Accountability for more transparent CSOs

Recently, RACI has continued its work to promote dynamic accountability among Civil Society Organizations.

Dynamic accountability is based on the use of a set of self-assessment mechanisms through which organizations can improve their performance in meeting that objective. In the process, organizations consult with internal and external actors, detecting and solving problems that prevent greater transparency and legitimacy among working communities.

In this regard, RACI offered between July and September, with the support of Iniciativa Regional Rendir Cuentas, the workshop “Rendición de cuentas centrada en comunidades de trabajo”. More than 70 organizations participated in the workshop to inform about the importance of accountability among Civil Society Organizations.

The organizations highlighted the importance of dynamic accountability, and agreed to include the commitments of the Global Standard for CSO Accountability in annual planning processes. In addition, they agreed to implement it in daily processes, generating more spaces for dialogue between the work communities.

The workshop went beyond financial accountability, and focused on diverse topics such as housing, human rights, people with autism, education, environmental care, art, entrepreneurship, health, youth and gender equality. The focus was especially put on their core audiences: the people and organizations with whom they work, who are served and whom they represent.

The main measures that the organizations proposed in the final diagnostic activity include:

  • The assembly of an accountability manual for the internal use of the organization.
  • Incorporation of improvements in the website, based on the recommendations of the Global Standard.
  • Establishment of greater spaces for dialogue between the team and the recipients of the programs.
  • Rethink the way financial information is presented.
  • Incorporate the recommendations of the Global Standard into annual planning.
  • Incorporate self-assessment into the annual planning space, so that the entire team participates.
  • Improve the systematization of existing practices to make the work of the organization visible.

RACI will continue to support organizations in the implementation of improvements to their institutional practices based on the self-evaluation exercise.

In addition, Guillermo Correa, Executive Director of RACI participated in the event “Social Innovation Laboratory: Transparency and Accountability” organized by Grupo FARO in Ecuador, together with the directors of other Organizations in the region. On this occasion, work was done to transform the well-known dynamic accountability into a continuous dialogue of learning in times where civic space is reduced. The feedback of the parties in the decision-making process, in performance, and in trust, synthesized in the Global Standard, was highlighted as essential.

The Global Standard includes 12 aspirational commitments made with the aim of future CSOs performing better in establishing links, strengthening their individual and collective impact, and increasing their contribution to the SDGs. This new approach to which RACI adhered will contribute to strengthening the efficiency and interaction capacities of CSOs.

On the other hand, on November 22, 23 and 24, the World Accountability Week (GAW),an initiative of AGNA, was heldwithin the framework of CIVICUS, with the purpose of increasing and learning more about dynamic accountability, in which more than 60 organizations participated.

In addition to participating in the 90th Day Accountability Challenge last year, RACI committed to participate in this new process of highlighting the cultures, structures and participatory mechanisms of organizations and their flexibility in the face of changing needs. Dynamic accountability involves CSOs engaging in ongoing dialogue with the people and communities they help or benefit from, and ensuring that decisions are informed, co-created and validated by these stakeholders.

We continue to work from the team to create spaces that promote interest and effectiveness in the accountability and transparency of CSOs. We expect to continue to grow in this compelling capacity, in conjunction with the Third Sector as a whole.