The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are aiming to positively transform the world we live in by the year 2030. So that these goals are achieved, we are seeing many cases of governments, businesses and civil society coming together to mobilise efforts. However, so that the progress, impact and success of this development agenda can be traced, we need robust accountability mechanisms where everyday people can hold all actors involved to account. While the SDGs are universal in character, they have to be implemented at the national level, taking into consideration the contextual and cultural specificities of each country. We therefore need to promote accountability mechanisms that are inclusive, transparent and that are built from the bottom-up.
“Dynamic Accountability” or people-powered accountability, a concept developed by Restless Development, entails a new approach to accountability where the exchange of information goes two ways. Organisations are not only transparent about their actions but they also actively seek feedback from their stakeholders. This feedback informs organisation’s decisions so that they can both continuously strengthen their performance and build trusted relationships. It transforms accountability processes into an ongoing dialogue which drives learning and change, develops trust and enhances the legitimacy and credibility of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). All of this is critically important to adjust everyday work on projects and programmes so they truly consider and contribute to the SDGs.
Accountability Lab is a global translocal network that makes governance work for people by supporting active citizens, responsible leaders and accountable institutions. Their goal is a world in which resources are used wisely, decisions benefit everyone fairly, and people lead secure lives.