Resilient Roots

Our VISION

Resilient Roots enables the CIVICUS alliance to drive a global shift in civil society culture, where accountability to our communities and staff becomes a core, cross-cutting and continuous practice, irrespective of an organisation’s size, approach or context.

Resilient Roots is an initiative working to promote and enhance the constituent accountability of civil society organisations, including CIVICUS itself.

In other words, this means the strengthening of policies and practices that enable an organisation’s constituents - the people and communities it serves and supports, plus its own staff - to have greater influence in its decisions and activities. It also involves the organisation constantly working to be more responsive to the needs of these constituents. Overall, these efforts can make an organisation more effective, trusted, and resilient.

Building on an initial 2.5 year pilot phase, Resilient Roots currently aims to support and influence the accountability practices of an increasingly large and diverse group of civil society actors across the CIVICUS alliance and wider sector. We are primarily doing this by integrating constituent accountability policies and practices into and across the organisation’s teams, projects and member communities.

Our Learning Corner

How youth-led initiatives practice constituent accountability

Youth leaders from India and South Africa share how they've been practicing accountability to the individuals, communities and groups that their work serves and supports (otherwise known as their constituents).

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Primary Constituent Accountability

Resilient Roots partners share how Primary Constituent Accountability has added value to their organisations and to the work they do with their primary constituents.

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Our Approach

Learn how accountability works in different contexts

Continue to improve the understanding of CIVICUS members and staff about the role accountability plays in enhancing civil society effectiveness, and the ways accountability is achieved and maintained in different contexts. This includes via dedicated peer-learning spaces and activities.

Here, we have continued to grow the Dynamic Accountability Community of Practice, supported the I4C network to assess the accountability of its governance structures, and published stories from the original Resilient Roots pilot partners about the ways they are continuing to deepen their accountability practice.

You can read about these stories and everything else we're learning via Resilient Roots articles featured in the CIVICUS blog.

Outcomes from the Pilot Phase

During 2.5 years of testing, reflecting and pushing the constituent accountability agenda forward, Resilient Roots published numerous think pieces to capture our lessons learned and resources to help other organisations take action on accountability. 

This included in-depth research that revealed a complex but clear connection between constituent accountability and organisational resilience in the face of closing civic space. A summary of our methodology, key findings, two real world case studies and more is available here

You can also read an external evaluation of this phase of the initiative, to find out what we achieved and recommendations for how to continue this work (also available in Spanish).

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Glossary

Unclear about some of the language and concepts Resilient Roots is using? A glossary of key terms is available in English, French, and Spanish.
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Contact the team at

You can also read more about what accountability means to us and how we’re building it into our work, in the CIVICUS Accountability Framework.

Resilient Roots is made possible thanks to the support of the Ford Foundation.