Dynamic Accountability in Practice: How 4 Organisations are Using Dynamic Accountability to Achieve Better Outcomes


This blog was created from a 6-week vlog series produced by Accountable Now that was published in the Zambian Governance Foundation‘s weekly Newsflash newsletter. Sign up here to receive future issues.

Accountable Now is part of a growing movement of organisations that are promoting a dynamic approach to accountability – an approach that is centred around building mutual and horizontal relationships between a CSO and the people involved in an organisation’s work. 

Practising Dynamic Accountability allows organisations to:

  • become more transparent and open;
  • become more inclusive by engaging in active listening to people that they work for and with;
  • reflect and learn from what they’ve heard and adapt their work for greater impact;
  • engage in continuous dialogue and inform decision-making by it;
  • build trusting, long-lasting relationships with all stakeholders;
  • engage in mutual capacity sharing;
  • and ultimately to shift power within, and outside, the organisation so that the people we work for and with become the recognised drivers of the organisation’s work that affects their own lives. 

So what does Dynamic Accountability look like in practice and how are organisations using it to shift power towards the people they work for and with?

Continue reading to hear from four organisations that are using Dynamic Accountability to transform their organisational practices and culture- and to contribute towards transformational changes in the sector such as decolonisation and overcoming systemic inequalities. 

Promoting Dynamic Accountability to ensure youth inclusivity

Restless Development is committed to youth inclusivity across all levels of the organisation, from the community-level to the board-level. For Restless Development, the meaningful participation of young people is central to accountability in order to ensure that all voices are heard and have the power to affect decision-making. Hear from Clara Muchunguzi (Restless Development Tanzania) who shares how Restless Development engages young people and some of the positive outcomes of involving youth. 

“It’s not about assumptions of what young people want but to really get their perception, get to know at this time what young people really need and should we change our strategy, should we change our way of operations. So it is informing even how we design our strategy - and the best ways we can implement our projects.”
Clara Muchunguzi
Restless Development Tanzania

Dynamic Accountability is key to meaningfully engaging the communities that CSOs aim to serve

Edutainment Health Foundation (EHF) is a local CSO based in Lusaka, Zambia whose mission is to ‘promote development and prosperity through citizen participation’. We spoke with Michael Mwansa, Project Officer, who shared how the principles of Dynamic Accountability promote a bottom-up approach within the organisation in which communities take the lead in holding the organisation accountable to how they are implementing any project. Further, Dynamic Accountability calls on them to build trust between the organisation and the community and to build and sustain relationships for future engagement. Listen to Michael sharing many of the benefits of community engagement – including the role it plays in achieving sustainable results.

“For us Dynamic Accountability, in a nutshell, means that basically, we have to engage the community in a more participatory way and that the community should be the lead. So if you could listen more, and talk less, then it would entail that actually you could do so much.”
Micheal Mwansa
Edutainment Health Foundation

Dynamic Accountability facilitates mutual capacity sharing between organisations and communities

Green Agriculture Youth Organisation is a local CSO working to provide market training, education, and other services to promote sustainable agriculture in Africa. They believe in being community-led and that is why they promote Dynamic Accountability as an approach to amplify the voices of the communities they work in and co-create solutions. Hear from Mukuka Kalamba who shares how Dynamic Accountability facilitates mutual capacity sharing between organisations and the communities they work in and encourages organisations to reflect and learn from their strengths and weaknesses.

“Dynamic Accountability means involvement, not only of the people that we are serving, but also internally - it could be the board members or the people that work for us. That is also Dynamic Accountability, where we are going to be learning from each other and looking at all our strengths and also trying to boost our weaknesses.”
Mukuka Kalamba
Green Agriculture Youth Organisation

Dynamic Accountability enables organisations to walk the talk and be value-led

Accountability Lab’s vision is a world in which ‘citizens are active, leaders are responsible and institutions are accountable’. In our final vlog of the series, Tinotenda Chishiri from Accountability Lab Zimbabwe shares how Dynamic Accountability is enshrined in the values that Accountability Lab Zimbabwe has; integrity, openness, responsiveness, and humility. Watch the video to learn how Accountability Lab puts Dynamic Accountability into practice, for example through continuously evaluating ways of working within partnerships and adapting activities based on stakeholder feedback to improve ways of working and in the end, to get better results.

“When we’re evaluating our impact we’re not necessarily just looking at the results, but we are also looking at the stakeholder experience - the experience the stakeholders are having engaging with us and the work that we do.”
Tinotenda Chishiri
Accountability Lab Zimbabwe

Is your organisation interested in joining the growing movement of CSOs that are promoting Dynamic Accountability and systemic change? Would you like to learn more about how you can use Dynamic Accountability to start shifting power towards the communities we aim to serve?

Get in touch to learn how you can join us!

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Accountable Now is committed to promoting a more just, equitable & accountable world. Do you have a story to share that demonstrates how organisations can strengthen their dynamic accountability practices?