Civil Society Accountability: Principles and Practice Toolkit

Commonwealth Foundation and CORE

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 four 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;
  3. To identify areas where capacity needs building in the sector; and
  4. 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 is being 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 is being 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 urge CSOs to make their inputs by participating in our online forum, where we would like to know:

  1. What do you understand by accountability?
  2. How and to whom are you accountable to?

Click here to share your views.

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

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