience of these so-called “national women’s machineries” (NWM), drawing on cases from developing countries. The mandates, status and effectiveness of NWMs have been constrained by lack of commitment and funding from governments. In order to be more effective, NWMs must restructure themselves so that women’s concerns are fully mainstreamed into the strategies and activities of both governments and NGOs.


Equal Opportunities Commission (United Kingdom)

Mainstreaming gender equality in local government. A framework. 1997.

This document provides a framework and synthesis of a research report entitled Mainstreaming gender equality in local government. It involved case study research in a number of local authorities in Britain and in three other European Union (EU) member states: Ireland, Italy and Sweden. On the basis of this research, a framework has been developed to facilitate the process of mainstreaming gender equality in local government.. The framework examines: why local authorities should mainstream equal opportunities; how mainstreaming should be established as a corporate strategy; how mainstreaming should be developed as; how the mainstreaming strategy should be implemented; how the strategy should be monitored, evaluated and reviewed.

International Union of Local Authorities (IULA)

Worldwide Declaration on Women in Local Government. Harare: IULA, 1998.$File/Guide_EN.pdf  P. 71.

On 25 November 1998, in Harare, Zimbabwe, the IULA Worldwide Declaration on Women in Local Government was endorsed by the IULA World Executive Committee and launched at a special meeting attended by some 100 local government representatives from around the world and by the local press. With declarations about the local government as a service provider and enabler of sound living conditions, and as an employer in a strategic position to influence local society.

Also available in French (Union Internationale des Villes et Pouvoirs Locaux).


Jaeckel, Monika

Advancing governance through peer learning and networking. Lessons learned from grassroots women.

Grassroots women's groups deal with everyday survival issues and the social cohesion of their families and communities. In doing so, they develop the most ingenious solutions to issues like drinking water and sanitation, environmental sustainability, housing, health, responsiveness to natural as well as man made disasters and the eradication of poverty. They hold a valuable knowledge base of first hand knowledge of what works and what does not work on the ground.

In order to learn from this rich reservoir of expertise and to increase the influence of grassroots women's perspectives on public policy, the Huairou Commission with the Support of the LIFE launched the "Our Best Practices Campaign for Local Governance".


Mukhopadhyay, Maitrayee; Meer, Shamim
Creating voice and carving space.  Redefining governance from a gender perspective.
Amsterdam: Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), 2004.

The book focuses on sixteen organisation's initiatives across eight countries in Africa and South Asia. The organisations shared a strategy to negotiate and bargain with the state for recognition, rights, and resources and more equitable sharing of power between women and men. They each investigated how women among marginalised groups could be enabled to stake their claim to participation in governance, and how to create accountability of governance institutions to poor women's interests and rights. The objectives of the programme were to explore what constitutes good governance and inclusive citizenship from a gender perspective and to identify strategies to promote gender equality in governance and enhance citizen participation.

Chapters are devoted to a variety of topics, including:

§  creating voice and carving space

§  women's political representation

§  increasing responsiveness and accountability of governance institutions

§  citizenship

Each chapter also includes a variety of case studies.


Pedwell, C.

Just politics. Women transforming political spaces. OneWorld Action, 2008.

In November 2007, OneWorld Action brought together 40 women and men from north and south for a unique dialogue – Just Politics: Women transforming political spaces. This report summarises the week’s events which explored what difference women in power can make, and how women’s involvement in politics canbe supported and strengthened.

The report focuses on two main themes:

1. Ways to increase women’s political participation

2. Strategies for transforming political spaces.

Much emphasis is placed on accountability.






An overview


Bridge Citizenship cutting edge pack. Brighton: Bridge, 2003.

How are citizenship rights and responsibilities being extended and transformed by struggles for gender equality? How can women and others marginalised by gender participate in and influence the decisions that affect their lives? This pack is a concise, practical resource for policy-makers, practitioners and activists. It demonstrates how gendered understandings of citizenship rights can help development actors promote the participation of all women and men in shaping their societies and communities.

The pack is made up of:

§  Overview report – by Shamim Meer with Charlie Sever. External adviser Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay

§  Supporting resources collection – summaries of key texts, case studies, tools, guidelines and key organisations

§  Gender and Development In Brief bulletin. Also in French

The pack also is available in Spanish.




United Nations - Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW)

Women, nationality and citizenship. New York: UNDAW, 2003.

This report outlines provisions in international instruments and human rights treaties which address discriminatory nationality laws and provides examples of where such instruments have been used. In many states, a wife's nationality is dependent on that of her husband, which can leave women vulnerable in cross-national marriages. Women can also be vulnerable in cases where they retain their own nationality and move to another country, rendering them unable to access citizen rights in the new environment. Women are often not allowed to pass nationality on to their children which has significant implications for custody and security of children. Recommendations focus on how actions at the international and national levels can work with international instruments and amend national laws. They also include gender training for the judiciary and immigration officers and removing the barriers to dual nationality. Recommendations for NGOs include initiating test-cases, disseminating national and international case law and the production of 'shadow' reports to the Committee that oversees the enforcement of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Also available in French:

and Spanish:






An overview


Cutting edge pack on gender and budgets. Brighton: Bridge, 2003.

This pack provides a concise & practical resource, which shows how budgets can be used as a tool to further gender equality.

The pack contains:

§  Overview report - by Helena Hofbauer Balmori (Fundar, Mexico), with support from Debbie Budlender (Community Agency for Social Enquiry, South Africa)

§  Collection of supporting resources - summaries of key texts, case studies and tools, and key organisations

§  Gender and Development In Brief bulletin Also in French

The pack also is available in Spanish.


Budlender, D., Elson, D., Hewitt, G. and Mukhopadhyay, T.

Gender budgets make cents. Understanding gender responsive budgets. London: Commonwealth Secretariat, 2002.

This publication aims to inspire government officials, policy-makers, donor agencies, and civil society groups to engage in gender-responsive budget initiatives by demonstrating both equity and efficiency gains.


Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

Parliament, the budget and gender. IPU, 2004.

This handbook, jointly produced with the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank Institute and the United Nations Fund for Women, was inspired by a series of regional and national seminars on Parliament and the Budgetary Process, Including from a Gender Perspective. Intended as a reference tool, this handbook sets out practical examples of parliament's active engagement in the budgetary process. It seeks to advance parliament's own institutional capacity to make a positive impact on the budget, and to equip parliament, its members and parliamentary staff with the necessary tools to examine the budget from a gender perspective. The Handbook will also serve as a follow-up guide for participants of past and future seminars on the role of parliaments in the budgetary process.


Gender-responsive budgeting in education. Oxford: Oxfam, 2005.

Gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) is an attempt to ensure that gender-related issues are considered and addressed in all government policies. This paper uses the GRB approach to explain how governments and donors can promote gender equality in education through their financing decisions.


Website with a lot of publications: