Volume 42 Number 5
Published: September 1, 2011
This article contributes to reimagining a ‘new generation’ of accountability. It draws on country studies and a workshop organised by ActionAid International. The studies highlight the need for further clarifying roles between development actors, the importance of allowing sufficient time for organisational and relational changes and strengthened accountability, the continuing significance of meaningful participation and the need to recognise power in accountability relationships and practices. The author proposes making accountability a central driver in a development actor's theory of change, which would give the organisation a resilient spine as well as flexibility and manoeuvrability. A new relationship between accountability and monitoring and evaluation is also proposed. Such a conceptualisation of accountability provides the clarity and simplicity needed to leapfrog the myriad initiatives created in response to donor pressures for accountability and the measurement focus that currently grips the development sector.