This article was originally published on 28 November 2012.
As part of the GPLI initiative, WINGS hosted the latest in a series of workshops on accountability earlier this month, in conjunction with the African Grantmakers Network Assembly in Johannesburg, (our Knowledge Management Coordinator Ana Pinho shared her thoughts on the main event here).
The workshop brought together 32 participants from Africa and the Arab Region who collectively considered what the sector needs for accountability to work in practice. Here are a few issues that were raised:
- Self-regulation continues to be a challenge due to a lack of critical analysis of philanthropy (including institutional capacity) from independent actors.
- The public now demands more legitimacy and transparency, which greatly affects the sector.
- Regarding how we conduct our business, accountability should start within the sector.
- Grantees and constituencies must consider accountability as their duty.
- The playing field is uneven; not everyone has the same access to resources, and therefore cannot act on accountability in the same way.
The Johannesburg workshop, much like our Cairo workshop in September, offered us a unique view on current practice and desire, and we’re using the experience to expand the dialogue on accountability. For example, the focus group made these suggestions on how to improve accountability through feedback, inclusiveness and capacity building:
- Online libraries with reference materials and how-to guides
- Online survey tools for collecting grantee feedback
- Sharing best practices
- Flexible impact assessment tools designed with the help of grantees
- Establishing clear and inclusive grantmaking processes
For more on our accountability work in international philanthropy, visit our transparency and accountability page.