A long history of accountability in ActionAid
In the late 1990s ActionAid chose to be thoroughly accountable in the attitude and behaviour they expect from their staff and as a way of working which has huge transformational potential. As an organisation they have come a long way:
In the continued fight against poverty and injustice and in its own attitude and behaviour, ActionAid has tried to be a role model to local governments, large multinationals and other powerful entities.
They have strived to be open to feedback and criticism of their work; as ActionAid grew and gained strength globally (by having more members, supporters, resources), they recognised the need to do more to nurture accountability.
ActionAid’s five accountability principles
In 2013, following federation-wide consultation, the General Assembly approved the ActionAid Accountability Charter. By approving the Charter, all members of the federation committed to applying principles of transparency, participation and compliance. They also made a commitment to respond to complaints and learn through evaluations in their day-to-day work and in their decision making.
The awareness of the challenge of applying these principles is consistent across the federation. Most success factors are not entirely under their control in the contexts in which they work. However, they can and they will constantly improve their work while applying accountability principles in practice. In order to ensure practical application of the five accountability principles, they are incorporating them into their annual reporting and annual planning processes. This not only provides them with an opportunity to collect and analyse federation-level data in relation to accountability and track their progress, but it also means they are more consistent at local, national and international levels.