ECB Project on TwitterRT @FdLdev: We love this simple guide to #impact measurement and #accountability in #humanitarian emergencies by the @ecbproject http://t.c… 3rd December
Key Elements of Accountability
The ECB Accountability and Impact Measurement (AIM) advisors developed a paper, the Key Elements of Accountability, to use as the central document and impetus for a shared understanding of the key elements of accountability work that ECB agency partners undertook together, under the auspices of the ECB Project.
By agreeing on key elements and indicators to establish a baseline for measuring accountability, ECB agencies also agreed on the central tenets to all the work that agencies undertook to improve or increase accountability in humanitarian response. These included ECB Standing Team deployments, representation work, and support to consortia.
The paper informed the baseline assessment of agency capacity to deliver programmes that were accountable to beneficiaries. AIM advisors used the paper to serve as a basis for defining and developing capacity building areas for the ECB agencies and the ECB consortia with targets relevant to each context.
It was proposed that accountability, to ECB members, could be captured by the following five key elements, with a small number of indicators per element.
For full details please download the paper the Key Elements of Accountability.
The 5 Key Elements
The extent to which:
- agency leaders and managers articulate what accountability means to them and to the organisation
- policy and practice is explicit about expectations around accountability
- accountability is modelled and demonstrably valued by leaders and managers.
- The provision of accessible and timely information to stakeholders and the opening up of organisational procedures, structures, and processes that affect them.
- An organisation needs to do more than disclose standardised information. It also needs to provide stakeholders with the information they require to make informed decisions and choices.
- Transparency is more than just a one-way flow of information; it is an ongoing dialogue between an organisation and its stakeholders over information provision.
- The systems, processes, attitudes and behaviours through which an organisation can truly listen to its stakeholders.
- Essential for organisations to understand whether they are meeting the agreed needs / wishes or wants of their stakeholders.
- An organisation that actively seeks to improve policy and practice on the above three dimensions will decrease, significantly, the number of complaints it receives.
- Organisations should ensure that they have Feedback Mechanisms in place throughout their programmes, and that these are robust enough to support complaints.
- Oversight of these mechanisms allows the study of trends and/or areas of concern that will then allow appropriate corrective action.
- The process by which an organisation enables key stakeholders to play an active role in the decision-making processes that affect them.
- It is unrealistic to expect an organisation to engage with all stakeholders over all decisions all of the time. Therefore the organisation must have clear guidelines (and practices) enabling it to prioritise stakeholders appropriately and to be responsive to the differences in power between them.
- In particular, mechanisms need to be in place to ensure that the most marginalised and affected are represented and have influence.
5. Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (DME):
Encompasses the processes through which an organisation, with involvement from key stakeholders:
- monitors and reviews its progress and results against goals and objectives
- feeds learning back into the organisation on an ongoing basis and
- reports on the results of the process
To increase accountability to stakeholders, goals and objectives must be designed in consultation with those stakeholders.