NGO Accountability : Politics, Principles and Innovations book cover
1st Edition

NGO Accountability
Politics, Principles and Innovations

ISBN 9781844073672
Published October 1, 2006 by Routledge
272 Pages

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Book Description

As the fastest growing segment of civil society, as well as featuring prominently in the global political arena, NGOs are under fire for being 'unaccountable'. But who do NGOs actually represent? Who should they be accountable to and how? This book provides the first comprehensive examination of the issues and politics of NGO accountability across all sectors and internationally. It offers an assessment of the key technical tools available including legal accountability, certification and donor-based accountability regimes, and questions whether these are appropriate and viable options or attempts to 'roll-back' NGOs to a more one-dimensional function as organizers of national and global charity. Input and case studies are provided from NGOs such as ActionAid, and from every part of the globe including China, Indonesia and Uganda. In the spirit of moving towards greater accountability the book looks in detail at innovations that have developed from within NGOs and offers new approaches and flexible frameworks that enable accountability to become a reality for all parties worldwide.

Table of Contents

Part I - KEY QUESTIONS AND CONCEPTS IN THE CURRENT GLOBAL DEBATE * Rights and Responsibilities in the Political Landscape of NGO Accountability: Introduction and Overview * Accountability of Non-Governmental Organizations in Global Governance * Civil Society, Representation and Accountability: Restating Current Debates on the Representativeness and accountability of Civic Associations * Part II - TRADITIONAL APPROACHES: LEGAL ACCOUNTABILITY, CERTIFICATION AND DONOR REGIMES * The Limits and Risks of Regulation: The Case of the World Bank-supported * Issues in Legislation for NGOs in Uganda * NGO Accountability and the Philippine Council for NGO Certification: Evolving Roles and Issues * The Donor Accountability Agenda * Part III - THE BENEFITS OF EMBRACING ACCOUNTABILITY * NGO Governance in China: Achievements and Dilemmas * NGO Governance and Accountability in Indonesia: Challenges in a Newly Democratizing Country * Part IV - INNOVATIONS: EXPANDING THE ACCOUNTABILITY FRONTIER * Chameleons and Accountability: Linking Learning with Increasing Accountability in ActionAid International Uganda and the Ugandan Land Alliance * NGO Accountability and the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership: Towards a Transformative Agenda * Addressing Accountability at the Global Level: The Challenges Facing International NGOs * On Trying to Do Good Well: Practicing Participatory Democracy through International Advocacy Campaigns *

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Lisa Jordan is Deputy Director of the Governance and Civil Society Unit of the Ford Foundation, USA. Peter van Tuijl has over twenty years of experience working on NGO capacity building, governance and accountability issues. He has been employed by Novib (now Oxfam Netherlands) and UNDP. He is based in Jakarta, Indonesia, and currently works as a Senior Technical Advisor on a project to combat corruption in the Indonesian National Police, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice


'Credible and effective accountability is quite simply a pre-condition for NGOs' continued historical significance as global and local agents of change. Prepared by informed and yet critical insiders, this book faces this reality unflinchingly whilst illuminating its real-life complexities and implications in today's daunting political context.' Simon Zadek, Chief Executive, AccountAbility, and author of The Civil Corporation 'This collection breaks out of the straitjacketed thinking that characterizes much of the accountability discussion today. Rather than treating NGO accountability as a technocratic endeavour based in managerial best practice, the authors confront its political and power-laden underpinnings head-on. Jordan and van Tuijl show us the dark side of accountability politics - how its language and mechanisms can be abused for suppressing basic rights of voice and political participation. Yet, they also give us a vision, grounded in field-based innovation, of what accountability can be: a pathway towards universal human rights and better democratic governance.' Alnoor Ebrahim, Visiting Associate Professor, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard University, and Wyss Visiting Scholar, Harvard Business School