US Congress Committee on Financial Services that looked into ‘The World Bank’s Disclosure Policy Review and the Role of Democratic Participatory Processes in Achieving Successful Development Outcomes’.

(from the Pelican email list)

Dear all,

In reaction to the message that I sent to you earlier today, Alnoor Ebrahim sent me a link to a recent hearing of the US Congress Committee on Financial Services that looked into ‘The World Bank’s Disclosure Policy Review and the Role of Democratic Participatory Processes in Achieving Successful Development Outcomes’.

At this hearing, he gave a testimony based on the results of research he did into the reforms and accountability efforts undertaken at the World Bank over the past fifteen years, particularly those in which civil society organizations played a significant role. A PDF of the written testimony is available here: <>

The testimonies of all five witnesses (Joseph Stiglitz, Richard Bissell, Vijaya Ramachandran, Thomas Blanton and Alnoor) as well as a video of the hearing are available on this page: <> ,

From: Niels Keijzer/ECDPM

Accountability Principles for Research Organisations

A report by Brendan Whitty,  One World Trust, 2009?

This report

  • develops a framework for analysing accountability from a normative and instrumental perspective
  • allows think-tanks and research institutes to identify and balance their stakeholders;
  • presents guidelines to assist the practical implementation of accountability principles

The versions available

Continue reading “Accountability Principles for Research Organisations”

The Accountability Initiative

The Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi has recently launched its new Accountability Initiative website. The website is designed as a comprehensive source on the state of accountability in India with information on civil society experiments, accountability tool kits, and relevant research and analytical work. The website also aims at showcasing on-going research and projects undertaken at the initiative.

One World Trust on Accountability of Research Organisations

The Accountability Principles of Research Organisations (APRO) report provides a framework for establishing accountability good practices and principles for policy-oriented research organisations working in developing countries. It discusses how One World Trust’s core principles of accountability – participation, transparency, evaluation and complaints handling – can be applied to research. In addition to providing arguments for both the ethical and instrumental need for accountability to a wide range of stakeholders, it also acknowledges the tensions and challenges that different organisations will face in formulating accountability principles.

By drawing on the experiences of sixteen research organisations, which reflect the diversity of evidence-producers in developing countries, the study identified a series of key processes common to most research organisations. For each process, it illustrates the opportunities that exist for research organisations to apply the principles of accountability to interactions with their stakeholders.

The next stage of the APRO project will be to work with partner research organisations to develop, refine and test the accountability guidelines.”

Producing Social Accountability? The Impact of Service Delivery Reforms

Source: Joshi, A., 2008, ‘Producing Social Accountability? The Impact of Service Delivery Reforms’,
IDS Bulletin, Volume 38, Number 6, pp. 10-17(8)
Author: Institute of Development Studies ,
Summary (from GSDRC website)

Which types of state reform improve public services and citizen engagement? How can accountability mechanisms improve service delivery? This Institute of Development Studies (IDS) paper draws on the polity approach, which suggests that the organisation of state institutions influences who engages in collective action and around what issues. Collective action is essential for the poor if direct accountability is to work. Successful cases of social accountability are often the result of alliances that cut across class and public-private divides. Continue reading “Producing Social Accountability? The Impact of Service Delivery Reforms”

Measuring Effectiveness – Participation, Empowerment and Downward Accountability

Date: 25th-26th September
Venue: Melbourne


The annual Measuring Effectiveness conference is now only 6 weeks away. Online registrations are open on the website :

The conference will be held on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th September, 2008 in Melbourne, Australia. This year the conference is being held in partnership with The Australian National University. The 2008 conference will explore the themes of “Participation, Empowerment and Downward Accountability.”

The sessions will include case studies & panel discussions on these themes as well as looking at geographical activities in Asia, the Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean.
The draft conference schedule and session summaries will be available on the conference website within the next few days.
Continue reading “Measuring Effectiveness – Participation, Empowerment and Downward Accountability”

Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness

Date: 2-4 September 2008
Venue: Accra, Ghana,

In September 2008, ministers from over 100 countries, heads of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, donor organizations, and civil society organizations from around the world will gather in Accra for the Third High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (2-4 September). Their common objective is to help developing countries and marginalized people in their fight against poverty by making aid more transparent, accountable and results-oriented. The Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (Third HLF) will:

  • review progress in improving aid effectiveness
  • broaden the dialogue to newer actors
  • chart a course for continuing international action on aid effectiveness

3rd annual Measuring Effectiveness conference:’Participation, Empowerment and Downward Accountability’.


The 3rd annual Measuring Effectiveness conference will be held in Melbourne, on Thursday 25th & Friday 26th September, 2008.

We sincerely hope that you will again be inspired to attend this important event. This year sees World Vision Australia and The Australian National University partnering to bring you a conference themed around ‘Participation, Empowerment and Downward Accountability’.

Attached is the call for papers, requested for submission by Friday 20th June, 2008. That gives you 8 weeks to submit your paper. Competition is increasing each year, so please ensure that you meet this deadline to ensure your paper is given full consideration. For all further details please refer to the attached. Please also distribute this amongst your colleagues and networks who may also be interested.

Conference updates will be posted regularly on the World Vision website, and registrations will again be managed online.We will endeavour to have the conference brochure available online in late May 08, and the final draft conference program, outlining the speakers/presenters and session outlines, available online by late August 08. Further email correspondence will also be sent out in the coming months, however the best source of informatoin will be the website so please check this regularly. You will also find information and papers from previosu ME conferences, as well as other development conferences.

Please distribute this email amongst your colleagues and networks who may also be interested.


Melissa Cadwell | Program Coordinator |
Program Effectiveness | World Vision Australia
phone / fax: +61 3 9287 2769
Email :

Website :

Monday Developments issue on NGO accountability

(via Niels Keijzer on the Pelikan email list)

The December 2007 issue of Monday Developments, a monthly magazine
published by InterAction (the largest coalition of NGOs in the United
States), explores key accountability issues for NGOs. Through various
angles, the issue looks into “(…) the conflicts organizations face with
scarce resources, demanding missions and the need to evaluate progress and

The articles include views on the topic from development donors, the
Humanitarian Accountability Project, the importance of listening for
accountability, implications for evaluation standards and practice,
downward accountability, …

You can download the magazine here:

Evaluation Of Citizens’ Voice & Accountability – Review Of The Literature & Donor Approaches Report

O’Neill, T., Foresti, M. and Hudson, A. (2007) Evaluation of Citizens’ Voice and Accountability: Review of the Literature and Donor Approaches. London: DFID.


1.3 A core group of DAC partners are collaborating on a joint evaluation of development
aid for strengthening citizens’ voice and the accountability of public institutions. The
Overseas Development Institute has been contracted to undertake the first stage of
this evaluation, which involves the development and piloting of an evaluation
framework. This literature review is the first output from this first phase. It aims to: (i)
review the theoretical debates on voice and accountability and how they relate to
development; (ii) review the different donor approaches to supporting voice and
accountability and identify commonalities and differences across contexts; (iii)
provide an overview of evaluation theory and practice in relation to voice and
accountability interventions; and (iv) identify key knowledge gaps in relation to the
effectiveness of donors in supporting voice and accountability.

1.4 This review has three main sections. Section 2 surveys the academic literature to
present current thinking on what voice and accountability means, how they operate in
practice and how they relate to the achievement of broader development objectives.
Section 3 turns to the donors’ own understanding of voice and accountability as set
out in their relevant policy and guidance documents. It discusses how the donors see
voice and accountability contributing to their poverty reduction mandates and what
approaches they have adopted to strengthen them, including in different contexts.
Section 4 considers the main issues relating to the evaluation of interventions to
strengthen voice and accountability. It first reviews some of the methodological
debates in the theoretical literature before summarising the donors’ own evaluative
efforts in this field, identifying both common findings and key gaps in their

1. Introduction 1
2. Voice and Accountability: A view from the literature 3
Voice and accountability: a basic static model 3
Voice and accountability: a complex dynamic reality 5
Relating voice and accountability to other key concepts 6
Voice, accountability and development outcomes 9
3. Voice and accountability: A view from the donors 13
Why do donors want to strengthen voice and accountability? 13
What strategies do donors adopt for strengthening voice and accountability? 18
Do donor approaches take account of context? 25
4. Evaluating voice and accountability 29
Approaches and frameworks for evaluating voice and accountability interventions 29
What have donors learnt about their effectiveness? 36
5. Conclusions 47
Annexes 49
References 53