ONTRAC 53: Transparent, accountable, legitimate, credible: NGO responses to scrutiny Image

This issue of ONTRAC revisits the question of accountability within development. After an overview by Rachel Hayman, INTRAC’s Head of Research, the following articles offer four different takes on accountability that are emerging from recent research.

First, Celestine Krosschell, from HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, outlines how the lines between downwards accountability and such social accountability projects can easily become blurred. Sean Conlin, a development and evaluation consultant, then reflects on the interplay of accountability and credibility for NGOs, drawing on his experience of evaluating the Luxembourg Government’s Framework Agreements with NGOs.

Angela Crack, from the University of Portsmouth, looks at the effectiveness of quality and accountability initiatives, drawing on a recent survey of practitioners from leading humanitarian and development INGOs. Finally, Erla Thrandardottir, from the University of Manchester, offers a legitimacy framework for NGOs, which broadens questions of legitimacy beyond merely financial legitimacy to donors, to include questions of political legitimacy.

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