Current Projects

  • Directs the Accountability Research Center at the School of International Service, an action-research incubator focused on partnerships with public interest groups and policy reformers in the global South. See
  • Rethinking “Accountability Keywords”
  • Comparative analysis of participatory oversight institutions
  • Coordinates, with Prof. Rachel Sullivan Robinson & Prof. Naomi Hossain, comparative research on “sandwich strategies” for reform in the global South, with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Selected past projects:

  • Article with Prof. Xochitl Bada: “Persistent Rurality in Mexico and “the Right to Stay Home”
  • Steering committee member, “Action for Empowerment and Accountability,” a five year research consortium led by the Institute of Development Studies, with support from UK Department of International Development (2017-2022).
  • Meta-analysis of social accountability research, published in World Development, No, 72, August 2015 – abridged version of Global Partnership for Social Accountability Working Paper No. 1, Sept. 2014, recently translated into Spanish, French and Arabic
  • Founding member of the International Expert Panel of the Independent Reporting Mechanism, which is part of the Open Government Partnership. The IRM assesses governments’ followup in response to their own policy commitments to increase public access to information. Termed out: 2016
  • Member of editorial committee of a Mexican public interest website, “Subsidios al Campo,” that explains how agricultural programs work, and who gets what – with 21 million plus hits since its launch in 2008 (2.0 version launched in 2010). See also a 2012 case study by the International Budget Partnership and and an Informacion Civica blog
  • Co-edited and wrote 2013 introduction to “Voices of Indigenous Oaxacan Youth in the Central Valley: Forging our Sense of Belonging in California” – the bilingual product of a participatory action-research partnership with Oaxacan-origin young adults in the Central Valley, supported by the Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California.
  • Edited 2013 action-research report: Latino Youth Civic Mobilization: Broadening the Electorate in Central California, on the work of a team of UCSC students who spent the summer of 2012 registering voters in the San Joaquin Valley (published in both English and Spanish in 2013, by the UCSC Chicano-Latino Research Center)Editing a research monograph series that presents new empirical research on Mexican rural development issues, Mexican Rural Development Reports, sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
  • Policy research on the weakness of high school voter registration practices in California, including support for student action-research. See a policy brief, “How Can High Schools Help to Increase Voter Registration?,” published by the Center for Collaborative Research for an Equitable California (April 2012).
  • Research on immigrant civic engagement, including co-coordinating a researcher-practitioner US-Mexico dialogue  development and migration (sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and reported in Presencia_Michoacana 2011) and documentation of naturalization trends among Latin American permanent residents.
  • Conceptual project involving rethinking past research on clientelism, in an effort to disentangle continuity and change in the politicization of relationships between  state and society.