Development of an
for CARE International
Why was an Accountability
Research (e.g. a ECB study in 2007)
found agencies had too many standards,
principles and guidelines…confusing ,
rather than helping field staff.
Agency performance management
systems and donor incentives often don’t
reward application of relevant standards.
Agencies are not sufficiently accountable
to communities, partners or even to their
own internal stakeholders.
Increasing criticism of NGOs
Governments questioning the lack of
transparency, cost-effectiveness and
marginal impact by NGOs.
A Google search for “NGO Watchdog”
returns almost 1½ million hits. Most of
these links are to articles and blogs
questioning the value-added of NGOs.
What are we actually accountable for?
Sphere Standards Local Culture
Local Partner Codes National Laws
Procurement Regulations Host Govt. Standards
Code of Conduct Anti-Terrorist Act Assistance Delivery
Agency Operations Manual Internal Principles
Donor Compliance Accountability Frameworks
UN agency guidelines Cluster Standards
Internal Project Standards
Stakeholder Accountability “Cloud”
Who is actually accountable for what?
Peer NGOs Communities
Lead Member HQ Govt. Tech Depts.
UN Agency UN Resident Coordinator
Donors Senior Management
Stakeholder Power Relations
More power Less power
Donor Reps Beneficiaries
Donor Govts. Women
Senior Mgmt Nat. Tech Depts. Communities
UN Agencies Boys Vulnerable Groups
Men National NGOs
Cluster Coordinator Local Partners
Isn’t the Accountability Framework
just another new initiative?
No!!! CARE managers only ask for
something simple that pulls together
existing accountability commitments.
Staff want a tool that can help
managers and their teams to be
able to address imbalances when
meeting these commitments.
Dropping the “H” from the HAF
CARE’s governance agreed that:
The POC, supported by a Task Force,
leads the development of a CI AF
The AF will cover all aspects of CARE’s
programming and operations
Communities will be a central focus
As many CARE staff were already using
the HAF, this would be the starting point
Development of CARE’s
2011 2012 2013
Start with…a Map!
Step one: know where you’re heading…
What internal and external standards, principles,
etc. is CARE signed up to?
Who within CARE has a key role in promoting
accountability and how do they define it?
What ongoing processes can this complement?
What are the relevant lessons from peers?
What should a CARE Accountability Framework
What were the main findings
from this mapping study?
CARE staff wish to incorporate accountability more fully into
CARE is not sufficiently accountable to communities, our
partners, our advocacy targets or the environment;
A big challenge is to reconcile donor compliance while
increasing our accountability to communities;
Need more accountability between CARE members;
CARE staff want a robust compliance mechanism for an
Accountability Framework so that it is actually applied;
There are many examples of existing good practice which
CARE can build upon.
How could an Accountability
Framework be put into practice?
Communicate in an open and honest way
Give stakeholders a voice in our decision making
Actively seek feedback and complaint from others
Demonstrate impact, quality and effectiveness
Learn with and from others
Demonstrate attitudes and behaviors that reflect our
principles and values
Develop appropriate systems to support accountability
Encourage leadership at all levels
Of all our stakeholders, which are the key ones?
What is our relationship to our beneficiaries?
What are our commitments to key stakeholders?
Commitments and practice – what are critical gaps?
Which policies/processes can address gaps?
How can we tell whether we are meeting our
commitments? What are our indicators?
How can the AF be improved?
Current Status of the AF…
AF communicated and discussed within CARE
Agreeing on a high-level statement, alongside
CARE’s Vision & Mission
AF and draft guidelines being tested in different
CARE organisational units
AF is being adopted as a change management
process across the organisation for CARE’s
Considering setting up an external reference
group to support CARE
Pilot version of AF to be approved during 2012
Likely AF Structure
TheAF will be two pages; a one page
graphic plus some narrative
A series of guidelines for different CARE
functional units (e.g. program, finance,
etc.) will be attached as annexes
Framework will thus be replaced by an
annex once the pilot AF is in place.
Some Key Challenges…
How can we rationalize and prioritize all our
commitments to produce a useful AF? What will
we have to leave out? How will we need to
How can we consider the potential impact on
communities during our decision-making
How can we ensure that CARE has the
necessary motivation, capacity & resources to
put the AF into practice?
How can we still fulfill our accountability
commitments when working via partners?