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Photo: Dr Kathryn Anne Cornwell

The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda has as one of its central goals (SDG 16) to promote peaceful and inclusive societies based on respect for human rights, the rule of law and transparent, effective and accountable institutions. If this goal, as well as the SDGs’ core principle of ‘leave no-one behind’ are to be met, the most marginalised people, in particular women, girls, and minorities need to participate in monitoring and accountability of development goals and targets. A participatory process that enables personal empowerment, collective alliance building, awareness of rights, and enhanced capabilities for political engagement is necessary. For this to be effective, collective action for accountability should go hand in hand with advocacy efforts to influence policy and practice of national and local governments, private sectors, civil society organisations, and development organisations.

We are currently seeing the development community not only engage with the 2030 agenda, influencing the development goals and milestones, but also facilitate participatory engagement and action of marginalized communities to assure accountability.

The Oxfam-Monash Partnership research under the Accountability thematic area is focussing on questions around what relationships are required between governments, the private sector, civil society and communities to guide inclusive, sustainable development, and what development consequences may result from the shifting landscape of development models and actors. The blurring of donor/recipient boundaries and the relationships between changing aid and development models and shrinking civil space are having a meaningful impact on development as a whole and need to be better understood; the changing paradigms of aid and development require further research to develop new accountability frameworks for understanding key questions around development effectiveness, and the emerging South-South momentum around aid and sustainable development.

Research outputs and outcomes:

We are currently completing research to identify the impact of sourcing practices that lead to poor wage and working conditions of the women making clothes in production countries.