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The African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (ACCEDE) is a research unit dedicated to constructive but critical examination of questions of governance and development from a citizen-centred viewpoint, prioritising the role of grassroots organisations and movements in their quest for more inclusive, democratic policies.

ACCEDE's research framework rests on defined research interests that are encapsulated in funded research programmes, as listed below. The overall research programme highlights service delivery as a mechanism for exploring the interface between government strategies and policies towards upliftment of the poor, as well as the normalisation of current systems of resource distribution at the level of local government.

As such, ACCEDE’s research focuses on what we describe as the ‘hidden’ layer of policy making and implementation, which we believe to be the level at which local government officials must interpret and embody broadly defined policies relating to infrastructural development, social housing, water and sanitation provision and upgrading, among many others.

It is this layer of policy which requires the most input and active participation of citizens, and it is yet frequently the most neglected aspect of the policy implementation process, despite national and provincial policies outlining a different, rose-coloured glasses scenario of citizen inclusion and input, as well as citizen accountability in terms of final policy implementation outcomes.