Civil Society Accountability Toolkit for South Africa

Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 13:50

The Co-operative for Research and Education has been commissioned by the Commonwealth Foundation to develop a "Civil Society Accountability Toolkit for South Africa."

In co-operation with local civil society organisations (CSOs), the Foundation has developed similar toolkits for Belize, India, Trinidad and Tobago, etc.

The overall focus and scope of the South African project are to:

  • Identify principles of accountability for CSOs in South Africa;
  • Examine and review CSO accountability practices, and enable sharing from across the country;
  • Use online discussion forums to debate and determine current and future practices to foster sharing, collaboration and networking;
  • Interview key stakeholders in CSOs, business, donors and government agencies;
  • Present the findings in a two day workshop which will consider a draft accountability toolkit;
  • Revise, print and disseminate a toolkit to at least 1 000 key influential CSOs and or leaders.
CSOs are often attacked by governments and politicians as being unaccountable and unresponsive. In response, this project will therefore make an important contribution towards building the credibility and transparency of the sector in South Africa.

We invite you to provide your input to the toolkit by participating in our online forum.

Each week, we will be asking a different question relating to accountability in practice.

The question for week one (10 - 17 May) is "How and to whom are you accountable to?"

Click here to share your views.

If you have any suggestions you would like to share, please contact us at



Yes Lihle, I agree. The problem with South African politicians is that they are not held to account for their actions!! They are getting away with murder "SOME LITERALLY" Mr Richard Mdluli refers!! What I propose is an Accountability Department within each exisiting department, which then reports to Parliament as would any other department. This is critical for the government sector... However when it comes to CSO Accountability CSOs and donors and beneficiaries must all work together in creating an accountability structure that benefits all and sundry. If I can account for donors' funds better than my fellow CSO a donor will favour me over them. It is simple as that.
My understanding accountability is one of the important elements of governance. It demands that those in leadership to be answerable to their electorate.