Going Vertical: Citizen-led Reform Campaigns in the Philippines

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The Philippines has a long history of state–society engagement to introduce reforms in government and politics. Forces from civil society and social movements have interfaced with reform-oriented leaders in government on a range of social accountability initiatives – to make governance more responsive, to introduce policy reforms, and to make government more accountable.

Several theoretical propositions on which strategic approaches work best for social accountability initiatives have been put forward – including the idea of vertically integrated civil society monitoring and advocacy. This multi-authored research report uses vertical integration as a framework for examining seven successful civil society social accountability initiatives in the Philippines, looking at what made them successful, and how the gains they realised can be deepened and sustained.

In section 1, Joy Aceron and Francis Isaac set the scene for the research, explaining the background to the study, case study selection, and the use of vertical integration as a conceptual framework.

In section 2, Jonathan Fox introduces vertical integration and discusses some of the important propositions about why it is effective.

In section 3, Joy Aceron discusses the evolution of civil society and social accountability initiatives in the Philippines.

In section 4, Benedict Nisperos, Marlon Cornelio, Danilo Carranza, Frederick Vincent Marcelo, Rhia Muhi and Romeo Saliga present overviews of the seven case studies, which focus on civil society led reform initiatives in education, agriculture, housing, mining, indigenous rights, reproductive health and disaster resilience.

In section 5, Isaac and Aceron draw together the report by synthesising lessons about vertically integrated social accountability reform campaigns.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: studying vertically integrated approaches to citizen-led reforms
  • Doing accountability differently: Vertically integrated civil society policy monitoring and advocacy
  • Contextualising vertical integration in Philippine civil society
  • Case study summaries
  • Synthesis: lessons from vertically integrated reform campaigns in the Philippines