The role of principles and values in CSO accountability

Bethany Spendlove Keeley

Communications Coordinator, Accountable Now

Reposted from the Global Standard website. See the original article here

For civil society organizations to be truly accountable, they need to lead by example: promoting and fighting for the protection of human rights, ensuring that principles of do-no-harm guide program and project work and prioritizing activities that are guided by sustainability values will help CSOs succeed in walking the talk.


At Accountable Now, we ask our members to report against the Global Standard’s 12 commitments, knowing that this gives us a thorough understanding of how a CSO is demonstrating accountability to its staff, volunteers and stakeholders. Through their accountability reports which are submitted yearly, members indicate the progress made in their organization to fulfil the 12 commitments, and, in turn, we provide feedback and advice on how they can better achieve dynamic accountability.


From a review of our members’ reports, we would like to share some examples on how they are making progress towards fulfilling the Cluster A four commitments of the Global Standard, that is, address justice and inclusion; promote women’s rights and gender equality; how they protect a healthy planet, and ensure lasting positive impact.


Commitment #1: Justice & Inclusion

CIVICUS, a long-standing member of Accountable Now, has consistently proven itself to be a role model for standing up for, fighting for and advocating for justice and inclusion in the scope of its work:


See their latest accountability report here.

Commitment #2: Women’s Rights & Gender Equality

Addressing women’s rights and gender equality and fighting for the empowerment of women and girls is regarded as a commonly-held value within the civil society sector. Yet how can CSOs actually fulfil this value in their work? ChildFund Australia, an Accountable Now member since 2018, strive to embed this commitment into their projects and programming:

See their latest accountability report here. 


Commitment #3: A Healthy Planet 

It is only recently that civil society organizations have increased their attention towards understanding the deeper impacts of their work upon climate change. Sightsavers is an international charity working to prevent avoidable blindness and support equality for people with disabilities. In their latest accountability report, they showed particular commitment to addressing the environmental impacts of their projects and programs.


See their latest accountability report here.



These are just a few examples of how our members are working to transform accountability in the civil society sector. They are setting new expectations, standards and approaches in their work to ensure that accountability goes further, showing that by building upon and living out principles and values, CSOs can effectively fight for the guarantee of rights of diverse groups of people, as well as the planet we live on.

You can find more examples of how CSOs around the world are walking the talk on the our website.

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