Beyond Tweets and Screams: Action for Empowerment and Accountability in Nigeria - The Case of #BBOG Movement

This paper explores the nature, role and dynamics of new forms of social and political action as pathways to empowerment and accountability in fragile conflict- and violence-affected settings in Africa. Through an in-depth analysis of the case of the Bring Back Our Girls (#BBOG) movement in Nigeria and a multi-methods approach, the paper provides new knowledge that addresses evidence gaps in the following areas: the multiple ways through which social and political action play out in fragile, conflict- and violence-affected settings; whether the conditions in which new forms of social and political action applicable to fragile, conflict- and violence-affected settings – the settings most dominant in African countries – emerge as currently projected in the literature; and whether these social and political actions necessarily produce accountability and empowerment in fragile, conflict- and violence-affected settings. The study also found that to effectively understand social and political actions in fragile conflict and violence-affected settings, one must take into account the overall, often contradictory, and in many cases, specific complexities of such settings. Neither the settings nor the social and political actions are static or homogenous. Timing, and the specific ways actions are organised and deployed, matter. Furthermore, the ways actions are expressed often change over time and across geographies even in the same national contexts. Studies like this are therefore important efforts to explore and make sense of the intertwined complexities of contexts, actors, actions and methodologies. While acknowledging the multiple and diverse experiences that exist elsewhere, it notes the paucity of research on this phenomenon in Africa.