Civil Society Accountability: Principles and Practice Toolkit

Co-operative for Research and Education

What is the Aim of the Toolkit?

Civil Society Accountability: Principles and Practice is a toolkit developed by the Co-operative for Research and Education (CORE) in partnership with the Commonwealth Foundation (CF). It explores what accountability means for civil society organisations in South Africa and provides suggestions on how to put accountability into practice.

The toolkit has three aims:

  1. To identify common principles of accountability for CSOs in South Africa;
  2. To identify the current good accountability practices that exist among CSOs and identify areas where capacity needs building in the sector;
  3. To provide practical tools and frameworks that CSOs can use to achieve accountability in their day-to-day activities and interactions with stakeholders.

While the toolkit is designed specifically for organisations in South Africa, it was developed as part of a wider project undertaken by One World Trust and the CF that investigated the accountability of CSOs in other Commonwealth countries.

The criteria for choosing these countries and region were that they had:

  1. Vibrant civil societies and governments broadly supportive of the CSO sector;
  2. Scope for cross-country comparison and for wider lessons to be learned; and
  3. Strong CSO umbrella groups/networks that could act as partners in the project.

In this way the toolkit is grounded in the South African context, but draws on experiences and practices of CSOs from across the Commonwealth.

This toolkit has been developed through a participatory process involving a wide range of representatives from the CSO community in South Africa. Whilst there are organisations that were not contacted we hope they can still draw insights from the toolkit, relate to the issues being discussed and experiment with some of the approaches and tools outlined.

We invite you to provide your input by responding to our forum question that will be posted every week. This week's question is:

What do you understand by accountability?

Click here, to participate in our online forum.

If you have any suggestion’s you would like to share, please contact us at corejhb@mail.ngo.za.

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