The e-Advocate


…a Compendium of Works on:


Romans 14:12

Corinthians 3:12-15 | Matthew 25:29

Luke 16:10-12 | James 4:17

Romans 1:21-22 | Luke 12:48

“Helping Individuals, Organizations & Communities

Achieve Their Full Potential”

Special Edition| NpA October 2021

Walk by Faith; Serve with Abandon

Expect to Win!

Page 2 of 141

The Advocacy Foundation, Inc.

Helping Individuals, Organizations & Communities

Achieve Their Full Potential

Since its founding in 2003, The Advocacy Foundation has become recognized as an effective

provider of support to those who receive our services, having real impact within the communities

we serve. We are currently engaged in community and faith-based collaborative initiatives,

having the overall objective of eradicating all forms of youth violence and correcting injustices

everywhere. In carrying-out these initiatives, we have adopted the evidence-based strategic

framework developed and implemented by the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency

Prevention (OJJDP).

The stated objectives are:

1. Community Mobilization;

2. Social Intervention;

3. Provision of Opportunities;

4. Organizational Change and Development;

5. Suppression [of illegal activities].

Moreover, it is our most fundamental belief that in order to be effective, prevention and

intervention strategies must be Community Specific, Culturally Relevant, Evidence-Based, and

Collaborative. The Violence Prevention and Intervention programming we employ in

implementing this community-enhancing framework include the programs further described

throughout our publications, programs and special projects both domestically and



ISBN: ......... ../2017

......... Printed in the USA

Advocacy Foundation Publishers

Philadelphia, PA

(878) 222-0450 | Voice | Data | SMS

Page 3 of 141

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Every publication in our many series’ is dedicated to everyone, absolutely everyone, who by

virtue of their calling and by Divine inspiration, direction and guidance, is on the battlefield dayafter-day

striving to follow God’s will and purpose for their lives. And this is with particular affinity

for those Spiritual warriors who are being transformed into excellence through daily academic,

professional, familial, and other challenges.

We pray that you will bear in mind:

Matthew 19:26 (NLT)

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible.

But with God everything is possible.” (Emphasis added)

To all of us who daily look past our circumstances, and naysayers, to what the Lord says we will



- The Advocacy Foundation, Inc.

Page 5 of 141

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The Transformative Justice Project

Eradicating Juvenile Delinquency Requires a Multi-Disciplinary Approach

The Juvenile Justice system is incredibly

overloaded, and Solutions-Based programs are

woefully underfunded. Our precious children,

therefore, particularly young people of color, often

get the “swift” version of justice whenever they

come into contact with the law.

Decisions to build prison facilities are often based

on elementary school test results, and our country

incarcerates more of its young than any other

nation on earth. So we at The Foundation labor to

pull our young people out of the “school to prison”

pipeline, and we then coordinate the efforts of the

legal, psychological, governmental and

educational professionals needed to bring an end

to delinquency.

We also educate families, police, local businesses,

elected officials, clergy, and schools and other

stakeholders about transforming whole communities, and we labor to change their

thinking about the causes of delinquency with the goal of helping them embrace the

idea of restoration for the young people in our care who demonstrate repentance for



The way we accomplish all this is a follows:

1. We vigorously advocate for charges reductions, wherever possible, in the

adjudicatory (court) process, with the ultimate goal of expungement or pardon, in order

to maximize the chances for our clients to graduate high school and progress into

college, military service or the workforce without the stigma of a criminal record;

2. We then enroll each young person into an Evidence-Based, Data-Driven

Restorative Justice program designed to facilitate their rehabilitation and subsequent

reintegration back into the community;

3. While those projects are operating, we conduct a wide variety of ComeUnity-

ReEngineering seminars and workshops on topics ranging from Juvenile Justice to

Parental Rights, to Domestic issues to Police friendly contacts, to mental health

intervention, to CBO and FBO accountability and compliance;

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4. Throughout the process, we encourage and maintain frequent personal contact

between all parties;

5 Throughout the process we conduct a continuum of events and fundraisers

designed to facilitate collaboration among professionals and community stakeholders;

and finally

6. 1 We disseminate Quarterly publications, like our e-Advocate series Newsletter

and our e-Advocate Quarterly electronic Magazine to all regular donors in order to

facilitate a lifelong learning process on the ever-evolving developments in the Justice


And in addition to the help we provide for our young clients and their families, we also

facilitate Community Engagement through the Restorative Justice process,

thereby balancing the interests of local businesses, schools, clergy, social assistance

organizations, elected officials, law enforcement entities, and all interested

stakeholders. Through these efforts, relationships are rebuilt & strengthened, local

businesses and communities are enhanced & protected from victimization, young

careers are developed, and our precious young people are kept out of the prison


Additionally, we develop Transformative “Void Resistance” (TVR) initiatives to elevate

concerns of our successes resulting in economic hardship for those employed by the

penal system.

TVR is an innovative-comprehensive process that works in conjunction with our

Transformative Justice initiatives to transition the original use and purpose of current

systems into positive social impact operations, which systematically retrains current

staff, renovates facilities, creates new employment opportunities, increases salaries and

is data proven to enhance employee’s mental wellbeing and overall quality of life – an

exponential Transformative Social Impact benefit for ALL community stakeholders.

This is a massive undertaking, and we need all the help and financial support you can

give! We plan to help 75 young persons per quarter-year (aggregating to a total of 250

per year) in each jurisdiction we serve) at an average cost of under $2,500 per client,

per year. *

Thank you in advance for your support!

* FYI:


In addition to supporting our world-class programming and support services, all regular donors receive our Quarterly e-Newsletter

(The e-Advocate), as well as The e-Advocate Quarterly Magazine.

Page 8 of 141

1. The national average cost to taxpayers for minimum-security youth incarceration,

is around $43,000.00 per child, per year.

2. The average annual cost to taxpayers for maximum-security youth incarceration

is well over $148,000.00 per child, per year.

- (US News and World Report, December 9, 2014);

3. In every jurisdiction in the nation, the Plea Bargain rate is above 99%.

The Judicial system engages in a tri-partite balancing task in every single one of these

matters, seeking to balance Rehabilitative Justice with Community Protection and

Judicial Economy, and, although the practitioners work very hard to achieve positive

outcomes, the scales are nowhere near balanced where people of color are involved.

We must reverse this trend, which is right now working very much against the best

interests of our young.

Our young people do not belong behind bars.

- Jack Johnson

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The Advocacy Foundation, Inc.

Helping Individuals, Organizations & Communities

Achieve Their Full Potential

…a compendium of works on


“Turning the Improbable Into the Exceptional”




John C Johnson III

Founder & CEO

(878) 222-0450

Voice | Data | SMS


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Biblical Authority


Romans 14:12 “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

I Corinthians 3:12-15 “Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver,

precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will

declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of

what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a

reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet

so as through fire.”

Matthew 25:29 “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have

abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.”

Luke 16:10-12 “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is

unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in

the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you

have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?”

James 4:17 “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is


Romans 1:21-22 “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God,

nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were

darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.”

Luke 12:48 “But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will

receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be

required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”

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Table of Contents

…a compilation of works on


Biblical Authority

I. Introduction: Accountability …………………………………………. 17

II. Good Governance …………………………………………………… ..

III. Due Diligence …………………………………….………………….. ..

IV. Integrity Management ………………………………………………. ..

V. Euthenics………………………….. ………………………………… ..

VI. Social Design…………….………………………………………….. ..

VII. Moral Responsibility………………………………......……………. ..

VIII. The Declaration of Human Rights and Responsibilities………... ..

IX. References……………………………………………………..... ..



A. Accountability In Governance

B. Accountability, Transparency, Participation and Inclusion: A New

Development Consensus

C. Accountability: The Core Concept and Its Subtypes

Copyright © 2018 The Advocacy Foundation, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Page 15 of 141


This work is not meant to be a piece of original academic

analysis, but rather draws very heavily on the work of

scholars in a diverse range of fields. All material drawn upon

is referenced appropriately.

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I. Introduction


In ethics and governance, accountability is answerability, blameworthiness, liability,

and the expectation of account-giving. As an aspect of governance, it has been central

to discussions related to problems in the public sector, nonprofit and private (corporate)

and individual contexts. In leadership roles, accountability is the acknowledgment and

assumption of responsibility for actions, products, decisions, and policies including the

administration, governance, and implementation within the scope of the role or

employment position and encompassing the obligation to report, explain and be

answerable for resulting consequences.

In governance, accountability has

expanded beyond the basic

definition of "being called to

account for one's actions". It is

frequently described as an

account-giving relationship

between individuals, e.g. "A

is accountable to B when A is

obliged to inform B about A's

(past or future) actions and

decisions, to justify them, and to

suffer punishment in the case of



Accountability cannot exist without

proper accounting practices; in other words,

an absence of accounting means an absence of


Accountability is an element of a RACI to indicate who is ultimately

answerable for the correct and thorough completion of the deliverable or task,

and the one who delegates the work to those responsible.

There are various reasons (legitimate or excuses) why accountability fails.

History and Etymology

"Accountability" stems from late Latin accomptare (to account), a prefixed form of

computare (to calculate), which in turn derived from putare (to reckon). While the word

itself does not appear in English until its use in 13th century Norman England, the

concept of account-giving has ancient roots in record keeping activities related to

governance and money-lending systems that first developed in Ancient Egypt, Israel,

Babylon, Greece, and later, Rome.

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Bruce Stone, O.P. Dwivedi, and Joseph G. Jabbra list 8 types of accountability, namely:

moral, administrative, political, managerial, market, legal/judicial, constituency relation,

and professional. Leadership accountability cross cuts many of these distinctions.


Political accountability is the accountability of the government, civil servants and

politicians to the public and to legislative bodies such as a congress or a parliament.

Hirschman makes substantial contributions to accountability theory, positing exit or

voice as pivotal accountability mechanisms. The relationship between the governor and

governed (i.e., [autonomous (auto) - dependent (dep)], [auto-auto], [dep-dep], [depauto]

) functions such that the prospect of citizen exit can, not only disciplines ex ante,

but also ex post if the state is dependent on the citizens. The literature connects this

disposition of autonomy or dependence to its fiscal capacity. States that are most

responsive adjust to exit or voice. Clark & Golder model the dynamics of Hirschman's

theory and elaborate important aspects like those that operationalize loyalty as an

active choice. Exit, voice, and loyalty will be expressed in different ways under differing

regimes and given the relevant assumptions. All three of these sufficiently broad

categories present ways and means of holding the state accountable.

Recall elections can be used to revoke the office of an elected official. Generally,

however, voters do not have any direct way of holding elected representatives to

account during the term for which they have been elected. Additionally, some officials

and legislators may be appointed rather than elected. Constitution, or statute, can

empower a legislative body to hold their own members, the government, and

government bodies to account. This can be through holding an internal or independent

inquiry. Inquiries are usually held in response to an allegation of misconduct or

corruption. The powers, procedures and sanctions vary from country to country. The

legislature may have the power to impeach the individual, remove them, or suspend

them from office for a period of time. The accused person might also decide to resign

before trial. Impeachment in the United States has been used both for elected

representatives and other civil offices, such as district court judges.

In parliamentary systems, the government relies on the support or parliament, which

gives parliament power to hold the government to account. For example, some

parliaments can pass a vote of no confidence in the government.

Belsky et al. point out, whereas, under more democratic governance accountability is

built into the institution of the state by a habit of regular elections, accountability in

autocratic regimes relies on a selectorate; a group that legitimizes or delegitimizes the

autocrats powers according to selectorate theory. The primary mechanism at a

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selectorate's disposal is deposition, which is a form of exit. Beyond that institutions can

act as credible restraints on autocracy as well.

Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute found that empowering citizens in

developing countries to be able to hold their domestic governments to account was

incredibly complex in practice. However, by developing explicit processes that generate

change from individuals, groups or communities (Theories of Change), and by fusing

political economy analysis and outcome mapping tools, the complex state-citizen

dynamics can be better understood. As such, more effective ways to achieve outcomes

can hence be generated.

Researchers at the International Budget Partnership (IBP) found that civil society

organizations play an important role in achieving accountability outcomes. The IBP case

studies showed that CSOs can have an impact in a broad array of political and

economic contexts. The researchers concluded that CSOs are most effective when they

draw in a broad web of actors from across the accountability system, including the

media, auditors, donors, the legislature, executive insiders, and political parties.


Within an organization, the principles and practices of ethical accountability aim to

improve both the internal standard of individual and group conduct as well as external

factors, such as sustainable economic and ecologic strategies. Also, ethical

accountability plays a progressively important role in academic fields, such as

laboratory experiments and field research. Debates around the practice of ethical

accountability on the part of researchers in the social field – whether professional or

others – have been thoroughly explored by Norma R.A. Romm in her work on

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Accountability in Social Research, including her book on New Racism: Revisiting

Researcher Accountabilities, reviewed by Carole Truman in the journal Sociological

Research Online. Here it is suggested that researcher accountability implies that

researchers are cognizant of, and take some responsibility for, the potential impact of

their ways of doing research – and of writing it up – on the social fields of which the

research is part. That is, accountability is linked to considering carefully, and being open

to challenge in relation to, one's choices concerning how research agendas are framed

and the styles in which write-ups of research "results" are created.


Internal rules and norms as well as some independent commission are mechanisms to

hold civil servants within the administration of government accountable. Within

department or ministry, firstly, behavior is bound by rules and regulations; secondly, civil

servants are subordinates in a hierarchy and accountable to superiors. Nonetheless,

there are independent "watchdog" units to scrutinize and hold departments accountable;

legitimacy of these commissions is built upon their independence, as it avoids any

conflicts of interests. The accountability is defined as "an element which is part of a

unique responsibility and which represents an obligation of an actor to achieve the goal,

or to perform the procedure of a task, and the justification that it is done to someone

else, under threat of sanction".


The traceability of actions performed on a system to a specific system entity (user,

process, device). For example, the use of unique user identification and authentication

supports accountability; the use of shared user IDs and passwords destroys


Individuals Within Organizations

Because many different individuals in large organizations contribute in many ways to

the decisions and policies, it is difficult even in principle to identify who should be

accountable for the results. This is what is known, following Thompson, as the problem

of many hands. It creates a dilemma for accountability. If individuals are held

accountable or responsible, individuals who could not have prevented the results are

either unfairly punished, or they "take responsibility" in a symbolic ritual without suffering

any consequences. If only organizations are held accountable, then all individuals in the

organization are equally blameworthy or all are excused. Various solutions have been

proposed. One is to broaden the criteria for individual responsibility so that individuals

are held accountable for not anticipating failures in the organization. Another solution,

recently proposed by Thompson, is to hold individuals accountable for the design of the

organization, both retrospectively and prospectively.

Constituency Relations

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Within this perspective, a particular agency of the government is accountable if voices

are heard from agencies, groups or institutions outside the public sector representing

citizens' interests from a particular constituency or field. Moreover, the government is

obliged to empower members of agencies with political rights to run for elections and be

elected; or, appoint them into the public sector as a way to make the government

representative and to ensure that voices from all constituencies are included in policymaking.

Public/Private Overlap

With the increase over

the last several decades

in public service

provided by private

entities, especially in

Britain and the United

States, some have

called for increased

political accountability

mechanisms for

otherwise non-political


Legal scholar Anne

Davies, for instance,

argues that the line

between public

institutions and private

entities like corporations

is becoming blurred in

certain areas of public

service in the United

Kingdom, and that this

can compromise political

accountability in those

areas. She and others

argue that some

administrative law

reform is necessary to



accountability gap.

With respect to the public/private overlap in the United States, public concern over the

contracting of government services (including military) and the resulting accountability

gap has been highlighted recently following the shooting incident involving the

Blackwater security firm in Iraq.

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Contemporary Studies

Accountability involves either the expectation or assumption of account-giving behavior.

The study of account giving as a sociological act was articulated in a 1968 article on

"Accounts" by Marvin Scott and Stanford Lyman, although it can be traced as well to J.

L. Austin's 1956 essay "A Plea for Excuses", in which he used excuse-making as an

example of speech acts.

Communications scholars have extended this work through the examination of strategic

uses of excuses, justifications, rationalizations, apologies and other forms of account

giving behavior by individuals and corporations, and Philip Tetlock and his colleagues

have applied experimental design techniques to explore how individuals behave under

various scenarios and situations that demand accountability.

Recently, accountability has become an important topic in the discussion about the

legitimacy of international institutions. Because there is no global democratically elected

body to which organizations must account, global organizations from all sectors bodies

are often criticized as having large accountability gaps. The Charter 99 for Global

Democracy, spearheaded by the One World Trust, first proposed that cross-sector

principles of accountability be researched and observed by institutions that affect

people, independent of their legal status. One paradigmatic problem arising in the global

context is that of institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary

Fund who are founded and supported by wealthy nations or individuals and provide

grants and loans, to developing nations. Should those institutions be accountable to

their founders and investors or to the persons and nations they lend money to? In the

debate over global justice and its distributional consequences, Cosmopolitans tend to

advocate greater accountability to the disregarded interests of traditionally marginalized

populations and developing nations. On the other hand, those in the Nationalism and

Society of States traditions deny the tenets of moral universalism and argue that

beneficiaries of global development initiatives have no substantive entitlement to call

international institutions to account. The One World Trust Global Accountability Report,

published in a first full cycle 2006 to 2008, is one attempt to measure the capability of

global organizations to be accountable to their stakeholders.

Accountability In Education

Student accountability is traditionally based on hang school and classroom rules,

combined with sanctions for infringement. As defined by National Council on

Measurement in Education (NCME), accountability is "A program, often legislated, that

attributes the responsibility for student learning to teachers, school administrators,

and/or students. Test results typically are used to judge accountability, and often

consequences are imposed for shortcomings."

In contrast, some educational establishments such as Sudbury schools believe that

students are personally responsible for their acts, and that traditional schools do not

permit students to choose their course of action fully; they do not permit students to

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embark on the course, once chosen; and they do not permit students to suffer the

consequences of the course, once taken. Freedom of choice, freedom of action,

freedom to bear the results of action are considered the three great freedoms that

constitute personal responsibility. Sudbury schools claim that "'Ethics' is a course taught

by life experience". They adduce that the essential ingredient for acquiring values—and

for moral action is personal responsibility, that schools will become involved in the

teaching of morals when they become communities of people who fully respect each

other's right to make choices, and that the only way the schools can become meaningful

purveyors of ethical values is if they provide students and adults with real-life

experiences that are bearers of moral import. Students are given complete responsibility

for their own education and the school is run by a direct democracy in which students

and staff are equals.

Media and Accountability

Econometric research has found that countries with greater press freedom tend to have

less corruption. Greater political accountability and lower corruption were more likely

where newspaper consumption was higher in data from roughly 100 countries and from

different states in the US. A "poor fit between newspaper markets and political districts

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educes press coverage of politics. ... Congressmen who are less covered by the local

press work less for their constituencies: they are less likely to stand witness before

congressional hearings ... . Federal spending is lower in areas where there is less press

coverage of the local members of congress." This was supported by an analysis of the

consequences of the closure of the Cincinnati Post in 2007. The following year, "fewer

candidates ran for municipal office in the Kentucky suburbs most reliant on the Post,

incumbents became more likely to win reelection, and voter turnout and campaign

spending fell."

An analysis of the evolution of mass media in the US and Europe since World War II

noted mixed results from the growth of the Internet: "The digital revolution has been

good for freedom of expression [and] information [but] has had mixed effects on

freedom of the press": It has disrupted traditional sources of funding, and new forms of

Internet journalism have replaced only a tiny fraction of what's been lost. Various

systems have been proposed for increasing the funds available for investigative

journalism that allow individual citizens to direct small amounts of government funds to

news outlets or investigative journalism projects of their choice.

To train people to conduct these kinds of investigations, Charles Lewis has proposed

"the creation of a new multidisciplinary academic field called Accountability Studies. ...

[S]tudents from widely different academic backgrounds are excited about the prospect

of learning exactly how to investigate those in power and hold them accountable."


Accountability standards have been set up, and organizations can voluntarily commit to

them. Standards apply in particular to the non-profit world and to Corporate Social

Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Accountability standards include:

INGO Accountability Charter, signed by a large number of NGOs to "demonstrate

their commitment to accountability and transparency"

AccountAbility's AA1000 series. "principles-based standards to help

organisations become more accountable, responsible and sustainable. They

address issues affecting governance, business models and organizational

strategy, as well as providing operational guidance on sustainability assurance

and stakeholder engagement"

Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) 2010 standards. A standard for

humanitarian organizations to help them "design, implement, assess, improve

and recognize accountable programs"

In addition, some non-profit organizations set up their own commitments to


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Accountability, Learning and Planning System (ALPS) by ActionAid, a framework

that sets out the key accountability requirements, guidelines, and processes.

Proposed Symbolism

Viktor Frankl, neurologist, psychiatrist, author, and founder of logotherapy and one of

the key figures in existential therapy, in his book Man's Search for Meaning

recommended "that the

Statue of Liberty on the

East Coast (that has

become a symbol of

Liberty and Freedom)

should be supplemented

by a Statue of

Responsibility on the

West Coast." Frankl

stated: "Freedom,

however, is not the last

word. Freedom is only

part of the story and half

of the truth. Freedom is

but the negative aspect of

the whole phenomenon

whose positive aspect is

responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness

unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness."

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II. Good Governance

Good Governance is an indeterminate term used in the international

development literature to describe how public institutions conduct public affairs and

manage public resources. Governance is "the process of decision-making and the

process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented)". The term

governance can apply to corporate, international, national, local governance or to the

interactions between other sectors of society.

The concept of "good governance"

of ten emerges as a model to

compare ineffective economies or political bodies

with viable economies and political bodies. [2] The

concept centers on the responsibility of

governments and governing bodies to

meet the needs of the

masses as opposed

to select groups in society. Because

countries often described as "most

successful" are Western liberal



concentrated in Europe and

the Americas,






other state institutions



states. Aid

organizations and the

authorities of developed

countries often will focus the

meaning of "good

governance" to a

set of requirements

that conform to the

organization's agenda, making "good governance" imply

many different things in many different contexts.

Distinction from Other Related Concepts

It is important to distinguish good governance from other concepts that look similar,

such as development and economic growth. Instead of considering them as equal,

many scholars refer to them as features that are likely to be related in different ways. In

fact, the importance that authors give to good governance, is due to the impact it may

have on development and economic growth.

According to Grindle (2004), the relevance of getting good governance comes precisely

from its relationship with the development of a country and the reduction of poverty.

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Setting an agenda for reaching good governance is of the huge interest but also a

complex task, which makes this author to propose rather a “good enough governance”

agenda as a starting point. In the construction of this "simpler" agenda, the idea is to

revisit policies that have worked in the past, set priorities in a strategically way, consider

policies with greater impact in alleviating poverty and reaching development, and look

for innovative ways of implementing such policies.

In terms of economic growth, there are several authors relating that variable with good

governance, but in the sense of “being related to” instead of “being part of”. In other

words, scholars have been intrigued by the relationship between good governance and

economic or political development. Grindle (2007) mentions there are many relations to

be found between indicators of good governance and economic growth, however those

associations are difficult to measure and even harder to be attributed as causal.

Nevertheless, she mentions the work of Kauffman (2002), who found a causal and

positive relationship between different dimensions of good governance and the GDP per

capita in the long run, i.e. good governance makes development possible.

These dimensions are how the government is elected and oversighted, the

accountability power of citizens, the credibility in the government, the respect for

institutions, both from government and citizens, and the effective delivery of public

goods. He found that the relation between these two variables does not hold in the

reverse direction, meaning that higher levels of economic growth do not lead to better

governance. For example, Quain (2003) points out that China and Vietnam are frequent

examples of countries that have made remarkable leaps in economic development and

poverty reduction, but nevertheless retain many characteristics of poor governance.

In International Affairs (IR)

In international affairs, analysis of good governance can look at any of the following


between governments and markets

between governments and citizens

between governments and the private or voluntary sector

between elected officials and appointed officials

between government and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)

The varying types of comparisons comprising the analysis of governance in scholastic

and practical discussion can cause the meaning of "good governance" to vary greatly

from practitioner to practitioner.

In Corporate Sectors

In corporate affairs, good governance can be observed in any of the following


Page 28 of 141

etween governance and corporate management

between governance and employee standards

between governance and corruption in the workplace

The meaning of good governance in regards to corporate sectors varies between

actors. Legislation has been enacted in an attempt to influence good governance in

corporate affairs. In the United States, the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002 set up

requirements for businesses to follow. Whistleblowing has also been widely used by

corporations to expose corruption and fraudulent activity.

In National Governments

Good governance in the context of countries is a broad term, and in that regards, it is

difficult to find a unique definition. According to Fukuyama (2013), there are two

dimensions to qualify governance as good or bad: the capacity of the state and the

bureaucracy's autonomy.

They both complement, in the sense that when the state is more capable, for instance

through the collection of taxes, there should be more autonomy because the

bureaucrats are able to conduct things well without being instructed with a lot of details.

In less capable states, however, less discretion and more rules setting are desirable.

Page 29 of 141

Another way to think about good governance is through outcomes. Since governments

carry out with goals like the provision of public goods to its citizens, there is no better

way to think about good governance other than through deliverables, which are

precisely the one demanded by citizens, like security, health, education, water, the

enforcement of contracts, protection to property, protection to the environment and their

ability to vote and get paid fair wages.

Similarly, good governance might be approximated with provision of public services in

an efficient manner, higher participation given to certain groups in the population like the

poor and the minorities, the guarantee that citizens have the opportunity of checks and

balances on the government, the establishment and enforcement of norms for the

protection of the citizens and their property and the existence of independent judiciary


Lawson (2011) in his review of Rothstein's book “The quality of government: corruption,

social trust, and inequality in international perspective” mentions that the author relates

good governance to the concept of impartiality, which is basically when the bureaucrats

perform their tasks following the public interest rather than their self-interest. Lawson

differs with him in that this impartial application of law ignores important factors like the

economic liberalism, which matters due to its relation with economic growth.

In Local Governments

Good governance is argued to be the most important in local governments. It tries to

promote more relationships between government and

Empowered citizens

Neighborhood councils

Community councils

Good governance with local government aims to increase civil engagement with more

members of the community in order to get the best options that serves the people.

In Scientific Exploration

Before there can be scientific experimentation, organizations must be compliant with

good governance, meaning that testing must be moral and practical. Many research

organizations such as SPICE (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering),

a geoengineering research project that was formed in the U.K., was required to go

through stages of evaluation before testing could be conducted if they were to be

funded by stakeholders. In 2011 SPICE made plans to experiment with solar radiation.

The method for this experiment included injecting stratospheric sulfur aerosols into the

Earth's atmosphere.

The criteria or "stage-gate" that they must pass before performing their experiment

included the following; identify safe and principle risks, test must be compliant with

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elevant regulations, future applications and impacts, and mechanisms put in place to

review these in the light of new information, and that the stakeholders must be regarded

and taken into account. Before research can be conducted in the field of

geoengineering it must be scrutinized using good governance to ensure testing isn't

harmful to the environment and to detail all the possible risks that may occur.

Reform and Standards

Three institutions can be reformed to promote good governance: the state, the private

sector and civil society. However, among different cultures, the need and demand for

reform can vary depending on the priorities of that country's society. A variety of country

level initiatives and international movements put emphasis on various types of

governance reform. Each movement for reform establishes criteria for what they

consider good governance based on their own needs and agendas. The following are

examples of good governance standards for prominent organizations in the international


United Nations (UN)

The United Nations is playing an increasing role in good governance. According to

former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, "Good governance is ensuring respect for

human rights and the rule of law; strengthening democracy; promoting transparency

and capacity in public administration." To implement this, the UN follows eight


Participation - People should be able to voice their own opinions through

legitimate immediate organizations or representatives.

Rule of Law - Legal framework should be enforced impartially, especially on

human right laws.

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Consensus Oriented - Mediates differing interests to meet the broad consensus

on the best interests of a community.

Equity and Inclusiveness - People should have opportunities to improve or

maintain their well-being.

Effectiveness and Efficiency - Processes and institutions should be able to

produce results that meet the needs of their community while making the best of

their resources.

Accountability - Governmental institutions, private sectors, and civil society

organizations should be held accountable to the public and institutional


Transparency - Information should be accessible to the public and should be

understandable and monitored.

Responsiveness - Institutions and processes should serve all stakeholders.

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was created at a United Nations (UN)

conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. In 1996, the IMF declared "promoting

good governance in all its aspects, including by ensuring the rule of law, improving the

efficiency and accountability of the public sector, and tackling corruption, as essential

elements of a framework within which economies can prosper". The IMF feels that

corruption within economies is caused by the ineffective governance of the economy,

either too much regulation or too little regulation. [18] To receive loans from the IMF,

countries must have certain good governance policies, as determined by the IMF, in


World Bank

The World Bank is concerned with the reform of economic and social resource control.

In 1992, it underlined three aspects of society that they feel affect the nature of a

country's governance:

1. type of political regime;

2. process by which authority is exercised in the management of the economic and

social resources, with a view to development; and

3. capacity of governments to formulate policies and have them effectively


Worldwide Governance Indicators

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The Worldwide Governance Indicators is a program funded by the World Bank to

measure the quality of governance of over 200 countries. It uses six dimensions of

governance for their measurements, Voice & Accountability, Political Stability and Lack

of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law, and Control of

Corruption. They have been studying countries since 1996.

International Humanitarian Funding


Good governance defines an ideal that is difficult to achieve in full, though it is

something development supporters consider donating to causes. [21] Major donors and

international financial institutions, like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or World

Bank, are basing their aid and loans on the condition that the recipient undertake

reforms ensuring good governance. This is mostly due to the close link between poor

governance and corruption.


Because concepts such as civil society, decentralisation, peaceful conflict management

and accountability are often used when defining the concept of good governance, the

definition of good governance promotes many ideas that closely align with effective

democratic governance. Not surprisingly, emphasis on good governance can

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sometimes be equated with promoting democratic government. However, a 2011

literature review analyzing the link between democracy and development by Alina

Rocha Menocal of the Overseas Development Institute stresses the inconclusiveness of

evidence on this relationship.


A good example of this close association, for some actors, between western democratic

governance and the concept of good governance is the following statement made by

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Nigeria on August 12, 2009:

Again, to refer to President Obama's speech, what Africa needs is not more strong men,

it needs more strong democratic institutions that will stand the test of time. (Applause.)

Without good governance, no amount of oil or no amount of aid, no amount of effort can

guarantee Nigeria's success. But with good governance, nothing can stop Nigeria. It's

the same message that I have carried in all of my meetings, including my meeting this

afternoon with your president. The United States supports the seven-point agenda for

reform that was outlined by President Yar'Adua. We believe that delivering on roads and

on electricity and on education and all the other points of that agenda will demonstrate

the kind of concrete progress that the people of Nigeria are waiting for.

Role of Political Parties

Researchers at the Overseas Development Institute have criticised past studies of good

governance to place too little importance on developing political parties, their capacity

and their ties to their grassroots supporters. While political parties play a key role in

well-functioning democracies, elsewhere political parties are disconnected from voters

and dominated by elites, with few incentives or capabilities to increase the

representation of other voters. Political parties can play a key role in pivotal moments of

a state's development, either negatively (e.g. organising and instigating violence) or

positively (e.g. by leading dialogue in a fractured society). While differences in the

electoral system play their role in defining the number of parties and their influence once

in power (proportional, first past the post, etc.), the funding and expertise available to

parties also plays an important role not only in their existence, but their ability to connect

to a broad base of support. While the United Nations Development Program and the

European Commission have been providing funds to political parties since the 1990s,

there are still calls to increase the support for capacity development activities including

the development of party manifestos, party constitutions and campaigning skills.

Scholarly Approaches

Nayef Al-Rodhan, in his 2009 book Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man: A

Philosophy of History and Civilisational Triumph, proposed eight minimum criteria for

ensuring good national governance. Al-Rodhan's eight minimum criteria are: 1)

participation, equity, and inclusiveness, 2) rule of law, 3) separation of powers, 4) free,

independent, and responsible media, 5) government legitimacy, 6) accountability, 7)

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transparency, and 8) limiting the distorting effect of money in politics. In the book, he

argues that good national governance is an important component in creating a history of

sustainability for the human race. For Al-Rodhan, the eight minimal criteria of good

governance are expressions of the fundamental values of democracy and more liberal


The Tuskegee Study from 1932 to 1972 led to the signing of the National Research Act.

This law outlined basic ethical ways in which research is to be carried out. The

Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (DHEW) made regulations that required

voluntary agreements for anyone who was to take part in their studies. Governance is

used in scientific studies to ensure that policies are safe and ethical when studies are

being done on human subjects.

After the National Research Act there have been other organization put in place such as

the Ethics Advisory Board, which reviews biomedical research. Many federal agencies

adopted the Federal Policy for Protection of Human Rights in 1991. In 1995 President

Bill Clinton established the National Bioethics Advisory Commission led by the

Department of Health and Human Services with the task of reviewing regulations and

policies to ensure the safety of research volunteers.

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According to Sam Agere, "The discretionary space left by the lack of a clear welldefined

scope for what governance encompasses allows users to choose and set their

own parameters."

In the book Contesting 'good' governance, Eva Poluha and Mona Rosendahl contest

standards that are common to western democracy as measures of "goodness" in

government. By applying political anthropological methods, they conclude that while

governments believe they apply concepts of good governance while making decisions,

cultural differences can cause conflict with the heterogeneous standards of the

international community.

An additional source of good governance criticism is The Intelligent Person's Guide to

Good Governance, written by Surendra Munshi. Munshi's work was created in order to

"revive" good governance. Many individuals tend to either wave away and be bored with

the idea of governance, or not have a clue to what it has at all. This book is a

generalized discussion on what the purpose of good governance is and how it serves

that purpose throughout our society. Munshi targets the book toward anyone doing

research or just simply "those concerned with the issue of governance".

Rethinking Systems: Configurations of Politics and Policy in Contemporary Governance,

written by Michael P. Crozier, is another work analyzing good governance. Crozier's

article discusses the different dynamics of changes that occur throughout

communication systems and the effect it has on governance. The idea of various

perspectives is presented throughout the article. This allows the reader to be able to

see what contemporary governance is like from different viewpoints. Crozier's motive

was to also create an open mindset when referring to how governance and policy within

society operate, especially with the constant changes occurring day to day.

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III. Due Diligence

Due Diligence is an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a

contract, or an act with a certain standard of care.

It can be a legal obligation, but the term will more commonly apply to voluntary

investigations. A common example of due diligence in various industries is the process

through which a potential acquirer evaluates a target company or its assets for an

acquisition. The theory behind due diligence holds that performing this type of

investigation contributes significantly to informed decision making by enhancing the

amount and quality of information available to decision makers and by ensuring that this

information is systematically used to deliberate in a reflexive manner on the decision at

hand and all its costs, benefits, and risks.


The term “due diligence” means "required carefulness" or "reasonable care" in general

usage, and has been used in this sense since at least the mid-fifteenth century. It

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ecame a specialized legal term and later a common business term due to the United

States’ Securities Act of 1933, where the process is called "reasonable investigation"

(section 11b3). This Act included a defense at Section 11, referred to later in legal

usage as the “due diligence” defense, which could be used by broker-dealers when

accused of inadequate disclosure to investors of material information with respect to the

purchase of securities. In legal and business use, the term was soon used for the

process itself instead of how it was to be performed, so that the original expressions

such as "exercise due diligence in investigating" and "investigation carried out with due

diligence" were soon shortened to "due diligence investigation" and finally "due


As long as broker-dealers exercised “due diligence” (required carefulness) in their

investigation into the company whose equity they were selling and as long as they

disclosed to the investor what they found, they would not be held liable for nondisclosure

of information that was not discovered in the process of that investigation.

The broker-dealer community quickly institutionalized, as a standard practice, the

conducting of due diligence investigations of any stock offerings in which they involved

themselves. Originally the term was limited to public offerings of equity investments, but

over time it has come to be associated with investigations of private mergers and

acquisitions as well.


Business Transactions and Corporate Finance

Due diligence takes different forms depending on its purpose:

1. The examination of a potential target for merger, acquisition, privatization, or

similar corporate finance transaction normally by a buyer. (This can include self

due diligence or “reverse due diligence”, i.e. an assessment of a company,

usually by a third party on behalf of the company, prior to taking the company to


2. A reasonable investigation focusing on material future matters.

3. An examination being achieved by asking certain key questions, including, how

do we buy, how do we structure an acquisition, and how much do we pay?

4. An investigation of current practices of process and policies.

5. An examination aiming to make an acquisition decision via the principles of

valuation and shareholder value analysis.

The due diligence process (framework) can be divided into nine distinct areas: [4]

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1. Compatibility audit.

2. Financial audit.

3. Macro-environment audit.

4. Legal/environmental audit.

5. Marketing audit.

6. Production audit.

7. Management audit.

8. Information systems audit.

9. Reconciliation audit.

It is essential that the concepts of valuations (shareholder value analysis) be linked into

a due diligence process. This is in order to reduce the number of failed mergers and


In this regard, two new audit areas have been incorporated into the Due Diligence


the Compatibility Audit which deals with the strategic components of the

transaction and in particular the need to add shareholder value and

the Reconciliation audit, which links/consolidates other audit areas together via a

formal valuation in order to test whether shareholder value will be added.

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The relevant areas of concern may include the financial, legal, labor, tax, IT,

environment and market/commercial situation of the company. Other areas include

intellectual property, real and personal property, insurance and liability coverage, debt

instrument review, employee benefits (including the Affordable Care Act) and labor

matters, immigration, and international transactions. Areas of focus in due diligence

continue to develop with cybersecurity emerging as an area of concern for business

acquirers. Due diligence findings impact a number of aspects of the transaction

including the purchase price, the representations and warranties negotiated in the

transaction agreement, and the indemnification provided by the sellers.

Due Diligence has emerged as a separate profession for accounting and auditing


Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

With the number and size of penalties increasing, the United States' Foreign Corrupt

Practices Act (FCPA) has caused many U.S. institutions to look into how they evaluate

all of their relationships overseas. The lack of a due diligence of a company’s agents,

vendors, and suppliers, as well as merger and acquisition partners in foreign countries

could lead to doing business with an organization linked to a foreign official or state

owned enterprises and their executives.

This link could be perceived as leading to the bribing of the foreign officials and as a

result lead to noncompliance with the FCPA. Due diligence in regard to FCPA

compliance is required in two aspects:

1. Initial due diligence – this step is necessary in evaluating what risk is involved in

doing business with an entity prior to establishing a relationship and assesses

risk at that point in time.

2. Ongoing due diligence – this is the process of periodically evaluating each

relationship overseas to find links between current business relationships

overseas and ties to a foreign official or illicit activities linked to corruption. This

process will be performed indefinitely as long as a relationship exists, and usually

involves comparing the companies and executives to a database of foreign

officials. This process should be performed on all relationships regardless of

location and is often part of a wider Integrity Management initiative .

In the M&A context, buyers can use the due diligence phase to integrate a target into

their internal FCPA controls, focusing initial efforts on necessary revisions to the target's

business activities with a high-risk of corruption.

While financial institutions are among the most aggressive in defining FCPA best

practices, manufacturing, retailing and energy industries are highly active in managing

FCPA compliance programs.

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Human Rights

Passed on May 25, 2011, the OECD member countries agreed to revise their guidelines

promoting tougher standards of corporate behavior, including human rights. As part of

this new definition, they utilized a new aspect of due diligence that requires a

corporation to investigate third party partners for potential abuse of human rights.

In the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises document, it is stated that all

members will “Seek ways to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are

directly linked to their business operations, products or services by a business

relationship, even if they do not contribute to those impacts”.

The term was originally put forth by UN Special Representative for Human Rights and

Business John Ruggie, who uses it as an umbrella to cover the steps and processes by

which a company understands, monitors and mitigates its human rights impacts. Human

Rights Impact Assessment is a component of this.

The UN formalized guidelines for Human Rights Due Diligence on June 16 with the

endorsement of Ruggie’s Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights.

Civil Litigation

Due diligence in civil procedure is the idea that reasonable investigation is necessary

before certain kinds of relief are requested.

For example, duly diligent efforts to locate and/or serve a party with civil process is

frequently a requirement for a party seeking to use means other than personal service

to obtain jurisdiction over a party. Similarly, in areas of the law such as bankruptcy, an

attorney representing someone filing a bankruptcy petition must engage in due diligence

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to determine that the representations made in the bankruptcy petition are factually

accurate. Due diligence is also generally prerequisite to a request for relief in states

where civil litigants are permitted to conduct pre-litigation discovery of facts necessary

to determine whether or not a party has a factual basis for a cause of action.

In civil actions seeking a foreclosure or seizure of property, a party requesting this relief

is frequently required to engage in due diligence to determine who may claim an interest

in the property by reviewing public records concerning the property and sometimes by a

physical inspection of the property that would reveal a possible interest in the property

of a tenant or other person.

Due diligence is also a concept found in the civil litigation concept of a statute of

limitations. Frequently, a statute of limitations begins to run against a plaintiff when that

plaintiff knew or should have known had that plaintiff investigated the matter with due

diligence that the plaintiff had a claim against a defendant. In this context, the term “due

diligence” determines the scope of a party’s constructive knowledge, upon receiving

notice of facts sufficient to constitute “inquiry notice” that alerts a would-be plaintiff that

further investigation might reveal a cause of action.

Criminal Law

In criminal law, due diligence is the only available defense to a crime that is one of strict

liability (i.e., a crime that only requires an actus reus and no mens rea). Once the

criminal offence is proven, the defendant must prove on balance that they did

everything possible to prevent the act from happening. It is not enough that they took

the normal standard of care in their industry – they must show that they took every

reasonable precaution.

Due diligence is also used in criminal law to describe the scope of the duty of a

prosecutor, to take efforts to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence, to (accused)

criminal defendants.

In criminal law, “due diligence” also identifies the standard a prosecuting entity must

satisfy in pursuing an action against a defendant, especially with regard to the provision

of the Federal and State Constitutional and statutory right to a speedy trial or to have a

warrant or detainer served in an action. In cases where a defendant is in any type of

custodial situation where their freedom is constrained, it is solely the prosecuting

entities duty to ensure the provision of such rights and present the citizen before the

court with jurisdiction. This also applies where the respective judicial system and/or

prosecuting entity has current address or contact information on the named party and

said party has made no attempt to evade notice of the prosecution of the action.

Due Diligence Defense

In the United Kingdom, "proper use of a due diligence system" may be used as a

defence against a charge of breach of regulations e.g. under the Timber and Timber

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Products (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2013 and the Environmental Protection

(Microbeads) (England) Regulations 2017, businesses may be able to defend a charge

of non-compliance with regulations if they can show that they have undertaken supplier

due diligence to a necessary standard.

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IV. Integrity Management

Integrity Management Consulting is an emerging sector

of consultancy that advises individuals and corporations on how to apply the highest

ethical standards to every aspect of their business. Integrity within a corporate set up is

a holistic approach that

makes prudent and ethical

decisions not only

relating to finance but

other areas as well,



operations, marketing,

human resources as well

as manufacturing by

adhering to the highest

standards of product quality,

open and clear communication

and transparency in all

operations as well as

relationships. At the core of

integrity management is the belief

that companies have a strong

interest, as well as a responsibility,

to act with integrity at all times.

This field arose in response to:

more likely to succeed

when they act with integrity; and

(a) the



that companies are

(b) increased awareness by company directors of the need to seek

expert advice to help them align and incorporate high ethical

standards with business strategy and integrate them across all

operational functions.

In recent years, the general public have become both better informed and more

concerned about business ethics at home and in developing countries. As a result

governments have been called on to legislate, and business leaders to innovate, to

ensure that high ethical standards are put at the heart of business and industry. There

have been numerous regulations and ethical compliance measures to monitor financial

performance of the organization. To complement these regulations and to present a

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fully dimensional ethical view of the organization from within, companies adopt different

models such as Six Sigma, the Balanced Scorecard and the Triple Bottom Line.

The field of integrity management consulting aims to address:

1. The demand for companies to respond to increasing awareness of ethical

misconduct and resulting expectations for transparency and accountability;

2. The requirement for companies to comply with a stricter legal framework and

avoid prosecution for unethical behavior; and,

3. The desire for executives to make their enterprises leaders in responsible

and sustainable development.

Increased Public Awareness and Expectations

Media attention given to ethical lapses means that companies are increasingly being

held responsible for unethical behavior including corruption, labor issues and the poor

working conditions in their own operations, in those of their subsidiaries, as well as for

the actions of subcontractors acting on their behalf. An early example of the demand for

responsibility starting to take hold was in the early 1990's when the reputation of a major

footwear corporation was severely damaged, the brand devalued, and the company

subjected to consumer boycotts after the discovery of the supplier’s poor labor

standards. Child labor watchdogs found children as young as 10 working for Nike

making shoes, clothing and footballs in Pakistan and Cambodia.

Appalling workplace conditions have existed for centuries. However, the media has now

made ethical transgressions readily public. In fact, according to a briefing by

the Institute of Business Ethics, in 2009 there were 25 media stories on corporate

ethical lapses in the extractive industries alone. Reported issues for this sector included

environmental matters and allegations of human rights abuses in emerging markets, as

well as accusations that oil companies were dumping toxic material in West Africa. The

briefing also highlighted the amount of negative media attention given to the wider retail

sector in 2009. Numerous stories exposed unethical practices, such as

exploiting sweatshop labor, and accused some retailers of posing a danger to

indigenous communities in Africa.

The impact of such negative exposure can include:

damaged corporate reputations and brand devaluation

lower employee moral

consumer boycotts

loss of market share

negative perceptions on behalf of investors

legal action and

fines and in some jurisdictions jail terms for directors.

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According to Transparency International (TI), which investigates business corruption

across the globe, ` and corruption were partly to blame for the recent global economic

crisis of 2007-2008. The conditions cited included: serious lapses in corporate due

diligence, governance and integrity; poor transparency and accountability; and,

inadequate corporate integrity systems. The worldwide recession has furthered the

public’s demand for businesses to behave responsibly.

More Stringent Legal Requirements

Stricter legal frameworks have made it easier to prosecute transgressors and new

international initiatives are helping countries to work in collaboration to deter poor

business ethics.

The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (officially OECD Convention on Combating Bribery

of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions) is a convention of the

OECD, ratified by 41 countries and aimed at reducing corruption in developing countries

by encouraging sanctions against bribery in international business transactions carried

out by companies based in member countries. Countries that have signed the

Convention are required to put in place legislation that criminalizes the act of bribing a

foreign public official. Much of the legislation passed by member countries has

international reach.

One such example is the Bribery Act 2010 which was enacted into law on 8 April and

defines three discrete criminal offences: offering or paying a bribe; requesting or

receiving a bribe; bribing a foreign public official. (A specific offence required to comply

with the OECD Convention mentioned above); and a new corporate offence of failing to

prevent bribery being undertaken on its behalf. The Act applies to UK companies, UK

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partnerships, UK citizens and individuals ordinarily resident in the UK, regardless of

where the relevant act occurs. They also apply to non-UK nationals, companies, and

partnerships if an act or omission forming part of the offence takes place within the UK.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977(FCPA)(15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq.) is a

United States federal law with international reach which also targets unethical behavior.

The Act is known primarily for two of its main provisions: one that addresses accounting

transparency requirements under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934(SEC); and,

another concerning bribery of foreign officials. The FCPA applies to individuals and

businesses with securities registered in the United States or a principal place of

business in the United States. While this Act has been in existence for quite some time,

the SEC and the DOJ have recently increased their enforcement efforts.

A well-known example of a company prosecuted under the FCPA is German car maker,

Daimler, which agreed to pay US $185 million in fines to the US government over

alleged bribes paid to secure contracts abroad. BAE Systems PLC, a UK-based

defense contractor also agreed to pay a US $400 million fine in FCPA related

enforcement action.There are numerous other examples.In existence for around 40

years now, the FCPA is a very powerful tool in the hands of US DOJ and SEC which

they use as a weapon of recovery of billions of dollars from foreign corporations

worldwide over which US authorities have little jurisdiction.

Most recently, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (also

known as the Financial Reform Act) signed into U.S. law by President Barack

Obama on July 21, 2010 contains a clause that specifically requires companies with

products containing cassiterite (tin ore), columbite-tantalite (coltan), wolframite, and gold

to disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) whether the minerals are

sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo or adjoining countries. Companies will

have to detail the measures they have taken to avoid sourcing the minerals from

Congolese armed groups, which are guilty of massacres and other atrocities. The bill

also requires that all information disclosed be independently audited.

This legislation underpins some of the reasons businesses are taking integrity seriously

and enlisting integrity management consultancies. Many businesses leaders have

realized that early adopters of strong corporate ethics will thrive, as did those quick to

embrace the environmental agenda in recent years. Consumers and shareholders are

increasingly ready to recognize the value of corporate responsibility in international

business. Increasingly, responsibility and sustainable value are intertwined.

Role of Consultancies

In response, the field of integrity management has been born to help clients conduct

business, even in the most challenging of markets, without compromising their ethics.

With the help of expert advice, companies can go beyond abiding by the law to taking a

voluntary, proactive approach to ensuring a company’s activities promote behaving

responsibly, with fairness, sustainability, and cultural sensitivity in the communities in

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which they operate. It is very different in this respect from the more reactive field of risk

management, although some risk management companies have attempted to embrace

ethical risk as an area of specialism. Many risk management consultancies are adjuncts

to private security companies. Therefore, some would-be clients are not convinced that

they are best-placed to assist in the area of integrity and ethical management, because

their parent companies face reputational challenges themselves.

Specialist integrity management consultancy helps business leaders not only to avoid

business practices that represent risk to an industry or economy, but also helps to bring

such practices under scrutiny so that they can be brought to a quick end.

The practice of integrity management consultancy combines numerous disciplines

including established Knowledge Acquisition Methodologies, Public Relations Practices,

Business Risk Management techniques, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),

Compliance functions, Insider Threat detection and Financial expertise to help clients

make responsible and ethical business decisions.

Integrity management consultancies offer services such as: Identifying potential

reputational and ethical threats for clients, and developing practical recommendations to

mitigate these threats; making recommendations for, and carrying out due diligence on,

local professional service suppliers; providing advice on accessing a local pool of talent,

and addressing cultural considerations for building an effective local workforce;

conducting detailed investigations into proposed local partners and key employees;

preparing community needs reviews for better targeting of CSR programmes; and,

administering anti-and counter-corruption training. Many also offer general ethics audits

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so that companies can obtain independent verification to attest to the high standard of

their corporate ethics. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list as each consultancy

offers different services.

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V. Euthenics

Euthenics /juːˈθɛnɪks/ is the study of the improvement of human functioning

and well-being by improvement of living conditions. Affecting the "improvement" through

altering external factors such as education and the controllable environment, including

the prevention and removal of contagious disease and parasites, environmentalism,

education regarding employment, home economics, sanitation, and housing.

Rose Field notes of the

definition in a May 23,

1926 New York

Times article, "the simplest

being efficient living". A

right to environment.

The Flynn effect has been

often cited as an example

of euthenics. Another

example is the steady

increase in body size in

industrialized countries

since the beginning of the

20th century.

Euthenics is not normally

interpreted to have anything to do with changing the composition of the human gene

pool by definition, although everything that affects society has some effect on who

reproduces and who does not.

Origin of The Term

The term was derived in the late 19th century from the Greek verb eutheneo, εὐθηνέω

(eu, well; the, root of τίθημι tithemi, to cause).

(To be in a flourishing state, to abound in, to prosper.—Demosthenes. To be strong or

vigorous.—Herodotus. To be vigorous in body.—Aristotle.)

Also from the Greek Euthenia, Εὐθηνία. Good state of the body: prosperity, good

fortune, abundance.—Herodotus.

The opposite of Euthenia is Penia, Πενία ("deficiency" or "poverty") the personification

of poverty and need.

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Ellen H. Swallow Richards (1842–1911; Vassar Class of '70) was one of the first writers

to use the term, in The Cost of Shelter (1905), with the meaning "the science of better

living". It is unclear if (and probably unlikely that) any of the study programs of euthenics

ever completely embraced Richards' multidisciplinary concept, though several nuances

remain today, especially that of interdisciplinarity.

Vassar College Institute of Euthenics

After Richards' death in 1911, Julia Lathrop (1858–1932; VC '80)—one of Vassar's most

distinguished alumnae—continued to promote the development of an interdisciplinary

program in euthenics at the college. Lathrop soon teamed with alumna Minnie Cumnock

Blodgett (1862–1931; VC '84), who with her husband, John Wood Blodgett, offered

financial support to create a program of euthenics at Vassar College. Curriculum

planning, suggested by Vassar president Henry Noble MacCracken in 1922, began in

earnest by 1923, under the direction of Professor Annie Louise Macleod (Chemistry;

First woman PhD, McGill University, 1910).

According to Vassar's chronology entry for March 17, 1924, "the faculty recognized

euthenics as a satisfactory field for sequential study (major). A Division of Euthenics

was authorized to offer a multidisciplinary program [radical at the time] focusing the

techniques and disciplines of the arts, sciences and social sciences on the life

experiences and relationships of women. Students in euthenics could take courses in

horticulture, food chemistry, sociology and statistics, education, child study, economics,

economic geography, physiology, hygiene, public health, psychology and domestic

architecture and furniture. With the new division came the first major in child study at an

American liberal arts college."

For example, a typical major in child study in euthenics includes introductory

psychology, laboratory psychology, applied psychology, child study and social

psychology in the Department of Psychology; the three courses offered in the

Department of Child Study; beginning economics, programs of social reorganization and

the family in Economics; and in the Department of Physiology, human physiology, child

hygiene, principles of public health.

The Vassar Summer Institute of Euthenics accepted its first students in June 1926.

Created to supplement the controversial euthenics major which began February 21,

1925, it was also located in the new Minnie Cumnock Blodgett Hall of Euthenics (York &

Sawyer, architects; ground broke October 25, 1925). Some Vassar faculty members

(perhaps emotionally upset with being displaced on campus to make way, or otherwise

politically motivated) contentiously "believed the entire concept of euthenics was vague

and counter-productive to women's progress."

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Having overcome a lukewarm reception, Vassar College officially opened its Minnie

Cumnock Blodgett Hall of Euthenics in 1929. Dr. Ruth Wheeler (Physiology and

Nutrition – VC '99) took over as director of euthenics studies in 1924. Wheeler remained

director until Mary Shattuck Fisher Langmuir (VC '20) succeeded her in 1944, until


The college continued for the 1934–35 academic year its successful cooperative

housing experiment in three residence halls. Intended to help students meet their

college costs by working in their residences. For example, in Main, students earned $40

a year by doing relatively light work such as cleaning their rooms.

In 1951, Katharine Blodgett Hadley (VC '20) donated $400,000, through the Rubicon

Foundation, to Vassar to help fund operating deficits in the current and succeeding

years and to improve faculty salaries.

"Discontinued for financial reasons, the Vassar Summer Institute for Family and

Community Living, founded in 1926 as the Vassar Summer Institute of Euthenics, held

its last session, July 2, 1958. This was the first and last session for the institute's new

director, Dr. Mervin Freedman."

Elmira College

Elmira College is noted as the oldest college still in existence which (as a college for

women) granted degrees to women which were the equivalent of those given to men

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(the first to do so was the now-defunct Mary Sharp College). Elmira College became

coeducational in all of its programs in 1969.

A special article was written in the December 12, 1937 New York Times, quoting recent

graduates of Elmira College, urging for courses in colleges for men on the care of

children. Reporting that "preparation for the greatest of all professions, that of

motherhood and child-training, is being given the students at Elmira College in the

Nursery School which is Conducted as part of the Department of Euthenics."

Elmira College was one of the first of the liberal arts colleges to recognize the fact that

women should have some special training, integrated with the so-called liberal studies,

which would prepare them to carry on, with less effort and fewer mistakes, a successful

family life. Courses in nutrition, household economics, clothing selection, principles of

foods and meal planning, child psychology, and education in family relations are a part

of the curriculum.

The Elmira College nursery school for fifteen children between the ages of two and five

years was opened primarily as a laboratory for college students, but it had become so

popular with parents in the community that there was always a long waiting list.

The New York Times article notes how the nursery had become one of the essential

laboratories of the college, where recent mothers testified to the value of the training

they received while in college. "Today," one graduate said, "when it is often necessary

for young women to continue professional work outside the home after marriage, it is

important that young fathers, who must share in the actual care and training of the

children, should have some knowledge of correct methods."


Many factors led to the movement never getting the funding it needed to remain

relevant, including: vigorous debate about the exact meaning of euthenics, a

strong anti-feminism movement paralleling even stronger women's rights movements,

confusion with the term eugenics, the economic impact of the Great Depression and two

world wars. These factors also prevented the discipline from gaining the attention it

needed to put together a lasting, vastly multidisciplinary curriculum. Therefore, it split off

into separate disciplines. Child Study is one such curriculum.

Martin Heggestad of the Mann Library notes that "Starting around 1920, however, home

economists tended to move into other fields, such as nutrition and textiles, that offered

more career opportunities, while health issues were dealt with more in the hard

sciences and in the professions of nursing and public health. Also, improvements in

public sanitation (for example, the wider availability of sewage systems and of food

inspection) led to a decline in infectious diseases and thus a decreasing need for the

largely household-based measures taught by home economists." Thus, the end of

euthenics as originally defined by Ellen Swallow Richards ensued.

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Relationship with Eugenics

According to Ellen Richards, in her book Euthenics: the science of controllable

environment (1910):

The betterment of living conditions, through conscious endeavor, for the purpose of

securing efficient human beings, is what the author means by Euthenics.

"Human vitality depends upon two primary conditions—heredity and hygiene—or

conditions preceding birth and conditions during life."

Eugenics deals with race improvement through heredity.

Euthenics deals with race improvement through environment.

Eugenics is hygiene for the future generations.

Euthenics is hygiene for the present generation.

Eugenics must await careful investigation.

Euthenics has immediate opportunity.

Euthenics precedes eugenics, developing better men now, and thus inevitably creating

a better race of men in the future. Euthenics is the term proposed for the preliminary

science on which Eugenics must be based.

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Debate, Misconceptions and Opposition

Debate over misconceptions about the movement started almost from the beginning. In

his comparison "Eugenics, Euthenics, And Eudemics", (American Journal of Sociology,

Vol. 18, No. 6, May 1913), Lester F. Ward of Brown University opens the second

section regarding euthenics lamenting:

Is there, then, nothing to do? Are we to accept that modem scientific fatalism known

as laissez faire, which enjoins the folding of the arms? Are we to preach a gospel of

inaction? I for one certainly am not content to do so, and I believe that nothing I have

thus far said [about eugenics] is inconsistent with the most vigorous action, and that in

the direction of the betterment of the human race. The end and aim of the eugenists

cannot be reproached. The race is far from perfect. Its condition is deplorable. Its

improvement is entirely feasible, and in the highest degree desirable. Nor do I refer

merely to economic conditions, to the poverty and misery of the disinherited classes.

The intellectual state of the world is deplorable, and its improvement is clearly within the

reach of society itself. It is therefore a question of method rather than of principle that

concerns us.

Ward later noted about the organic environment that:

Darwin has taught us that the chief barrier to the advance of any species of plants or

animals is its competition with other plants and animals that contest the same ground.

And therefore the fiercest opponents of any species are the members of the same

species which demand the same elements of subsistence. Hence the chief form of relief

in the organic world consists in the thinning-out of competitors. Any species of animals or

plants left free to propagate at its normal rate would overrun the earth in a short time and

leave no room for any other species. Any species that is sufficiently vigorous to resist its

organic environment will crowd out all others and monopolize the earth. If nature

permitted this there could be no variety, but only one monotonous aspect devoid of

interest or beauty. Whatever we may think of the harsh method by which this is

prevented, we cannot regret that it is prevented, and that we have a world of variety,

interest, and aesthetic attractiveness.

Vassar historians note that "critics faulted the new program as a weakening of science

and a slide into vocationalism. The influential educator and historian of

education, Abraham Flexner—one of the founders of the Princeton Institute for

Advanced Study—attacked the program, along with other “ad hoc” innovations like

intercollegiate athletics and student governments, in Universities, American, English,

German (1930)."

"Well, what is euthenics? Euthenics is the 'science of efficient living;' and the 'science' is artificially

pieced together of bits of mental hygiene, child guidance, nutrition, speech development and

correction, family problems, wealth consumption, food preparation, household technology, and

horticulture.... The institute is actually justified in an official publication by the profound question of

a girl student who is reported as asking, 'What is the connection of Shakespeare with having a

baby?' The Vassar Institute of Euthenics bridges this gap!"

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In the summer of 1926, Margaret Sanger created a stir when she gave a radio address,

called "Racial Betterment", in the first Euthenics Institute, where she praised attempts to

"close our gates to the so-called 'undesirables'" and proposed efforts to "discourage or

cut down on the rapid multiplication of the unfit and undesirable at home", by

government-subsidized voluntary sterilization. (from The Selected Papers of Margaret

Sanger, vol. 1 (2003), Esther Katz, ed.)

Eugenicist, Charles Benedict Davenport, noted in his article "Euthenics and Eugenics,"

found reprinted in the Popular Science Monthly of January 1911, page 18, 20:

Thus the two schools of euthenics and eugenics stand opposed, each viewing the other

unkindly. Against eugenics it is urged that it is a fatalistic doctrine and deprives life of

the stimulus toward effort. Against euthenics the other side urges that it demands an

endless amount of money to patch up conditions in the vain effort to get greater

efficiency. Which of the two doctrines is true?

The thoughtful mind must concede that, as is so often the case where doctrines are

opposed, each view is partial, incomplete and really false. The truth does not exactly lie

between the doctrines; it comprehends them both. What a child becomes is always the

resultant of two sets of forces acting from the moment the fertilized egg begins its

development—one is the set of internal tendencies and the other is the set of external

influences. What the result of an external influence—a particular environmental

condition—shall be depends only in part upon the nature of the influence; it depends

also upon the internal nature of the reacting protoplasm.

Incest, cousin marriage, the marriage of defectives and tuberculous persons, are, in

wide circles, taboo. This fact affords the basis for the hope that, when the method of

securing strong offspring, even from partially defective stock—and where is the strain

without any defect?—is widely known, the teachings of science in respect even to

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marriage matings will be widely regarded and that in the generations to come the

teachings and practice of euthenics will yield greater result because of the previous

practice of the principles of eugenics.

In a New York Times op-ed dated October 24, 1926, entitled "Eugenics and

euthenics", in response to an op-ed entitled "Bright Children Who Fail" which appeared

the previous October 15, student of child psychology, Joseph A. Krisses observes:

From intensive study we realize the importance of eugenics—the right of birth, and also the

subject of euthenics—the right to environment. Too little credit is given to environment when we

speak of children having hereditary traits as "Like father, like son," or "Chip off the old block."

Such phrases have their origin from the study of eugenics. No one has ever taken

an Edwards baby and reared it in a Jukes environment. ”


"Not through chance, but through increase of scientific knowledge; not through

compulsion, but through democratic idealism consciously working through common

interests, will be brought about the creation of right conditions, the control of the

environment." (Ellen H. Swallow Richards)

"Right living conditions comprise pure food and a safe water supply, a clean and

disease free atmosphere in which to live and work, proper shelter and adjustment of

work, rest, and amusements." (Ellen H. Swallow Richards)

"Probably not more than twenty-five percent in any community are capable of doing a

full days work such as they would be capable of doing if they were in perfect health"

(Ellen H. Swallow Richards)

"Men ignore nature's laws in their personal lives. They crave a larger measure of

goodness and happiness, and yet in their choice of dwelling places, in their building of

houses to live in, in their selection of food and drink, in their clothing of their bodies, in

their choice of occupations and amusements, in their methods and habits of work, they

disregard natural laws and impose upon themselves conditions that make their ideals of

goodness and happiness impossible of attainment." (George E. Dawson, The control of

life through Environment)

It is within the power of every living man to rid himself of every parasitic disease." (Louis


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VI. Social Design

Social Design is design, that is mindful of the designer’s role and responsibility in

society; and the use of the design process to bring about social change. Social design is

also a critical discipline that challenges the pure market-orientedness of conventional

design practice, and attempts to see past, into a more inclusive conception of design, in

which user groups who are marginalized are also given priority.


Within the design






defined as a

design process that contributes to

improving human well- being and livelihood. The

agenda of social design is inspired by among others' Victor Papanek’s idea that

designers and creative professionals have a responsibility and are able to cause real

change in the world through good design. Papanek writes about responsible design.

Designers can contribute to designing more ecological products by carefully selecting

the materials they use. Papanek also remarks on designing for people's needs rather

than their wants. Responsible design includes many directions and one of these is

design for the Third World. Designers have responsibility over the choices they make in

design processes.

Social design thinking within the design world joins developing human and social

capital with new products and processes that are profitable. Profitability

and ownership of the processes are the cornerstones of sustainability that underpins

human well-being. Another author that contributes to the development of this definition

of social design is Victor Margolin. He writes in "The Politics of the Artificial" about the

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"designer's ability to envision and give form on material and immaterial products that

can address human problems on broad scale and contribute to social well-being."

This ideology is something that social design is built on. In this view social design is an

activity that should not be framed with connotations of charity, aid donations, help etc. It

is not voluntary work, but it should be seen as professional contribution that plays a part

in local economic development or livelihood. At the same time Social Design also

challenges the conventional market model of designing. While traditionally, Design has

been approached as a profession that remains strictly answerable to market forces,

Social design envisages the possibility of a more distributive conception of surpluses, by

ensuring that the benefits of services and systems reach a wider range of user groups

who may often fall outside the market system.

Strategic Thinking

Another starting point for outlining social design is strategic thinking of design. Creating

policies and implementing them on a civil level. The two poles: tradition and the market

economy can, in one of the models for social design, be placed in interaction, rather

than in competition, with each other. An author that has to be mentioned here is Jacque

Frescoand his Venus Project. He proposes that the future of the social systems needs

to be designed by the scientific method. Social design can then be seen as a process

that leads to human capabilities that in turn contributes to their well-being. As Amartya

Sen writes, poverty is seen as deprivation of capabilities. By focusing on capabilities,

rather than e.g. income, Amartya Sen suggests that development within various social

aspects of life can contribute to general development. Understanding and using social

design processes can contribute to the improvement of livelihood.

Performance Design

As social media becomes integrated with live performance, social design has become a

term to describe someone who designs how online tools connect to a performance. Just

as there are lighting designers, sound designers, set designers, costume designers and

video designers - social designers work with a team to complement a production with

social media tools and content. In this context, social design is defined as: "The

strategic implementation of social media to deepen or broaden the nature of an artistic


Designing Systems

Another dimension of social design focuses on designing systems that join the elements

of communication, new product development and the environment. It is argued that no

single area of design is, by itself, sufficient to drive sustainable social development.

What is needed is a system of design, one that encompasses all of the areas of design,

towards an open system with multiple, self-adjusting and complementary actors that aim

for a vision of a loosely defined common set of goals.

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Outside the design world social design appears in a number of professional

environments. There are a growing number of artists, especially in Scandinavia, that

use the term social design to describe their work, though the work is exhibited within the

art world. These are artist like FOS and Superflex. They come out of a tradition of social

art that can be led back to the Futurists, the Dadaists and e.g. the German artist Joseph

Beuys. In the realm of practice, however, Social design can be rooted more specifically

in developing world contexts, within unequal spaces, where design is not merely an

attempt at serving the few, but many simultaneously. This approach is particularly taken

in the MDes Program in Social Design in Ambedkar University, Delhi, India.

Social World

The term social design is also increasingly used to describe design of the social world.

This definition implicates a perception of a man-made reality, which consequently can

only be changed by humans, and is changed by humans all the time. In this view social

design is inescapable, it is there whether people are aware of it or not. The social reality

is created as a result of the sum of all our individual actions.

There is an emerging discussion of this concept of social design, which encompasses

all other definitions of the term.

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The Center for Social Design, at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), is

dedicated to demonstrating the value of design in addressing complex social

problems and to preparing the next generation of creative changemakers. The

Center is home to the first graduate-level, degree-bearing program in social

design, the MA in Social Design (MASD), launched in 2011.

The World Design Research Initiative aka Worldesign, at the University of Art

and Design Helsinki. Worldesign aims to explore issues relevant to social,

welfare, and responsible design and to generate theory, as well as applicable

systems or models. Its members produce exhibitions, workshops, and

publications, which work as tools for testing and evaluating different social design


Architects Arup Associates designed The Druk White Lotus School in the Indian

Himalaya along social design principles.

The University of Applied Arts Vienna has a master's degree dedicated to the

challenges within urban social systems and related issues. The master

programme is oriented towards graduates from diverse fields of study using

transdisciplinary teams. Art in synergy with project-related scientific methods and

knowledge is seen as a tool for urban innovation.

The University of Technology Sydney introduced a Bachelor of Creative

Intelligence & Innovation (BCII) degree in 2014 which must be completed in

combination with another undergraduate degree. With a strong focus on

developing novel solutions for social issues, it enables students "to participate in

a future-facing, world-first, transdisciplinary degree that takes multiple

perspectives from diverse fields, integrating a range of industry experiences,

real-world projects and self-initiated proposals – equipping students to address

the complex challenges and untapped opportunities of our times."

The School of Design Ambedkar University, Delhi, India, offers an MDes in

Social Design. The program commenced in 2013 and has been through many

iterations. At its core, however, the philosophy of the program is to make design

more inclusive, at the level of creation and also at the level of users.

The Diseño Social EN+, work in integrating socially concerned designers and

NGOs to help them improve the quality of their communications, whether from

the formation or from the connection between designers and organizations. NGO

· Spain, launched in 2011.


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The Vision Thing

Social Design Notes 29 January 2008

An article of mine is running in the Design Issues column of the January/February

2008 Communication Arts. It started out as a piece about design education outside of

traditional design schools, but then turned into something more — about grassroots

engagement with public space and the power of design to envision change.

Thanks Nicolas, Kim, Chris, David, and DK for their insight.

Seeing and Creating Change Through Design

It’s is not just in design schools. It’s not just in mentorship programs at top shelf firms.

Design and education meet in the streets.

Most graphic design education points to a career as a design professional. But the

same tools we use to undertake user research, solve problems, and satisfy clients can

be used by young people to voice their opinions and meet the needs of their

neighborhoods and communities.

The stories below are shining examples of design as populism. The designers of these

projects – amateurs and professionals – have moved beyond a passive relationship to

the world, beyond the daily pattern of serving clients, responding to assignments, and


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By taking it outside, they are asserting a positive vision and owning the spaces they live

in – and in the process are making these places better for us all.

Human Traffic

Memorials shape our collective memory. They are a tangible, public stake against

forgetting, a manifesto to the present and a reminder of the past as a warning for the

future. Put forth by loved ones after a tragedy, grassroots memorials are at once both

personal and public – often filling a void where government-funded memorials leave off.

Some are subtle collections of flowers and personal items, occupying quiet corners of

common space. Others scream out for attention. Rendered three-stories tall on the side

of a building, the memorial mural on Butler Street and Third Avenue in Brooklyn is hard

to ignore.

The design is a tribute to 28 pedestrians killed by cars between 1995 and 2007 in the

streets of Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood. The mural depicts three young boys, fifthgraders

Victor Flores and Juan Estrada, and 4-year-old James Rice. All three were

killed by cars speeding around corners – Rice was struck down just a block from the

spot where the mural now stands. The driver who hit Rice got a ticket for failure to yield.

Represented as towering figures painted in ghostly blue, the boys hold up redesigned

streetsigns with traffic-related symbols urging respect for pedestrians. The three boys

are accompanied by a blank silhouette holding up an unambiguous red stop sign

declaring: “Not one more death.” The effect is chilling.

The mural was initiated by Transportation Alternatives, a non-profit group founded in

1973 to promote bicycling, walking, and public transit for safer streets. TA approached

the Groundswell Community Mural Project, a group that matches communities with

artists and grassroots organizations to create large-scale visuals that foster social

change. In this case, the purpose of the mural was threefold – symbolically, to

remember the children; practically, to slow traffic and reduce further collisions; and

politically, as a platform for public advocacy.

In the summer of 2007, Groundswell pulled together a team that included artists

Christopher Cardinale and Nicole Schulman and a group of neighborhood teenagers.

The 11 young men and women all hailed from housing projects in the Gowanus

neighborhood, recruited from afterschool programs, through tenant associations, and at

a summer job fair for area teens.

The project involved three weeks of research and three weeks of painting. In this case,

research meant gathering information about traffic and transportation issues and about

the history of accidents in the area, a mixed-use neighborhood zoned for industrial and

residential use near an elevated highway. Guided by the artists, the teens conceived of

the mural imagery, planned, prepped, and painted it.

Traffic engineers prefer the term “crashes” to “accidents” recognizing that these are

failures of infrastructure and design, not random chance. And the New York City

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Department of Transportation (DoT) has been vigorously criticized for its apparent bias

towards keeping traffic moving more than keeping pedestrians safe. This criticism

reached a fever pitch in 1997 when community outrage over pedestrian deaths led to

protests and early morning street-blockades. As a result, the DoT held public meetings

and developed a plan for improving pedestrian safety.

However, ten years later, when James Rice was killed, the plan still had not been

implemented. The 2007 mural does not directly criticize city officials, but the message is

clear: had the DoT kept the promises it made in 1997 the boys might be alive today.

This time, the message was heard.

It was a hard summer for the artists and teens who slogged through the physically

exhausting effort, painting in extreme heat on the south-facing scaffolding. But the effort

has paid off – both in its reception by the community and its effect on public policy. One

hundred and fifty local residents turned out for the mural’s unveiling. They were joined

by a State Senator, a State Assembly Member, Police Department officials,

representatives from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and the Department of

Transportation. This time the DoT has backed its words with cash. At the unveiling,

Senior Policy Advisor Jon Orcutt announced that the first phase of construction in the

Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project will begin in Spring 2008. The city has

designated $5 million to build 101 improvements at 43 intersections. For the DoT to

make such a pledge at a community event is unprecedented.

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From a design point of view, the power of this project comes not only from the

compelling subject matter—the deaths of children and other pedestrians—but also its

clever and multilayered design. The scale of the image is not only eye-catching, it is

functional. Drivers will often slow down when triggered by a visual stimuli, say a school,

bike, or unusual sign. As such, the mural itself acts as a “visual speed bump.” And while

speaking eloquently of the responsibilities of the DoT, the mural sensitively addresses

other constituencies; for instance, though the mural is about traffic fatalities, it does not

blame cars or drivers. The neighborhood where the mural is located is full of car-related

businesses such as automobile glass and auto body repair shops, so the designers took

this into account. In their research, the teens found that local drivers, cyclists, and

pedestrians all expressed concerns about each other. Instead of taking an oppositional

stance, the Gowanus mural puts forward a positive vision: it encourages mutual respect

from all and the safe sharing of streets.

The teenagers also erected alternative street signs that were installed around the area

urging respect and awareness. At the unveiling, activists set up traffic calming devices

of their own, moving barriers and planters to narrow traffic lanes and slow down traffic.

One part guerilla action, the purpose was twofold – both to calm traffic and to make a

point: these improvements are so simple that kids can do them. For years, pedestrian

advocates have encouraged the Department of Transportation to try out a variety of

temporary measures with cheap materials, testing changes before investing in

permanent and expensive infrastructure. The Gowanus teens brought this message to


Affected residents and transportation officials weren’t the only ones to notice the team’s

work. Throughout the summer, guests at the Comfort Inn down the block were often

seen taking pictures of the mural during the painting process, and no doubt taking

stories back with them to their own neighborhoods. Now completed, images of the

mural have circulated on the Internet via blogs and photo sharing websites, spreading

the images and news of its success – and perhaps inspiring others.

Post History

When artist Josh MacPhee moved to Chicago in 1997, he was astonished by the ads

and posters in the city. The barrage of corporate images inspired him to create a visual

campaign of his own. “It was striking how everything was a directive,” says MacPhee,

“[the ads and posters] all expected the audience to buy something or go somewhere. I

wanted to put something on the street that was a little more generous than that.”

MacPhee set out to challenge the imagery in his neighborhood’s public space by putting

up something more meaningful to the lives and struggles of its residents.

He designed a portrait of Malcolm X, printed up 1,200 copies, and hit the streets to

wheatpaste them. Within minutes, people began to gather around asking MacPhee for

posters for their kids and friends. The popularity of the poster sparked the idea for a

continuing series of posters– a set of portraits to celebrate individuals, groups, and

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events of significance in the struggle for social justice and freedom. The “Celebrate

People’s History” series was born. Soon people were ordering prints and signing up for

poster subscriptions.

Since then, MacPhee and a team of volunteer designers have published more than 44

images that recognize individuals, organizations, and events outside the usual

mainstream history books. Now distributed by the Just Seeds collective, poster subjects

have included: Paul Robeson, a singer, actor, writer, and civil rights activist; ADAPT, a

national network of activists with disabilities engaged in non-violent civil disobedience

demanding changes to policies that exclude people with disabilities from American

society; and the Mothers of East Los Angeles, a community group that has successfully

fought construction of a prison and a toxic waste incinerator in East L.A.

pique the curiosity and hungry minds of their students.

An unintended

consequence of the

project was the

posters’ popularity

among teachers. It

turns out, there are

few visual materials

for teachers about

social history, and

even fewer at a price

teachers can afford.

The posters are sold

cheaply on the web

and in progressive

bookstores around the

country. Requests

pour in not only from

history teachers, but

also from teachers of

American Studies,


Sociology, and Art.

The posters help

teachers design the

visual environment of

their classrooms to

Because the posters are self-published on a shoestring budget, the palette of each is

limited to two colors on a colored paper. This constraint gives the posters in the series,

designed by a variety of artists, a unified look and feel. Students respond positively to

the look – a sophisticated, urban aesthetic. Each image is accompanied with a brief

block of text.

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Political posters often express outrage about what is wrong. Their tone is “anti.”

MacPhee and his team have found that it’s also necessary to celebrate victories, to give

a sense of what one is “for.” Such a positive vision creates hope and inspiration. The

posters depict regular working class people struggling for justice. Focusing on social

struggles in the real world, the posters also form a bridge between the lived world of

young people and their classroom life.

No longer limited to Chicago, the posters are now distributed to a network of

wheatpasters in cities around the world, bringing people’s history to a variety of

communities. Contributing artist Nicolas Lampert notes, “For artists it’s a difficult

assignment - which person do you celebrate? How do you best communicate with

images and words in a single space? What factors do you focus on?” A single poster

may go through many iterations. Lampert, who teaches art in Milwaukee, has used the

exercise in his classes, asking students to pick their own figure from history and design

a poster. The posters depict movements that are local, that connect with communities

and feature every-day people. These are not professional designers, but are harnessing

the power of design in their own way. It’s an empowering message: you make the

poster, you get to control your design and your history.

Living Classroom

In cities around the world, the town square is the heart of the community. It pulses with

conversation, music, and celebration. Not just the geographic center, a well designed

square nourishes social life. And when the square is neglected, public life is diminished.

With this in mind, the students at Edcouch-Elsa High School set out to redesign the park

at the center of their town.

Edcouch-Elsa is a poor, rural community on the southern tip of Texas, 20 miles from the

border with Mexico. A teeming railroad town at the turn of the century, today it boasts a

population of 8,000 with a poverty rate hovering around 46 percent – one of the highest

in the state. Mario Leal park is about the size of a city block, around half a mile from the

center of town. Over time it had become run down, littered with rotting equipment and

broken glass. In 2003, a group of high school students who were learning about social

justice and community change found a cause in their own back yard.

The students undertook the project through the Llano Grande Center for Research and

Development, a non-profit inside their high school. Founded by teachers, students, and

community members to redefine how students were prepared for college, the program

grounds students in the community as leaders and generators of change.

As with most design projects, first came the discovery phase. The students talked to

members of the community and learned about the broader tradition of town plazas. 96

percent of the town’s residents are Latino and research looked to Mexico, where

the zócalo, or town square, is also the heart of the city. The students talked to elderly

residents about their memories of the park and learned that it used to be the center for

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5k runs, community festivals, concerts, and softball tournaments. Students went to the

park and interviewed its current users. They talked to people from all different age

groups about what they wanted out of the park (better lighting, access to bathrooms, a

nicer playground, a skate park.) They collected memorabilia, historic photographs, and

documented their interviews, eventually compiling a report of their findings and

producing a short video to document the social history and physical deterioration of the


Inspired by the students’ work and vision, the Llano Grande Center arranged a

presentation before the City Council. Backed up by their findings and video

documentation, the students made their case for a redesign of the park. The Council

was impressed. They promised to match $10,000 in student-raised funds for the

renovation of the park and commissioned a student advisory committee on the project.

Unfortunately, little came of the officials’ promises.

However, the project didn’t end there. In 2006, the students presented their video to a

group of educators, one of whom connected them to the City of Neighborhoods program

at the Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design in New York. Run by the Cooper-

Hewitt’s education department, the project encourages civic engagement by teaching

problem solving through the lens of design. City of Neighborhoods works with teachers

and students across the country, fostering projects in Birmingham, Long Beach,

Brooklyn, and in the 9th ward in New Orleans. Two Edcouch-Elsa students were invited

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to participate in the Cooper-Hewitt “I [heart] Design” conference in New York where the

students learned about “the capacity of design to influence, provoke and inspire.”

Reinvigorated, the student teams in Texas began to develop their own designs for the

square. A local architect held workshops with them where they looked at traditional

Mexican architecture and landscaping with native plants. With designs in hand, the

students were ready to face the City Council once again and were determined to see

their vision realized.

The intrepid teenagers again went before the Council, this time to present and defend

their designs. When questioned by a council member about a brightly colored play

ground, the students were ready. Why not use black and yellow, the colors of the

successful high school sports team? We did research, the student replied, young

children respond to primary colors. The council was impressed, as were the students –

in this poor community, where many students’ parents are migrant farm workers,

making their voices heard was a profound experience.

The town applied for and won a $500,000 matching grant from the Texas Parks and

Wildlife Department. In turn, the Council told the students, whatever you raise, we will

match. Unfortunately, because of the city’s poor fiscal situation, the council was

ultimately unable to match the state grant, but it has committed to working with the

students’ design and has hired an engineer to help make it happen.

Being teenagers, a number of students included skate parks in their redesign plans –

but they didn’t stop there. The students researched and found the Tony Hawk

Foundation, which funds the construction of skate parks. The students visited a skate

shop in the next town over and interviewed the owner about what was required to

sustain the park and shop. Armed with this data, the students applied for a grant to

implement their plan.

The project is still ongoing, but for teenagers who had never before had a stake in

politics, it was an eye opening experience. The students now have first-hand experience

of the civic process — and how to influence it.

Taking It Public

Design offers a different way of reading the visual environment, navigating culture, and

understanding the systems that shape our world. Designers know all about the

manufacture of desire and dissatisfaction, selling images and ideas. Design education

puts these tools in the hands of students and creates openings for greater selfexpression.

This is not just expression of emotion and style, but self-expression in a

fuller, richer sense – as an expression of values and of one’s own power.

Taken to the public sphere, design skills become transformative. A common theme in

the stories above is the relationship between ordinary folks and public space. In each

case, artists, designers, and students are intervening to shape the visual and built

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environment to benefit their communities. Design is a powerful means of expressing a

vision for what change might look like. Taking it public makes it possible for others to

see, respond, and even participate.

Sadly, it’s all too easy for communities lacking financial resources to become politically

marginalized. But by engaging friends, family, and neighbors, designers and artists

become community workers facilitating connections, dreams, and, ultimately, the

political power to realize those dreams. For teenagers, winning a favorable response to

their designs and public recognition of their ideas is a positive

reinforcement for personal growth.

As the students of Edcouch-Elsa High

School note in their documentary video, “This

project is more than

just about renovating a

public park, it’s about creating hope.”

By taking design

to the streets, the

students got a

lesson in civic


and learned

that they have the

power to direct


policy, to




and to shape the

public space we share. They

learned that engaging and creative

design applies to issues

that matter not only to

boardroom elites, but to everyday people – and can

make the world a little bit better. Maybe there’s a lesson there for professional

designers as well.


To the Streets

Social Design Notes 18 May 2004

I wrote the essay below for the Design Issues column in the May/June 2004 issue

of Communication Arts. I profile a couple of folks using graphic design for advocacy. I

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didn’t call it out explicitly in the text, but it’s of some relevance that the projects here are

generally not pro-bono projects “for charity,” but are organizations started bydesigners

generally working with broader communities. Check it out.

Taking It to The Streets

Graphic Design for Advocacy

Walking the streets of New York City in February 2003, one couldn’t help but notice all

these little blue stickers. Stuck to walls, phone booths, bus stops, scaffolding, mail

boxes — they popped up everywhere to announce the February 15 march against

President Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

The blue stickers were just one of the many anti-war graphics circulating at the time.

Around the Web, activists were posting free, easy-to-print designs using a variety of

techniques: clever slogans, typographic play, dramatic photos and the ironic use of

vintage propaganda imagery.

But the February 15 stickers on the streets of New York were different — simple and

bold, a little blue banner announcing the time and place of the march. They did not

make an emotional appeal with pictures of scarred and armless Iraqi children or U.S.

soldiers, nor was there any argument about why the war was wrong.

The February 15 posters were not intended to change people’s minds in a direct way,

but to notify the public about the upcoming protest — and to make dissent visible. The

mainstream media had entirely avoided covering the anti-war movement prior to

February 15. In the face of this de facto censorship and police obstruction over the route

of the march, the stickers acted as thousands of little acts of civil disobedience. And

with the urban landscape as a medium, the stickers set the stage for even larger acts of


Activist L.A. Kauffman designed the stickers, which were produced by the coalition

United for Peace and Justice. Volunteers distributed over 200,000 stickers around the

city in just under a month. And, while the accompanying poster design featured a

growing list of cities with simultaneous marches on the 15th, only after the event did the

significance become clear: on the same day in over 600 cities around the world, over 10

million people protested the war.

It was an example of what historian George Lipsitz describes in his essay “Not Just

Another Social Movement, Poster Art and the Movimiento Chicano,” “[Posters] lead

people toward affiliations and alliances that can augment their power.... Movements

have to create spaces for social change — figuratively by using memory and

imagination to expand the realities and possibilities of the present, but also literally by

creating physical places, institutions, and events where the hope-for future makes itself

felt in the present.” 1

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The stickers prompted me to seek out other examples of design in the public interest.

Below are a few current projects in the United States. Each uses graphic design in a

different way and within different constituencies. But they share this in common: they

use design as a means to facilitate public participation.

Though the designs were produced by individuals, they are connected to larger social

movements — helping to build those movements, engage people in political processes,

help them make informed decisions and stand up for their rights.

Public Participation, Large and Small

The Friends of the Highline ( is a nonprofit organization working to

convert an abandoned elevated rail structure along the west side of Manhattan into a

unique, elevated public park. Founded in 1999 by writer Joshua David and artist Robert

Hammond, FHL has taken a multi-pronged strategy: working with city, state and federal

officials to obtain the necessary approvals and paperwork, as well as consulting

neighborhood residents and engaging the broader public, incorporating them into the


To fire the public imagination, FHL held a public design competition soliciting visions for

redevelopment of the Line. Designs poured in from across the city and around the

world. The jury awarded special prizes for the design that best addressed accessibility

and the one that best incorporated native flora.

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Proposals included a roller coaster, movable gardens, and a one-and-a-half mile

elevated swimming pool — wild ideas celebrating the Line and New York City — testing

the limits and provoking debate.

While the competition was a work of large-scale public participation, FHL also uses

design for participation on a smaller scale, distributing hundreds of elegantly designed

postcards to solicit comments from the public and, in particular, residents living in

neighborhoods near the Line.

FHL pays special attention to the design of its materials. Its feasibility studies,

newsletters, Web site, information distributed at public meetings — everything they

publish is direct and clear, projecting a confidence, stylishness and attention to detail.

As with their newsletter that is printed on recycled newsprint, their materials also

embody a commitment to the environment and sensible budgeting — aspects they hope

to embody in the final design of the Line.

Hammond notes, “When we started the project, we had little credibility and lots of

opposition. Most people thought it was impossible and would never happen. Designers

and artists were one of the few groups who did not care if it was impossible — they

recognized it was a dream worth fighting for. So we used their talents to give our

materials the look and feel of a much bigger organization. People were impressed with

the design of our brochure and invites. It made them excited about joining and being

involved with the project. I think the design helped win over people who were initially

very skeptical of the project. It helped build the momentum we needed.”

The hard work has paid off. At the July 9 exhibition preview, New York City Council

Speaker Gifford Miller announced a $15.75 million funding commitment for planning and


With recent civic budget cuts and other projects around the city faltering, Hammond

attributes the FHL’s success to a broad support base which includes long-time

neighborhood residents as well as the newer art and design-based businesses. The

culminating gala benefit included many A-list authors, actors and artists — hardly your

typical, dull ribbon-cutting, and a testament to their outreach.

And, he says, the design of their campaign materials is key. “Good design is not just a

good goal, it can help make things happen.”

From Public Intervention to Public Policy

In 1997, while New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani crowed about a declining murder rate

and various quality-of-life improvements, the number of pedestrian fatalities was rising.

Every 27 minutes someone in the city was struck by a motor vehicle.

To memorialize the victims and raise awareness of this crisis, ad man Harris Silver and

a couple of friends took to the street — literally — to the pavement wherever someone

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had been killed by an automobile, painting an outline of a collapsed body along with the

victim’s name and date of death.

Silver has since founded Citystreets, a nonprofit organization focused on pedestrian

rights and safety issues in New York City.

Citystreets ( is run out of the office of Think Tank 3, a creative

agency Silver founded with creative director Sharoz Makarechi in 2002. Think Tank 3 is

a full-service agency that does everything from marketing strategy to full campaigns,

graphic design, production and buying media.

Accordingly, Citystreets’s campaign for pedestrian rights crosses many media: print

design, video, intervention in the streets and good old-fashioned face-to-face lobbying.

While the stencil project has not directly impacted public policy, the idea has become

viral. “We know of stencil campaigns in Atlanta, San Francisco, Vancouver, Amsterdam

and Sydney,” says Makarechi. “Every now and then we get a call — someone’s cousin

was struck by a car and they want to put down a stencil.” Over 200 outlines have been

painted in New York City alone.

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Citystreets does not just criticize the city, they have analyzed data identifying the

intersections with the worst fatality rates, and graphed out solutions and

recommendations. They have met with the Department of Transportation, testified

before the city council, and briefed all the mayoral candidates on their findings.

As creative professionals, Citystreets offered a critical assessment of the city’s

communications campaigns. They found that almost all the city’s safety advertisements

were geared towards preventing drunk driving. While needed, Silver noted that only

twenty percent of traffic accidents in New York City result from drunk driving. Citystreets

proposed a broader messaging campaign to encourage drivers to drive responsibly and

turn more safely across pedestrian crosswalks.

They have also tracked the astonishing increase in cycling fatalities in recent years. The

most common, and often deadly, injury to cyclists is being hit by a car door opened

suddenly in the path of the moving cyclist.

Citystreets designed an elegant warning sticker to post on the passenger doors of all

New York City taxis. Transparent, save the thin sans-serif type, the sticker quietly asks

passengers to please look for cyclists before opening the door. The stickers cost

pennies to produce per vehicle and their implementation would only require a directive

from the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission that regulates 35,000 vehicles

on the streets of New York.

They presented their idea to the Commission, even offering to pay for printing the

stickers, but the Commission declined, responding, “We do not believe stickers are an

effective means of communication.” This is rather absurd, since the Commission itself

requires every taxi to display a range of stickers and information to the passenger: a city

map, the driver’s license number, the flat fare from JFK and a Taxi Rider’s Bill of Rights.

Again, Citystreets took matters into their own hands and called on the public to

participate. They printed the stickers themselves and distributed them to supporters for

free along with a page of information on the issue, and the address of the Taxi and

Limousine Commission.

It’s too soon to tell whether there have been fewer accidents, but the grassroots

pressure has had some effect: in May 2003, the Taxi and Limousine Commission

announced a new Taxi Rider’s Bill of Rights sticker with pictograms warning riders to

exit curb side and to watch for cyclists. The design is not as elegant or prominent as the

Citystreets design, but it’s a start.

While Citystreets has no formal membership structure, they do have a loose network of

supporters that attend events and participate in actions, as well as informal links with

related organizations around the world. “If people want to get involved they should just

e-mail us. It’s easy to adopt the stencil project to raise awareness,” says Makarechi.

Drawing connections between Think Tank 3 and Citystreets, Makarechi notes, it’s all

about design. “We do design and strategic thinking about design. We are urbanists. We

care about cities and about how people live. We care about our environment. We are

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not anti-car, but are looking at how streets are designed.” She adds, “We live in a city,

we can make it better, and we know how.”

Information (Design) Is Power

Also in New York City, the Community Mapping Assistance Project

( produces a different kind of graphic design for advocacy.

CMAP works with local groups to use information design and mapping in their

campaigns for social justice. Steven Romalewski started with the New York Public

Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) as a student in 1984 and has been involved ever

since. He began using design for an environmental campaign that mapped toxic sites

on Long Island. After a few years he considered starting a project to provide mapping

services to other nonprofits. With Marty DeBenedictis he launched CMAP. The project

now has six full-time staff.

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CMAP is a project of NYPIRG, a nonprofit organization, and relies on grants and

donations to keep its service fees low, making its services accessible to other

nonprofits. CMAP develops maps for reports and proposals, posters for display,

advocacy materials for lobbying and recently, online applications that generate maps

dynamically on the Web.

Using data from the New York City Department of Health, researchers for NYPIRG’s

campaign for stronger legislation against lead poisoning found that 94% of the highly

lead-poisoned children in New York City are African-American, Latino or Asian/Pacific.

By using the same data, CMAP also found a clear geographic concentration of

childhood lead poisoning in neighborhoods of color.

When the city government announced it would sell off city-owned land used for

community gardens, community groups worked with CMAP to produce maps of each

city council district and the gardens in that district. Presented with the graphics, city

council members realized the impact of the plan on their constituents and successfully

worked with the community groups to block the demolition of the gardens.

CMAP used the same technique to illustrate the impact of a proposal to cut youth

programs. The maps helped restore two million dollars to programs across the city.

Politicians, it seems, love visuals. CMAP’s graphics make the message clear, and spare

officials from reading another long report or boring legal document. And the press loves

graphics too. CMAP’s work has appeared in New York magazine, Crain’s New York

Business, Hoy newspaper, and the New York Times.

The maps have been used in news conferences held by the New York City Public

Advocate’s office, NYPIRG’s Straphangers Campaign and the Metropolitan Waterfront


A few other groups in the United States provide mapping services to nonprofits, city

agencies and larger, government or environmental projects. However, CMAP is unique

in its local advocacy experience. It has worked extensively with local non-profits and

has a history of engagement with the political processes of New York City.

CMAP spends a lot of time making its maps accessible, balancing simplicity and

functionality, but client education is just as important. CMAP does not just provide

technical services, but gives advice on what types of images, information and maps

could be used, helping clients develop an understanding of the power of design to make

their case to officials and the broader public.

And many of CMAP’s clients are repeat clients. Over the years, CMAP has helped

hundreds of clients use clear, accurate, information design to build community support,

to move public policy and to participate in the political processes that affect them.

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Not Just Another Small Business

Tumi’s Design ( is the only bilingual, full-service Web development,

design and print shop in Oakland, California. The shop is owned and run by people of

color. In their words, “Our mission is to develop effective media solutions while

promoting human rights and ethical business practices.”

Tumi’s works with clients of all sizes. Larger clients include progressive organizations

like the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, the Vanguard Public Foundation and

KQED Public Broadcasting. Tumi’s also produces work for smaller, grassroots

organizations and local events that promote social justice and urban art. As such,

Tumi’s sliding scale is an important part of their business plan.

Tumi’s does not just service the local community but is an active participant. They join in

and sponsor events, and employ and train local youth. In turn, the community also

participates in governance of Tumi’s — Tumi’s works with an advisory group of

community organizers, consulting them on political questions. As such, Tumi’s is

accountable to community and to the larger movements it participates in.

The staff of Tumi’s see themselves as not just marketers but activists. “The work is not

about consumerism,” says graphic designer and co-founder Favianna Rodriguez, “It is

about people empowerment. Design firms don’t always have to go corporate. Designers

play an important role in the movements for social justice. It is images that mobilize us.”

Working with youth and local arts programs, the staff are also members of a community

producing its own images. “The media is dominated by corporations,” notes Rodriguez.

“Hip-hop, street style — things that came out of our neighborhood are used by

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corporations to sell back to us. Latinos are becoming a profitable market, but there are

not a lot of Latino designers.” The staff at Tumi’s strives to develop work that is relevant

to youth and communities of color — another co-founder is a well known graffiti artist

rooted in hip-hop. “A lot of us were brought up in hip-hop... We don’t want our work to

serve corporate interests, we want to speak to our audience.”

As part of their work on youth organizing and movement building, Tumi’s designers also

participate in national forums about media justice, Web-based activism and hip-hop

organizing. Tumi’s produced over 50,000 anti-war posters seen around the United

States. In California, they produced materials and helped coordinate campaigns against

Proposition 21, the “Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Initiative,” and

Proposition 54, the “Racial Privacy Initiative.”

Rodriguez is also active in a number of local arts organizations. She is a founder of the

East Side Arts Alliance that programs cultural arts and community programs for the

multi-ethnic community of East Oakland. The organization uses the arts for community

activism and allows members of the community to learn about their neighbors and to

share cultural traditions.

Rodriguez also helped found Visual Element, an arts program for young muralists.

Building on their experience with the youth program and teaching experience at

Oakland’s Castlemont High School, next year the staV of Tumi’s will participate in

Project YES, an educational program for youth in East Oakland, an area, Rodriguez

notes, that has one of the highest homicide rates in the country. Tumi’s will conduct a

workshop on graphic design and train young people in the skills they need to work

towards careers in design.

“Historically, political graphics in movements throughout the world have shaped our

society,” says Rodriguez. “One of [the] languages of liberation is art and design.”

Making Change

Returning to the streets of New York City a year after the February 15th march, one can

still find traces of those stickers and posters. The scratched and peeling remnants have

become a whisper of dissent woven into the fabric of the physical city, digested into the

collective memory, reinforcing subsequent protest — and informing the upcoming

election campaign.

But first, it starts with an individual.

Say an individual at a party is rude. If one person complains, others would chime in and

offer support. But if no one complains, the group may assume that nobody else thinks it

is a problem.

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This is a social phenomenon called “pluralistic ignorance.” Members of a group develop

a false impression of how others are thinking, feeling or responding by misinterpreting

their visible behavior.

Or to take a more serious example, in an emergency situation, members of a group may

assume that the situation is not really an emergency because everyone appears calm

and no one seems to be taking action.

In other words, when each person waits for someone else to take action, no one does.

Artists and designers, some without traditional backgrounds in design, initiated all the

organizations and projects listed above. Still these are not just creative individuals

working on creative projects, but individuals working with organizations and movements,

and engaging in civic processes. In many cases, they are empowering communities to

act for themselves, rather than acting on behalf of the groups: not charity, but mutual


Together these groups are using graphic design as a powerful tool for advocacy, to

build community, and a means to participate in the decisions that affect our lives.

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VII. Moral Responsibility

In philosophy, Moral Responsibility is the status of morally deserving praise, blame,

reward, or or punishment for an act or omission performed or neglected in accordance

with one's moral obligations. Deciding what (if anything) counts as "morally obligatory" is

a principal concern of ethics.

Philosophers refer to people who have moral responsibility for an action as moral

agents. Agents have the capability to reflect upon their situation, to

form intentions about how they will act, and then to carry out that action. The notion

of free will has become an important issue in the debate on whether individuals are ever

morally responsible for their actions and, if so, in what sense.

Incompatibilists regard determinism as at odds with free will,

whereas compatibilists think the two can coexist.

Moral responsibility does not necessarily equate to legal responsibility. A person is

legally responsible for an event when a legal system is liable to penalise that person for

that event. Although it may often be the case that when a person is morally responsible

for an act, they are also legally responsible for it, the two states do not always coincide.

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Philosophical Stance


Metaphysical Libertarianism

Metaphysical libertarians think actions are not always causally determined, allowing for

the possibility of free will and thus moral responsibility. All libertarians are also

incompatibilists; they think that if causal determinism were true of human action; people

would not have free will. Accordingly, libertarians subscribe to the principle of alternate

possibilities, which posits that moral responsibility requires that people could have acted


Phenomenological considerations are sometimes invoked by incompatibilists to defend

a libertarian position. In daily life, we feel as though choosing otherwise is a viable

option. Although this feeling doesn't firmly establish the existence of free will, some

incompatibilists claim the phenomenological feeling of alternate possibilities is a

prerequisite for free will.

Jean-Paul Sartre suggested that people sometimes avoid incrimination and

responsibility by hiding behind determinism: "...we are always ready to take refuge in a

belief in determinism if this freedom weighs upon us or if we need an excuse".

A similar view has it that individual moral culpability lies in individual character. That is,

a person with the character of a murderer has no choice other than to murder, but can

still be punished because it is right to punish those of bad character. How one's

character was determined is irrelevant from this perspective. Robert Cummins, for

example, argues that people should not be judged for their individual actions, but rather

for how those actions "reflect on their character". If character (however defined) is the

dominant causal factor in determining one's choices, and one's choices are morally

wrong, then one should be held accountable for those choices, regardless of genes and

other such factors.

In law, there is a known exception to the assumption that moral culpability lies in either

individual character or freely willed acts. The insanity defense—or its

corollary, diminished responsibility (a sort of appeal to the fallacy of the single cause)—

can be used to argue that the guilty deed was not the product of a guilty mind. In such

cases, the legal systems of most Western societies assume that the person is in some

way not at fault, because his actions were a consequence of abnormal brain function

(implying brain function is a deterministic causal agent of mind and motive).

The Argument From Luck

The argument from luck is a criticism against the libertarian conception of moral

responsibility. It suggests that any given action, and even a person's character, is the

result of various forces outside that person's control. It may not be reasonable, then, to

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hold that person solely morally responsible. Thomas Nagel suggests that four different

types of luck (including genetic influences and other external factors) end up influencing

the way that a person's actions are evaluated morally. For instance, a person driving

drunk may make it home without incident, and yet this action of drunk driving might

seem more morally objectionable if someone happens to jaywalk along his path (getting

hit by the car).

This argument can be traced back to David Hume. If physical indeterminism is true,

then those events that are not determined are scientifically described as probabilistic or

random. It is therefore argued that it is doubtful that one can praise or blame someone

for performing an action generated randomly by his nervous system (without there being

any non-physical agency responsible for the observed probabilistic outcome).

Hard Determinism

Hard determinists (not to be confused with Fatalists) often use liberty in practical moral

considerations, rather than a notion of a free will. Indeed, faced with the possibility that

determinism requires a completely different moral system, some proponents say "So

much the worse for free will!". [13] Clarence Darrow, the famous defense attorney,

pleaded the innocence of his clients, Leopold and Loeb, by invoking such a notion of

hard determinism. During his summation, he declared:

What has this boy to do with it? He was not his own father; he was not his own mother;

he was not his own grandparents. All of this was handed to him. He did not surround

himself with governesses and wealth. He did not make himself. And yet he is to be

compelled to pay.

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Paul the Apostle, in his Epistle to the Romans addresses the question of moral

responsibility as follows: "Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to

make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" In this view, individuals

can still be dishonoured for their acts even though those acts were ultimately completely

determined by God.

Joshua Greene and Jonathan Cohen, researchers in the emerging field of neuroethics,

argue, on the basis of such cases, that our current notion of moral responsibility is

founded on libertarian (and dualist) intuitions. They argue that cognitive

neuroscience research (e.g. neuroscience of free will) is undermining these intuitions by

showing that the brain is responsible for our actions, not only in cases of

florid psychosis, but also in less obvious situations. For example, damage to the frontal

lobe reduces the ability to weigh uncertain risks and make prudent decisions, and

therefore leads to an increased likelihood that someone will commit a violent crime. This

is true not only of patients with damage to the frontal lobe due to accident or stroke, but

also of adolescents, who show reduced frontal lobe activity compared to adults, and

even of children who are chronically neglected or mistreated. In each case, the guilty

party can, they argue, be said to have less responsibility for his actions. Greene and

Cohen predict that, as such examples become more common and well known, jurors’

interpretations of free will and moral responsibility will move away from the intuitive

libertarian notion that currently underpins them.

David Eagleman explains that nature and nurture cause all criminal behavior. He

likewise believes that science demands that change and improvement, rather than guilt,

must become the focus of the legal justice system.

Greene and Cohen also argue that the legal system does not require this libertarian

interpretation. Rather, they suggest that only retributive notions of justice, in which the

goal of the legal system is to punish people for misdeeds, require the libertarian

intuition. Many forms of ethically realistic and consequentialist approaches to justice,

which are aimed at promoting future welfare rather than retribution, can survive even a

hard determinist interpretation of free will. Accordingly, the legal system and notions of

justice can thus be maintained even in the face of emerging neuroscientific evidence

undermining libertarian intuitions of free will.

Neuroscientist David Eagleman maintains similar ideas. Eagleman says that the legal

justice system ought to become more forward looking. He says it is wrong to ask

questions of narrow culpability, rather than focusing on what is important: what needs to

change in a criminal's behavior and brain. Eagleman is not saying that no one is

responsible for their crimes, but rather that the "sentencing phase" should correspond

with modern neuroscientific evidence. To Eagleman, it is damaging to entertain the

illusion that a person can make a single decision that is somehow, suddenly,

independent of their physiology and history. He describes what scientists have learned

from brain damaged patients, and offers the case of a school teacher who exhibited

escalating pedophilic tendencies on two occasions—each time as results of growing

tumors. Eagleman also warns that less attractive people and minorities tend to get

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longer sentencing—all of which he sees as symptoms that more science is needed in

the legal system.

Hard Incompatibilism

Derk Pereboom defends a skeptical position about free will he calls hard

incompatibilism. In his view, we cannot have free will if our actions are causally

determined by factors beyond our control, or if our actions are indeterministic events—if

they happen by chance. Pereboom conceives of free will as the control in action

required for moral responsibility in the sense involving deserved blame and praise,

punishment and reward. While he acknowledges that libertarian agent causation, the

capacity of agents as substances to cause actions without being causally determined by

factors beyond their control, is still a possibility, he regards it as unlikely against the

backdrop of the most defensible physical theories. Without libertarian agent causation,

Pereboom thinks the free will required for moral responsibility in the desert-involving

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sense is not in the offing. However, he also contends that by contrast with the

backward-looking, desert-involving sense of moral responsibility, forward-looking

senses are compatible with causal determination. For instance, causally determined

agents who act badly might justifiably be blamed with the aim of forming faulty

character, reconciling impaired relationships, and protecting others from harm they are

apt to cause.

Pereboom proposes that a viable criminal jurisprudence is compatible with the denial of

deserved blame and punishment. His view rules out retributivist justifications for

punishment, but it allows for incapacitation of dangerous criminals on the analogy with

quarantine of carriers of dangerous diseases. Isolation of carriers of the Ebola virus can

be justified on the ground of the right to defend against threat, a justification that does

not reference desert. Pereboom contends that the analogy holds for incapacitation of

dangerous criminals. He also argues that the less serious the threat, the more moderate

the justifiable method of incapacitation; for certain crimes only monitoring may be

needed. In addition, just as we should do what we can, within reasonable bounds, to

cure the carriers of the Ebola virus we quarantine, so we should aim to rehabilitate and

reintegrate the criminals we incapacitate. Pereboom also proposes that given hard

incompatibilism, punishment justified as general deterrence may be legitimate when the

penalties don't involve undermining an agent's capacity to live a meaningful, flourishing

life, since justifying such moderate penalties need not invoke desert.


Some forms of compatibilism suggest the term free will should only be used to mean

something more like liberty.

Compatibilists contend that even if determinism were true, it would still be possible for

us to have free will. The Hindu text The Bhagavad Gitaoffers one very early

compatibilist account. Facing the prospect of going to battle against kinsmen to whom

he has bonds, Arjuna despairs. Krishna attempts to assuage Arjuna's anxieties. He

argues that forces of nature come together to produce actions, and it is only vanity that

causes us to regard ourselves as the agent in charge of these actions. However,

Krishna adds this caveat: "... [But] the Man who knows the relation between the forces

of Nature and actions, witnesses how some forces of Nature work upon other forces of

Nature, and becomes [not] their slave..." When we are ignorant of the relationship

between forces of Nature, we become passive victims of nomological facts. Krishna's

admonition is intended to get Arjuna to perform his duty (i.e., fight in the battle), but he

is also claiming that being a successful moral agent requires being mindful of the wider

circumstances in which one finds oneself. Paramahansa Yogananda also said,

"Freedom means the power to act by soul guidance, not by the compulsions of desires

and habits. Obeying the ego leads to bondage; obeying the soul brings liberation."

In the Western tradition, Baruch Spinoza echoes the Bhagavad Gita's point about

agents and natural forces, writing "men think themselves free because they are

conscious of their volitions and their appetite, and do not think, even in their dreams, of

the causes by which they are disposed to wanting and willing, because they are

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ignorant [of those causes]." Krishna is hostile to the influence of passions on our rational

faculties, speaking up instead for the value of heeding the dictates of one's own nature:

"Even a wise man acts under the impulse of his nature. Of what use is

restraint?" Spinoza similarly identifies the taming of one's passions as a way to extricate

oneself from merely being passive in the face of external forces and a way toward

following our own natures.

Other Views


Dennett asks

why anyone

would care

about whether

someone had

the property of


and speculates

that the idea of



may be "a






Mauro suggests

that a sense of



does not operate or evolve universally among humankind. He argues that it was absent

in the successful civilization of the Iroquois.

In recent years, research in experimental philosophy has explored whether people's

untutored intuitions about determinism and moral responsibility are compatibilist or

incompatibilist. Some experimental work has included cross-cultural studies. However,

the debate about whether people naturally have compatibilist or incompatibilist intuitions

has not come out overwhelmingly in favor of one view or the other, finding evidence for

both views. For instance, when people are presented with abstract cases that ask if a

person could be morally responsible for an immoral act when they could not have done

otherwise, people tend to say no, or give incompatibilist answers. When presented with

a specific immoral act that a specific person committed, people tend to say that that

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person is morally responsible for their actions, even if they were determined (that is,

people also give compatibilist answers).

The neuroscience of free will investigates various experiments that might shed light on

free will.


When people attribute moral responsibility, they usually attribute it to individual moral

agents. However, Joel Feinberg, among others, has argued that corporations and other

groups of people can have what is called ‘collective moral responsibility’ for a state of

affairs. For example, when South Africa had an apartheid regime, the country's

government might have been said to have had collective moral responsibility for the

violation of the rights of non-European South Africans.

Lack of Sense of Responsibility of Psychopaths

One of the attributes defined for psychopathy is "failure to accept responsibility for own


Artificial Systems

The emergence of automation, robotics and related technologies prompted the

question, 'Can an artificial system be morally responsible?' [37][38][39] The question has a

closely related variant, 'When (if ever) does moral responsibility transfer from its human

creator(s) to the system?'.

The questions arguably adjoin with but are distinct from machine ethics, which is

concerned with the moral behavior of artificial systems. Whether an artificial system's

behavior qualifies it to be morally responsible has been a key focus of debate.

Arguments That Artificial Systems Cannot Be Morally Responsible

Batya Friedman and Peter Kahn Jr posited that intentionality is a necessary condition

for moral responsibility, and that computer systems as conceivable in 1992 in material

and structure could not have intentionality.

Arthur Kuflik asserted that humans must bear the ultimate moral responsibility for a

computer's decisions, as it is humans who design the computers and write their

programs. He further proposed that humans can never relinquish oversight of


Frances Grodzinsky et al. considered artificial systems that could be modelled as finite

state machines. They posited that if the machine had a fixed state transition table, then

it could not be morally responsible. If the machine could modify its table, then the

machine's designer still retained some moral responsibility.

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Patrick Hew argued that for an artificial system to be morally responsible, its rules for

behaviour and the mechanisms for supplying those rules must not be supplied entirely

by external humans. He further argued that such systems are a substantial departure

from technologies and theory as extant in 2014. An artificial system based on those

technologies will carry zero responsibility for its behaviour. Moral responsibility is

apportioned to the humans that created and programmed the system.

(A more extensive review of arguments may be found in.)

Arguments That Artificial Systems Can

Be Morally Responsible

Colin Allen et al. proposed that an artificial

system may be morally responsible if its

behaviours are functionally indistinguishable

from a moral person, coining the idea of a 'Moral

Turing Test'. They subsequently disavowed the

Moral Turing Test in recognition of controversies

surrounding the Turing Test.

Andreas Matthias described a 'responsibility gap' where to hold humans responsible for

a machine would be an injustice, but to hold the machine responsible would challenge

'traditional' ways of ascription. He proposed three cases where the machine's behaviour

ought to be attributed to the machine and not its designers or operators. First, he

argued that modern machines are inherently unpredictable (to some degree), but

perform tasks that need to be performed yet cannot be handled by simpler means.

Second, that there are increasing 'layers of obscurity' between manufacturers and

system, as hand coded programs are replaced with more sophisticated means. Third, in

systems that have rules of operation that can be changed during the operation of the


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VIII. The Declaration of Human

Rights and Responsibilities

The Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities (DHDR) was

written for reinforcing the implementation of human rights under the auspices of

the UNESCO and the interest of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights and was

proclaimed in 1998 "to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration

of Human Rights"(UDHR) in the city of Valencia. Therefore, it is also known as the

Valencia Declaration.

Considering that the major challenge for this new century is the effective and efficient

realisation of human rights for all people, and that at the same time is needed that all

members of the human family strive for its fulfilment, the DHDR formulates

related duties and responsibilities for our current interdependence. Its preamble states

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categorically: The effective enjoyment and implementation of human rights and

fundamental freedoms is inextricably linked to the assumption of the duties and

responsibilities implicit in those rights.

After fifty years of the adoption of the UDHR and following human rights instruments,

the point of departure of the DHDR Preamble is the shared concern regarding the lack

of political will for enforcing globally human rights. Moreover, the DHDR takes into

account the new challenges of the global scenario for translating semantically rights into

duties and responsibilities. “Recognising the changes that new technologies, scientific

development and the process of Mondialisation have brought about, and aware of the

need to address their impact upon and potential consequences for human rights and

fundamental freedoms“, states in its Preamble.

Its 12 chapters and 41 articles can be compared with the human rights such as

formulated in the UDHR and recent initiatives that reflect a similar preoccupation for the

formulation of duties and responsibilities, such as the United Nations Millennium

Declaration, the Statute of Rome, the Global Compact, The Earth Charter, the Kyoto

Protocol, and UNESCO declarations and conventions.


The drafting of the declaration has been the result of the committed and disinterested

work of a group of experts integrated by Nobel laureates - Joseph Rotblat, Wole

Soyinka and Dario Fo -, scientists, artists and philosophers representing all the regions

of the world –among them, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Richard Falk, Ruud

Lubbers, Lord Frank Judd, Sergey Kapitsa, Jakob von Uexküll, Fernando Savater-, and

the judicious chairmanship of Richard Goldstone from South Africa and among its

members. This process was inspired by the need –in words of Justice Goldstone- of the

transition from a “formal equality” to a “substantial equality, with a shared concern of the

situation of millions of ignored and marginalised people in our globalised world: “the

recognition of human rights is insufficient, … if such so rights are to be realized it is

necessary that they are enforceable...

There must be a duty on all relevant authorities and individuals to enforce those rights.”

With a convergent perspective, Norberto Bobbio has entirely supported the initiative and

the text of the DHDR, in particular taking into account the main concern for humanity of

reinforcing the international systems. In that context he has established an interesting

comparison between the transition from “moral rights” to “legal rights” and the need to

transform “moral duties” into “legal duties” (See: Norberto Bobbio, Declaration of Human

Duties and Responsibilities, page 98).

This Declaration proposes comprehensively the implicit system of duties and

responsibilities contained in our human rights systems, in particular that enshrined in

the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and in subsequent international

human rights instruments and establishes consequently their bearers.

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The DHDR Chapter I: The General Provisions

In the DHDR Article 1 “duty” and “responsibility” are defined for the purpose of the

declaration: "duty" means an ethical or moral obligation; and "responsibility", an

obligation that is legally binding under existing international law. The DHDR explains in

details the complexity of the exercise of responsibilities. The bearers are the members

of the global community that have collective, as well as individual duties and

responsibilities, to promote universal observance of human rights and fundamental

freedoms. “Global community" means both States and non-States actors: international,

regional and sub-regional intergovernmental organisations, non-governmental

organisations, public and private sector (trans)national corporations, other entities of

civil society, peoples, communities and individuals taken as a collective.

The DHDR reflects

the gamma of both

states and nonstates

actors that

have to be mutual

supportive bearers

of duties and

responsibilities. On

the contrary, the UN


Declaration (MD),

recent international

document of the

governments, is

focused primarily on



responsibilities that

is shared and

collective: “We

/heads of State and

Government /

recognize that, in

addition to our


responsibilities to

our individual societies, we have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of

human dignity, equality and equity at the global level. As leaders we have a duty

therefore to all the world’s people…”

The DHDR Article 2 is dedicated to postulate exhaustively the bearers of duties and

responsibilities: “Members of the global community have collective, as well as individual

duties and responsibilities, to promote universal respect for and observance of human

rights and fundamental freedoms.…” This declaration considers the existence of

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collective responsibilities inside the limits traced by the universally recognized rights,

with the implicit consequences of accountability that would be fairly distributed. The

DHDR addresses simultaneously the responsibilities of individuals and groups. It states:

“As the holders of human rights and fundamental freedoms, all individuals, peoples and

communities in the exercise of their rights and freedoms, have the duty and

responsibility to respect those of others, and a duty to strive for the promotion and

observance thereof”. This statement continues appropriately the way initiated by the

UDHR in Article 29 and reiterates the interaction of duties, responsibilities and rights of

the International Covenants on Human Rightsof 1966.

DHDR Chapter 2: The Right to Life and Human Security

Most of the titles of the DHDR chapters enunciate a right or fundamental freedom that

will be the thematic focus of the related duties and responsibilities. Chapter 2 begins the

list of duties and responsibilities with the right to life and human security, rights to be

secure for the present and also future generations in the awareness that for the first

time in human history the humankind survival is in peril due to human action. Following

the UDHR Article 3 “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”; this

chapter draws our attention to the intergenerational responsibility.

The DHDR Article 3 is dedicated to the duty and responsibility to protect the life of every

member of the human family and ensure the survival of both present and future

generations. That means “to take reasonable steps to help others whose lives are

threatened, or who are in extreme distress or need”. A key element of the formulation of

the DHDR has been the present duty and responsibility for the potential consequences

of our actions for the future generations. “The rights of these future generations are the

duties of present generations” summarises correctly Federico Mayor, the then Director

General UNESCO. Therefore, the right to peace and the right to live in a balanced

ecological environment have to be recognized and guaranteed. In a broader sense, the

Earth Charter, a declaration of principles for a sustainable world, emphasises the

urgency of sharing responsibility for caring for the community of life, including the wellbeing

of human family.

The DHDR Article 4 enunciates the duty and responsibility to promote collective security

and a culture of peace of all members of the global community. War and conflict

prevention, fostering international peace, global security and cooperation are needed for

this purpose. The responsibility of States, according to UN Chapter 7, is underlined and

also their duty strengthening mediation, conflict prevention and post-conflict peacebuilding

mechanisms and peace-keeping capacities.

The DHDR Article 5 is dedicated to the duty and responsibility to promote rapid and

effective disarmament in the interests of peace. Primarily the States are in charge of

reducing military expenditure in favour of human development, and together with no-

States actors to carry our nuclear disarmament, to cease any production or use of all

chemical and biological weapons, and use of landmines.

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The Duty to intervene to prevent gross human rights violations is stated in the DHDR

Article 6 that means the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes

and other gross or systematic human rights abuses in all circumstances. States are

mainly in charge of preventing and also punishing such violations, and there is also a

collective duty of the States to intervene in the case where individual State fails to

prevent such abuses. UN Chapter 7 remains general framework for this responsibility.

For defining gross human rights violations and the need of prevention and punishment

this chapter has been inspired by the Rome Statute that was adopted some months

before this Declaration was finalized.

The DHDR Article 7 enunciates the duty and responsibility unconditionally and in all

circumstances to respect international humanitarian law during times of armed conflict.

This law, commonly infringed, means for the government forces and insurgents, military

or paramilitary forces the obligation to refrain from committing acts of genocide; crimes

against humanity, and war crimes, as mass killing, torture or rape.

The focus of DHDR Article 8 is the duty and responsibility of humanitarian assistance

and intervention to those in need. In a globalised world with millions of displaced

people, it is claimed for the adequate provision of food, shelter, health care and other

essential requirements for survival to ensure the right to life for everyone on the world.

The DHDR Article 9 finishes this chapter with the duty and responsibility to protect and

promote a safe, stable and healthy environment, promoting respect, protection and

preservation of the uniqueness and diversity of all forms of life. An adequate use of

resources avoiding excessive exploitation and consumption, and a collaborative

scientific research and exchange of information are required. This article promotes

similarly to the Kyoto Protocol, an international and legally binding agreement to reduce

greenhouse gases emissions worldwide, an urgent change of attitude towards the

environment. This duty for the present and future generations has already been

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confirmed by a broad scientific consensus on the existence of climate change and the

human responsibility.

DHDR Chapter 3: Human Security and An Equitable International Order

The DHDR Article 10 emphasises the duty and responsibility to promote an equitable

international order for the universal enjoyment of sustainable human, economic, social,

cultural, political, scientific and technological development and equitably participation in

the decision-making processes for an interdependent and technologically well equipped

world, providing an extensive vision of the general formulation of the UDHR Article 28:

“Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms

set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized”. The DHDR statements are

categorical: “Economic policies and development should not be pursued at the expense

of human rights or social development” (6), “Economic and social development shall not

be pursued at the expense of the environment and natural resources” (7), and “As

sovereign and equal members of the international community, all States have the right

to participate fully, equitably and effectively in international and global institutions and

decision-making processes…(8)” Coincidentally to the DHDR proposals the “millennium

development goals” of the MD set an influential agenda for a global partnership to fight

poverty, establishing shared goals for a better world by 2015. Their fulfilment is

measurable indicated by a progress at quantitative level.

Following the previous article, the DHDR Article 11 enunciates the duty to alleviate

usurious debt that would endanger human lives and impede economic and social


This Chapter continues with the DHDR Article 12 dedicated to the duty and

responsibility to promote safe, responsible and equitable scientific and technological

development for the benefit of all humankind. The UNESCO spirit of encouraging

universally intellectual and moral solidarity is emphasised, in particular taking into

account the condition of the lesser scientifically advanced States. In particular this

article has received a good reception by several scientists and related people. Neutrality

of science appears today as an illusion, in particular considering formerly scientific

advances such as in genetics or cybernetics. This DHDR approach reinforces fully the

importance of the recent UNESCO ethical documents for biosciences, and also other

efforts for codifying ethical principles for the use of science.

The DHDR Article 13 enunciates duties and responsibilities of public and private sector

corporations, indicating as common criteria the respect for sovereignty of host countries

and simultaneously fully respect and promotion of universal human rights and

international labour standards. For having an ethical code of the corporations and for

promoting a more sustainable and inclusive global economy, the then UN General

Secretary, Kofi Annan, has proposed the Global Compact, an international initiative

bringing companies together with UN agencies, labour and civil society to support

universal environmental and social principles, that was finally launched in 2000.

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The DHDR Article 14 enunciates the duty and responsibility to prevent and punish

international and organised crime as a shared task of the members of the global

community. This article also has the innovative approach of global cooperation of the

Statute of Rome, for combating of international crimes, transnational crimes and

organised crime and assisting international criminal tribunals.

The focus of the DHDR Article 15 is the duty and responsibility to eradicate corruption

and build an ethical society in both the public and private sectors, implementing codes

of conduct and training programmes, and promoting accountability, transparency public

awareness of the harm caused by corruption. This emphasis in code of ethics was also

encouraged by the Global Compact, in particular for the private sector.

DHDR Chapter 4: Meaningful Participation In Public Affairs

The DHDR Article 16 expresses the duty and responsibility to ensure meaningful

participation in public affairs, for ensuring that the authority of government is based

upon the will of the people and the rule of law.

This promoted participation reiterates the universal right to take part in the government

of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives of the UDHR Article 21

at different levels, in local, national and global governance.

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DHDR Chapter 5: Freedom of Opinion, Expression, Assembly, Association and


Following the content of the UDHR Article 19 on the right to freedom of opinion and

expression, the DHDR Article 17 reformulates the duty and responsibility to respect and

ensure freedom of opinion, expression, and the media, providing concrete measures for

the world today, affirming the pursuit of truth as unhindered, and condemning any

degrading treatment of individuals and the presentation of violence as entertainment.

And Article 17 also insists that "the media and journalists have a duty to report honestly

and accurately to avoid incitement of racial, ethnic or religious violence or hatred. (see:

Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights)

The DHDR Article 18 establishes duties and responsibilities concerning information and

communications technologies with the aim of ensuring universal access to basic

communication and information infrastructure and services. Similarly, UNESCO has

already made a recommendation on information promoting universal access to


Complementing the UDHR Article 20 on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and

association the DHDR Article 19 enunciates the duty and responsibility to take all

necessary steps to ensure the substantive realisation of the rights to free assembly and

freedom of association.

Finally, the DHDR Article 20, following the UDHR Article 18 on the right to freedom of

thought, conscience and religion, formulates the related duty and responsibility to

respect and ensure freedom of religion, belief and conscience, and of having or not

having a religion or belief.

DHDR Chapter 6: The Right to Personal and Physical Integrity

The DHDR Article 21 focused on formulating the duty and responsibility to respect and

ensure the physical, psychological and personal integrity of all members of the human

family in all circumstances, including in situations of armed conflict, reformulate the

UDHR articles 10-12 dedicated to the rights to personal integrity and respect for privacy.

The DHDR Article 22 enunciates the duty and responsibility to take all necessary

measures to respect and ensure the right to personal liberty and physical security, in

first place by the States, preventing arbitrary arrest and detention and ensuring that all

arrests and detentions are carried out in accordance with universally recognised

standards of fairness and due process.

The DHDR Article 23 emphasises today the duty and responsibility to prohibit and

prevent slavery and institutions and practices similar to slavery and slave-like practices

including child prostitution, child exploitation, enforced prostitution, debt bondage,

serfdom, and other forms of enforced labour inconsistent with international law,

punishing such practices; instituting effective controls to prevent the illegal trafficking of

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persons; creating greater public awareness through education of the human rights

abuses associated with such practices. The UDHR Article 4 states that “no one shall be

held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their

forms”. Today slavery is still not eradicated from the world, although universally


The DHDR Article 24 enunciates the duty and responsibility to condemn torture and to

take all necessary measures to prevent torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment

or punishment, declaring criminal and punishing all acts of torture, cruel and inhuman

and degrading treatment or punishment, enforcing strict controls over places and

conditions of custody of persons deprived of their liberty. This enunciation specifies the

duty for achieving the content of UDHR Article 5: “No one shall be subjected to torture

or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

DHDR Article 25: The duty and responsibility to condemn and to prevent and eradicate

enforced disappearances declaring criminal and punishing all acts of forced

disappearances, ensuring that persons deprived of their liberty are only held in officially

recognised places of detention, and that they have adequate access to judicial officers,

legal representation, medical personnel and family members during the course of their


DHDR Chapter 7: Equality

After trying to meet the major global challenges of our interdependent world, that are

affecting today humankind as a whole. The DHDR Chapter 7 rethinks the principle of

equality, such as states in the first UDHR articles. With a similar approach the UNESCO

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has already approved two meaningful documents promoting cultural diversity, the

UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001) and the Convention on the

Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005). The DHDR

Article 26 enunciates in general the duty to respect, ensure and promote the right to

equal treatment and to eradicate discrimination in all its forms.

The DHDR Article 27 states the duty and responsibility for the States, in primary place,

to respect and ensure the substantive equality of every member of human family, not

only ensuring equality before the law, but also taking positive action to prevent direct or

indirect discrimination.

In the DHDR Article 28 is enunciated the duty and responsibility to ensure substantive

racial and religious equality, that means to ensure the effective enjoyment of all human

rights and fundamental freedoms without discrimination on the basis of race, religion or

ethnicity, and to condemn all forms of racial and religious discrimination and respect

racial, ethnic and religious diversity; promoting equal opportunities for all.

The DHDR Article 29 formulates the duty and responsibility to ensure sex and gender

equality and the recognition of women's rights as human rights. In particular the States

have to ensure the effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms

without discrimination on the basis of sex or gender, promoting the equality in the

representation and participation of women in the public and political life, the eradication

of cultural, religious and social practices which discriminate against women; the

economic empowerment of women and the recognition of the full legal capacity of


The DHDR Article 30 is dedicated to the duty and responsibility to ensure the

substantive equality of persons with a disability, and to ensure the enjoyment and

exercise of all human rights and fundamental freedoms without discrimination on the

basis of disability.

Some progress towards the accomplishment of this duty can be observed at

international level. In March 2006, the UN Programme on Disability has been

consolidated into the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with


DHDR Chapter 8: Protection of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

Reinforcing the fulfilment of equality, the aim of the Chapter 8 is to emphasise the need

for protection of minorities and indigenous peoples. Both the global community and the

States are considered by this Declaration as the major responsible, collectively and

individually for ensuring the rights of these vulnerable groups.

The DHDR Article 31 formulates the duty and responsibility to respect and protect the

existence, identity and rights of national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities,

having the States a primary duty and responsibility to take adequate measures. The

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above referred efforts of the UNESCO for protecting the value of cultural diversity and

cultural expressions are a reflection of this obligation.

The DHDR Article 32 enunciates the duty and responsibility to respect, protect and

promote the rights of indigenous peoples, in particular their right to preserve, maintain

and develop their identities and to protect their means of livelihood, in a general context

of respect of universal human rights. Indigenous rights are diversely protected at

national level, but it is much needed that the international community assumes

collectively their responsibility. It is also expected that the proposed declaration on the

rights of indigenous peoples will be again considered for approval in September 2007

by the UN General Assembly in order to protect these rights universally.

DHDR Chapter 9: Rights of The Child And The Elderly

The chapter 9 deals also with the implementation of the principle of equality taking into

account the primary responsibilities of the States for the children and elderly rights.

The DHDR Article 33 emphasises the duty and responsibility to respect, protect and

promote the rights of the child, following the content of the almost universally ratified

UN Convention on the Right of the Child (1989) and aware, that although this excellent

document is shared broadly by the international community, today million of children are

still innocent victims of armed conflict, extreme poverty and hunger.

The DHDR Article 34 is dedicated to the formulation of the duty and responsibility to

promote and enforce the rights and wellbeing of the elderly, trying to ensure the full and

effective enjoyment by elderly people of all human rights and fundamental freedoms

Page 103 of 141

without discrimination on the basis of age, and to respect the well-being, dignity and

physical and personal integrity of the elderly. Although major efforts are being made by

the United Nations, such as the International Year of Older Persons (1999) and the

formulation UN Principles addressing the independence, participation, care, selffulfillment

and dignity of older persons, and regional and national efforts, it does not

exist by now a recognised framework for securing their rights. Therefore, the DHDR

constitutes a very interesting contribution for enforcing the rights of the elderly.

DHDR Chapter 10: Work, Quality of Life and Standard of Living

The DHDR Chapter 10 complements the system of duties and responsibilities related to

the right to work, quality of life and standard of living. For doing that, the DHDR take into

account at the same time, the responsibility of the States and the shared responsibility

of the world community in the context of the global interdependence.

The DHDR Article 35 formulates the duty and responsibility to promote the right to justly

remunerated work, following considerately the UDHR Article 23. Measures such

adopting policies designed to promote productive work; ensuring employment security,

in particular protection against arbitrary or unfair dismissal; and ensuring equality of

opportunity and conditions of work, are proposed by the DHDR.

The DHDR Article 36 emphasises the postponed duty and responsibility to promote

quality of life and an adequate standard of living for all. Although in the UDHR Article 22

it states the States obligation of fulfilling “the economic, social and cultural rights

indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality”, today our

interdependent world is not free from hunger and there is not universal access to

adequate food and clean water for everyone. The DHDR reiterates the shared

responsibility for eradicating extreme poverty from the world, in particular if we consider

the sufficiency of material resources for meeting this challenge. Similarly, but with a

more pragmatic approach, the Millennium Development Goals (2000) establishes an

intergovernmental agreement for realising globally human rights. These transitional

goals indicate indubitably the correct course for implementing human rights in a

continuous process with measurable criteria. However, it would be positive to promote a

dialogue on the achievement and evolution of the achievement of those goals with the

help of this systematised view on universal duties and responsibilities.

DHDR Chapter 11: Education, Arts and Culture

The DHDR Chapter 11 is dedicated to formulate duties and responsibilities on the

promotion of education, arts and culture, major topics of the UNESCO, such as the

programmes “education for all” and its various instruments for securing adequate

conditions for education and artistic and cultural activities.

The DHDR Article 37 enunciates the duty and responsibility to promote and enforce

the right to education, taking into account that illiteracy still affects millions of people in

Page 104 of 141

the developing countries and that is coincident with the already referred Millennium

Development Goals.

The DHDR Article 38 emphasises the duty and responsibility to foster arts and culture

by the States and the global community in general, similarly to the UNESCO


Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities Chapter 12: Right To A Remedy

The DHDR finishes with the Chapter 12 dedicated to the right to a remedy where a

human right or fundamental freedom is threatened or has been violated.

The DHDR Article 39 enunciates the duty and responsibility, primarily of the States, to

provide for and enforce effective national judicial, administrative, legislative and

other remediesfor these cases, in similarity with the UDHR Article 8.

This Chapter proposes, finally, in article 40 the duty to monitor and implement the

Declaration of Human Duties and Responsibilities, by establishing tripartite councils

composed of State, civil society and private sector representatives in cooperation with

States, relevant civil society organisations, national, regional and international intergovernmental


The DHDR Article 41 with a non-derogation clause where it states: “Nothing in this

Declaration shall be interpreted as impairing or restricting the rights contained in

Page 105 of 141

the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international and regional human

rights instruments.”

Page 106 of 141

IX. References
















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Page 109 of 141

Page 110 of 141

Attachment A

Accountability In Governance

Page 111 of 141

Accountability in


Accountability ensures actions and

decisions taken by public officials are

subject to oversight so as to

guarantee that government

initiatives meet their stated

objectives and respond to the needs

of the community they are meant to

be benefiting, thereby contributing

to better governance and poverty


Accountability is one of the cornerstones of

good governance; however, it can be

difficult for scholars and practitioners alike

to navigate the myriad of different types of

accountability. Recently, there has been a

growing discussion within both the

academic and development communities

about the different accountability typologies.

This Note outlines the present debate

focusing on the definition and substance of

different forms of accountability and

considers the key role that legislatures play

in ensuring accountability.

What is Accountability?

The notion of accountability is an

amorphous concept that is difficult to define

in precise terms. However, broadly

speaking, accountability exists when there is

a relationship where an individual or body,

and the performance of tasks or functions by

that individual or body, are subject to

another’s oversight, direction or request that

they provide information or justification for

their actions.

Therefore, the concept of accountability

involves two distinct stages: answerability

and enforcement. Answerability refers to

the obligation of the government, its

agencies and public officials to provide

information about their decisions and

actions and to justify them to the public and

those institutions of accountability tasked

with providing oversight. Enforcement

suggests that the public or the institution

responsible for accountability can sanction

the offending party or remedy the

contravening behavior. As such, different

institutions of accountability might be

responsible for either or both of these stages.

Why is Accountability Important

to Governance?

Evaluating the ongoing effectiveness of

public officials or public bodies ensures that

they are performing to their full potential,

providing value for money in the provision

of public services, instilling confidence in

the government and being responsive to the

community they are meant to be serving.

What types of Accountability?

The concept of accountability can be

classified according to the type of

accountability exercised and/ or the person,

group or institution the public official

answers to. The present debate as to the

content of different forms of accountability

is best conceptualized by reference to

opposing forms of accountability. As such

the main forms of accountability are

described below in reference to their

opposing, or alternate, concept.

Horizontal vs. Vertical Accountability

The prevailing view is that institutions of

accountability, such as parliament and the

judiciary, provide what is commonly termed

horizontal accountability, or the capacity of

a network of relatively autonomous powers

(i.e., other institutions) that can call into

question, and eventually punish, improper

ways of discharging the responsibilities of a

given official. In other words, horizontal

accountability is the capacity of state

institutions to check abuses by other public

agencies and branches of government, or the

requirement for agencies to report sideways.

Alternatively, vertical accountability is the

means through which citizens, mass media


and civil society seek to enforce standards of

good performance on officials.

While parliament is typically considered as a

key institution in constructs of horizontal

accountability, it is also important in vertical

accountability. Citizens and civil society

groups can seek the support of elected

representatives to redress grievances and

intervene in the case of inappropriate or

inadequate action by government. In

addition, through the use of public hearings,

committee investigations and public

petitioning, parliament can provide a vehicle

for public voice and a means through which

citizens and civic groups can question

government and seek parliamentary

sanctioning where appropriate.

Political versus Legal Accountability

Parliament and the judiciary act as

horizontal constitutional checks on the

power of the executive. The role of these

two institutions can be further delineated in

that parliament holds the executive

politically accountable, whilst the judiciary

holds the executive legally accountable.

These classifications stem from the fact

parliament is a political institution, while the

judiciary can only adjudicate on legal issues.

Together, they provide ongoing oversight in

order to keep the government accountable

throughout its term in office. They may also

be aided by other institutions, such as

supreme audit institutions, anti-corruption

commissions, ombuds offices and human

rights institutes. These secondary

‘autonomous institutions of accountability’

are typically designed to be independent of

the executive; in the case of supreme audit

institutions (in ‘Westminster parliamentary

systems’), anti-corruption commissions and

ombuds offices they often report to

parliament while in the cases of supreme

audit institutions in Francophone countries

and human rights institutes, they may be part

of the judiciary.

Political accountability usually manifests

itself in the concept of individual ministerial

responsibility, which is the cornerstone of

the notion of responsible government (see


Another School of Thought: Horizontal

versus Vertical Accountability

A minority of commentators diverge in their

opinion as to what constitutes horizontal and

vertical accountability. An alternate

conception of horizontal and vertical

accountability relies on the relationship

between parties to determine whether one

party exercises horizontal or vertical

accountability over the other. In instances

where there is a classic top-down, principalagent

relationship, whereby the principal

delegates to the agent, the agent is

accountable to their direct superiors in the

chain-of-command and this constitutes a

form of vertical accountability. For instance

the public official answers to the

department/ agency minister, the department

answers to the minister, the minister answers

to parliament (in particular in parliamentary

systems), and parliament answers to


Parliament is again a key actor. In terms of

holding government officials to account,

parliament is the principal and the official

the agent. Parliament, as principal, requires

the government and its officials, as agents,

to implement the laws, policies and

programs it has approved – and holds the

government and officials to account for their

performance in this regard.

Parliament is also an agent, in that the

electorate (the principal) elects legislators to

enact laws and oversee government actions

on their behalf. The electorate then hold

legislators to account at election time and, in

a few jurisdictions, through recall, where

dissatisfied voters can recall their elected

representative and vote for an alternative.


The absence of the direct principal-agent

relationship relegates the accountability

relationship to one of horizontal

accountability or social accountability. In

order for there to be social or horizontal


accountability a hierarchical relationship is

generally lacking between actor and forum,

as are any formal obligations to render


Social Accountability

The prevailing view of social accountability

is that it is an approach towards building

accountability that relies on civic

engagement, namely a situation whereby

ordinary citizens and/or civil society

organizations participate directly or

indirectly in exacting accountability. Such

accountability is sometimes referred to it as

society driven horizontal accountability.

The term social accountability is, in a sense,

a misnomer since it is not meant to refer to a

specific type of accountability, but rather to

a particular approach (or set of mechanisms)

for exacting accountability. Mechanisms of

social accountability can be initiated and

supported by the state, citizens or both, but

very often they are demand-driven and

operate from the bottom-up.

It is generally accepted that social

accountability mechanisms are an example

of vertical accountability. However, a

minority of commentators argue that, with

respect to social accountability, a

hierarchical relationship is generally lacking

between actor and forum, as are any formal

obligations to render account. Giving

account to various stakeholders occurs

basically on a voluntary basis with no

intervention on the part of the principal.

Therefore, social accountability would be a

form of horizontal accountability.

Social accountability initiatives are as varied

and different as participatory budgeting,

administrative procedures acts, social audits,

and citizen report cards which all involve

citizens in the oversight and control of

government. This can be contrasted with

government initiatives or entities, such as

citizen advisory boards, which fulfill public


Often overlooked in considerations of social

accountability is the role that legislators can

play in providing weight to such grass roots

accountability mechanisms. For example, a

Member of Parliament can represent the

concerns of his/her constituents by

questioning a Minister during Question

Period in Parliament or by requesting

information directly from a government

ministry or department.

Diagonal Accountability

The concept of diagonal accountability is far

from settled with two groups of

commentators adopting different definitions.

The literature does not support a

convergence of their ideas. Although, there

is conjecture as to what constitutes diagonal

accountability, the prevailing view is that

diagonal accountability entails vertical

accountability actors. Generally speaking

diagonal accountability seeks to engage

citizens directly in the workings of

horizontal accountability institutions. This

is an effort to augment the limited

effectiveness of civil society’s watch dog

function by breaking the state’s monopoly

over responsibility for official executive


The main principles of diagonal

accountability are:

• Participate in Horizontal Accountability

Mechanisms – Community advocates

participate in institutions of horizontal

accountability, rather than creating

distinct and separate institutions of

diagonal accountability. In this way,

agents of vertical accountability seek to

insert themselves more directly into the

horizontal axis.

• Information flow – Community

advocates are given an opportunity to

access information about government

agencies that would normally be limited

to the horizontal axis, for instance

internal performance reviews etc.

Furthermore, they have access to the

deliberations and reasons why

horizontal accountability institutions


make the decisions they do. Meanwhile,

community advocates bring first hand

experience about the performance of the

government agency to the accountability


• Compel Officials to Answer –

Community advocates co-opt the

horizontal accountability institution’s

authority to compel a government

agency to answer questions (as in the

example given above of an MP

questioning a Minister about issues of

concern to his/her constituents); and

• Capacity to Sanction – Community

advocates acquire the authority of the

horizontal accountability institution to

enforce the findings or influence elected


Some argue that civil society can strengthen

the effectiveness of horizontal accountability

institutions by pressuring existing agencies

to do their jobs more effectively. This type

of participation in accountability is not

direct action against wrongdoing, as with

vertical accountability, but rather societydriven

horizontal accountability, such as

citizen advisory boards that fulfill public

functions, like auditing government

expenditures or supervising procurement.

More generally, active citizens and civil

society groups can work with elected

representatives to enhance parliaments’

representation role.

A minority of commentators diverge in their

opinion as to what constitutes diagonal

accountability. Some commentators suggest

administrative accountability, exercised

primarily through quasi-legal forums, such

as ombudsmen, auditors, and independent

inspectors reporting directly or indirectly to

parliament or the responsible minister, is a

form of independent and external

administrative and financial oversight and

control. This form of accountability is

different to the classic top-down/ principalagent

relationship because the administrative

accountability institution is not in a

hierarchical relationship to the public

officials and often do not have formal

powers to coerce public officials into

compliance. It is argued that these

administrative agents are auxiliary forums of

accountability that were instituted to help

the political principals control the great

variety of administrative agents and that

their accountability relations are, therefore, a

form of diagonal accountability.

Social Accountability versus Diagonal


Recently the World Bank argued that social

accountability is broad enough to encompass

mechanisms of diagonal accountability. It

was argued that diagonal accountability

mechanisms can also be considered a form

of social accountability.

Considering social accountability is not

meant to refer to a specific type of

accountability, but rather to a particular

approach for exacting accountability, it

might be a broader concept than diagonal

accountability. This lends weight to the idea

that diagonal accountability mechanisms

could be a component of the broader

approach of social accountability.

However, this is contrast to some

commentators who draw a sharp distinction

between social accountability and diagonal

accountability. They argue that the state is

often resistant to citizens poaching its

exclusive oversight domain, instead

encouraging new forms of social

accountability, which they dismiss as being

merely a form of outreach that provides an

opportunity for civil society to inform

government about public perception of

government behavior.


Parliaments are key actors in what has been

termed the ‘chain of accountability’. They

are, along with the judiciary, the key

institution of horizontal accountability, not

only in their own right but also as the

institution to which many autonomous

accountability institutions report. They are


the vehicle through which political

accountability is exercised. Along with civil

society organizations and the mass media,

they are also important institutions in

vertical accountability.

Newer concepts of accountability have

emerged: social accountability and diagonal

accountability. The former, defined as

‘society driven horizontal accountability’

seeks to provide direct answerability from

government to citizens; parliaments and

elected representatives are important

vehicles through which citizens and civic

groups can also extract enforcement. And –

no matter how defined – parliaments are one

of the institutions through which diagonal

accountability can be exercised.

Further Reading

Arroyo, D. & K. Sirker. 2005. Stocktaking of

Social Accountability Initiatives in the

Asia and Pacific Region. Washington DC:

WBI Working Paper

Bovens, M. 2005. “Public Accountability.”

In Ferlie, Ewan. Laurence E. Lynn, Jr. &

Christopher Pollitt (eds). The Oxford

Handbook of Public Management.

Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bovens, M. 2006. Analysing and Assessing

Public Accountability: A Conceptual

Framework. European Governance Papers

No. C-06-01

Cavill, S. & M. Sohail. 2004.

“Strengthening Accountability for Urban

Services.” Environment and Urbanization:


Goetz, A.M. & J. Gaventa. 2001. Bringing

Citizen Voice and Client Focus into

Service Delivery. Brighton, Sussex: IDS

Working Paper No.138

Goetz, A.M. & R. Jenkins. 2001. “Hybrid

Forms of Accountability: Citizen

Engagement in Institutions of Public-

Sector Oversight in India.” Public

Management Review: 3(3).

Malena, C; R. Forster & J. Singh. 2004.

Social Accountability: An Introduction to

the Concept and Emerging Practice.

Washington DC: World Bank Social

Development Papers: Participation and

Civic Engagement No.76.

McNeil, M. & T. Mumvuma. 2006.

Demanding Good Governance: A

Stocktaking of Social Accountability

Initiatives by Civil Society in Anglophone

Africa. Washington DC: WBI Working

Paper No.37261.

World Bank. 2004. State-Society Synergy

for Accountability: Lessons for the World

Bank. Washington DC: World Bank

Working Paper No.30.

World Bank Institute, 2005. Social

Accountability in the Public Sector.

Washington DC: WBI Working Paper


This note was written by Rick Stapenhurst

(Senior Public Sector Management

Specialist, World Bank Institute) and Mitchell

O’Brien (Consultant, World Bank Institute).


Page 112 of 141

Attachment B

Accountability Transparency Participation and

Inclusion: A New Development Consensus

Page 113 of 141



A New Development Consensus?

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher




A New Development Consensus?

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher

The Carnegie Endowment gratefully acknowledges the support from the Ford Foundation, the

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the UK Department for International

Development that helped make the writing and publication of this paper possible. The

opinions expressed in the paper are the responsibility of the authors alone.

© 2014 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. All rights reserved.

Carnegie does not take institutional positions on public policy issues; the views

represented herein are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Carnegie, its staff, or its trustees.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by

any means without permission in writing from the Carnegie Endowment. Please

direct inquiries to:

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Publications Department

1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20036

P: +1 202 483 7600

F: +1 202 483 1840

This publication can be downloaded at no cost


CP 228


About the Authors


Summary 1

Introduction 3

Bridging the Three Rivers of Politics in Development 6

An Incomplete Bridge 10

One Agenda or Several? 11

The Problem of Superficial Application 12

The Unsettled Intrinsic Case 14

Divisions Over the Instrumental Case 16

The Larger Developmental Debate 18

Uncertain Commitment to International Initiatives 21

The Continuing Donor-Recipient Divide 23

Conclusions 25

Notes 29

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 34

About the Authors

Thomas Carothers is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for

International Peace. He is the founder and director of the Democracy and Rule

of Law Program and oversees Carnegie Europe in Brussels.

Carothers is a leading authority on international support for democracy, rights,

and governance and on comparative democratization as well as an expert on

U.S. foreign policy. He has worked on democracy-assistance projects for many

public and private organizations and carried out extensive field research on

international aid efforts around the world. In addition, he has broad experience

in matters dealing with human rights, the rule of law, civil society building, and

think tank development in transitional and developing countries.

He is the author of six critically acclaimed books as well as many articles in

prominent journals and newspapers. Carothers has also worked extensively

with the Open Society Foundations (OSF), including currently as chair of the

OSF Think Tank Fund and previously as chair of the OSF Global Advisory

Board. He is an adjunct professor at the Central European University in

Budapest and was previously a visiting faculty member at Nuffield College,

Oxford University, and Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Saskia Brechenmacher is a first-year MALD candidate at the Fletcher School

of Law and Diplomacy. She studied political science and Slavic Studies at

Brown University and previously worked as a junior fellow in the Democracy

and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

and as a research analyst at Carnegie Europe.


The authors are grateful to Aislin Baker, Clarisa Bencomo, Diane de Gramont,

Noha El-Mikawy, Lu Ecclestone, Larry Garber, Micol Martini, Shiona

Ruhemann, Martin Tisne, and Ken Wollack for helpful comments on drafts of

this paper. Oren Samet-Marram provided useful research assistance.



Four key principles—accountability, transparency, participation, and inclusion—have

in recent years become nearly universal features of the policy

statements and programs of international development organizations. Yet this

apparently widespread new consensus is deceptive: behind the ringing declarations

lie fundamental fissures over the value and application of these concepts.

Understanding and addressing these divisions is crucial to ensuring that the

four principles become fully embedded in international development work.

An Incomplete Bridge

Accountability, transparency, participation, and inclusion represent vital

embodiments of the opening to politics that occurred in development

work in the 1990s. They bridge three distinct practitioner communities

that emerged from this new direction—those focusing on governance, on

democracy, and on human rights.

• But consensus remains elusive. Democracy and human rights practitioners

generally embrace an explicitly political understanding of the four concepts

and fear technocratic or purely instrumentalist approaches. Governance

specialists often follow a narrower approach, applying the core principles

primarily to the quest for greater public sector effectiveness.

• Aid providers frequently present the four concepts as a unified agenda. Yet

in actual programming they may only pursue or prioritize selective parts of

the set, engendering tensions among the different principles.

Inconsistencies and Uncertainties

• Shallow practice. Aid organizations often treat the four principles as programmatic

boxes to be ticked rather than fundamental elements of their

work. Although these concepts evoke potentially transformative notions of

citizen empowerment, they risk being reduced in practice to limited forms

of citizen consultation or technocratic reforms that rely on simplistic theories

of developmental change.

• Debates about the place of the principles. Many aid practitioners remain

skeptical of treating accountability, transparency, participation, and inclusion

as intrinsic to their conception of development. They worry that broadening

the development agenda on normative grounds will dilute the core

focus on poverty reduction and growth.


2 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

• Questions about impact. Evidence for the developmental impact of the

four principles is limited and inconclusive to date. Uncertainty about their

instrumental value is compounded by the unresolved broader debate over

the relationship between governance and economic development.

• Resistance on the recipient side. Many developing country governments

have rhetorically embraced the value of accountability, transparency,

participation, and inclusion and joined international initiatives aimed at

furthering these principles. However, the political will to translate such

commitments into substantive political reform is often lacking. Some governments

remain fiercely opposed to incorporating these principles into

the international development agenda, viewing them as entry points for

illegitimate political meddling.


If you are an unfamiliar visitor to an organization engaged in international

development assistance and unsure of the reception you will receive, there is a

surefire way to win over your hosts: tell them you believe that four key principles

are crucial for development—accountability, transparency, participation,

and inclusion. Your hosts will almost certainly nod enthusiastically, and declare

that their organization in fact prioritizes these very concepts as key tools in the

larger battle to eradicate extreme poverty and achieve sustained development.

This holds true no matter whether you are visiting a major bilateral or multilateral

aid agency, a foreign ministry engaged in development work, a transnational

nongovernmental organization, a private foundation, or any other of

the many groups that now make up the tremendously heterogeneous world of

international development aid.

These four concepts have become a ubiquitous feature of the policy statements

of countless aid organizations over the past few years. For example,

the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s recent strategy on

democracy, human rights, and governance frames “greater citizen participation

and inclusion, and more accountable institutions and leaders” as its primary

high-level objectives, arguing that this framework will help “empower

reformers and citizens from the bottom up.” 1 The Organization for Economic

Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee affirms

that “there is growing consensus on the value of human rights principles—

such as participation, non-discrimination and accountability—for good and

sustainable development practice,” and defines effective states as “those that

. . . have open, transparent, accountable and inclusive political institutions.” 2

Similarly, in its 2007 Governance and Anti-Corruption Strategy, the World

Bank asserts that “engaged local communities, a vibrant civil society, and a

transparent flow of information . . . support poverty reduction by helping to

hold governments accountable for delivering better services, creating jobs, and

improving living standards.” 3 The Swedish International Development Agency

(SIDA) goes as far as putting nondiscrimination, participation, openness and

transparency, and accountability forward as fundamental principles that “must

be applied consistently throughout Swedish aid.” 4

The four concepts do not only exist in policy documents. They are at the heart

of many recent high-profile initiatives, ranging from the Extractive Industries

Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the Open Government Partnership (OGP)

to the World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability and the

Making All Voices Count “grand challenge for development” funded by the


4 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

In the course of the past decade, the aid

community has increasingly emphasized the

importance of expanding recipient country

ownership over development processes through

greater donor accountability, transparency,

and multi-stakeholder engagement.

United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, USAID,

the Swedish government, the Open Society Foundations, and the Omidyar

Network, among others. And they are central elements of countless individual

aid programs and projects around the world, both as core objectives—such as

efforts to facilitate greater participation by women in political parties—and as

contributing elements to programs that have other primary goals, such as adding

a participatory component to a health reform program.

Besides serving as both means and ends of development programs, the four

principles also represent mainstays in the international discourse over relations

between donors and aid recipients as well as other stakeholders. In the course

of the past decade, the aid community has increasingly emphasized the importance

of expanding recipient country ownership over development processes

through greater donor accountability, transparency, and multi-stakeholder

engagement. The 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness launched this

agenda by advocating for more inclusive partnerships between developed and

developing countries to better incorporate civil society and private sector actors,

and stressing the need to enhance “mutual accountability and transparency in

the use of development resources.” 5 Successor declarations at subsequent highlevel

forums on aid effectiveness in Accra and Busan further affirmed that

donors should engage in an “open and inclusive dialogue on development policies”

in recipient countries, allow greater participation of

local stakeholders in planning processes, and ensure that

aid is transparent and accountable to all citizens. 6

In short, an apparently powerful consensus has emerged

in the international development community around

incorporating accountability, transparency, participation,

and inclusion into work at the macro as well as micro

level. These principles enjoy strong appeal as inherently,

even unquestionably good things—basic ways of respecting

human dignity and individual autonomy. How could

anyone mount a principled objection to activities aimed at

achieving greater accountability by governments toward their people, greater

transparency by state institutions in their handling of public finances, active

participation by citizens in development processes that affect their well-being,

or meaningful inclusion of disadvantaged groups in socioeconomic life?

Contributing to this sense of intrinsic goodness is the post-ideological nature

of these concepts. They rise above the burgeoning arguments around the world

about the value of liberal democracy and whether it is the most effective and

desirable political system for every country. Chinese officials sparring ideologically

with their Western counterparts do not hesitate to question democratic

processes and institutions. But they are unlikely to argue that Chinese citizens

and businesses are better served by a government that is fundamentally

unaccountable to their interests and needs. Transparency and public participation

have in fact become popular themes in Chinese political discourse, with

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 5

former general secretary Hu Jintao himself stressing “the growing enthusiasm

of the people for participation in political affairs” and affirming the intent to

“improve the open administrative system in various areas and increase transparency

in government work.” 7

The four concepts also transcend ongoing debates within the development

community between conservative and left-of-center philosophies. Accountability,

for example, easily aligns with the emphasis that conservatives place on anticorruption

and the rule of law. Yet at the same time, it attracts developmentalists

on the left who underline the need to make government more responsive to disadvantaged

and marginalized groups. Similarly, conservatives

may see greater participation as an integral component

of small-government approaches in which citizens take up

roles that pared-down states no longer play. Those on the

left, on the other hand, often use participation as a synonym

for the grassroots mobilization of ordinary citizens against

entrenched power holders.

Proponents find in these four concepts not just intrinsic

value but, just as importantly, a natural instrumental logic.

State institutions that are accountable to their people will

use their resources constructively rather than misspend or

steal them. Greater governmental transparency will allow citizens to determine

where their political leaders are going astray and exert well-targeted pressure

to put them back on track. Increased public participation in governance processes

on the local and national levels will provide those institutions with direct

input on how to best respond to citizen needs and bring additional information

about blockages and inefficiencies into decisionmaking processes.

Moreover, the four concepts catch the zeitgeist of an aid world struggling to

adjust to a fundamental rebalancing of power between “the West and the rest,”

and the growing effacement of the traditional line between donor and recipient

countries as well as state and nonstate actors. The issues they encapsulate affect

not only developing societies; they are subjects of fierce debate and contestation

within the developed world as well—whether it is over the inadequate

economic and social inclusion of immigrant groups in the United States and

Europe, shortcomings of governmental transparency concerning electronic

surveillance of citizen communication, or declining rates of electoral and other

forms of political participation.

Of course, these are not the only enthusiasms to have blossomed in the international

aid world during the past several decades. But the agreement around

them appears to be unusually broad and its implications far reaching. Rather

than simply adding new elements to the international development agenda, the

consensus calls on donors to revise their approach to all areas of assistance. The

four principles together in effect form a new conventional wisdom about development,

one with interlinked normative and instrumental rationales and one

The four concepts catch the zeitgeist of an aid

world struggling to adjust to a fundamental

rebalancing of power between “the West and

the rest,” and the growing effacement of the

traditional line between donor and recipient

countries as well as state and nonstate actors.

6 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

that promises to bridge long-standing divides both within aid organizations as

well as between donors and recipients.

Yet behind the ringing policy declarations and the ubiquitous presence

of these concepts in programming lie a number of significant fissures. They

concern fundamental aspects of the agenda defined by these four concepts:

whether they really bridge longstanding ideological and operational divides

within the aid community, whether or not they represent a unified and coherent

agenda, and how deep the donor commitment to these concepts truly is in

practice. Moreover, uncertainty and disagreement persist both over whether

these principles are intrinsically valuable elements of aid policy and practice

and whether they do in fact help achieve economic development—a question

that remains closely tied to the larger debate surrounding the role of governance

in nurturing and sustaining economic growth. Lastly, despite a seeming

convergence around these values at the global level, many developing country

governments remain only superficially committed to their application, and

traditional rifts between donors and recipients over outside interventions in

domestic governance matters live on.

Identifying and understanding these fissures makes clear that the apparently

wide-reaching new consensus in development cooperation around the

normative and instrumental value of accountability, transparency, participation,

and inclusion remains less solid than enthusiasts of these concepts might

wish. Much more work lies ahead to turn these theoretically attractive principles

into consistent and effective practice.

Bridging the Three Rivers of

Politics in Development

Accountability, transparency, participation, and inclusion have emerged as crucial

aid priorities and principles as part of the broader opening of the door to

politics in development work over the past twenty-five years. This opening was

driven by a change in thinking about development that occurred at major aid

institutions in the late 1980s—the realization that bad governance is often a

key driver of chronic underdevelopment, and that the donor emphasis on market

reform would only succeed if developing countries built capable, effective

state institutions. Developmentalists at the time framed this insight in politically

neutral-sounding terms as “good governance.” Yet by incorporating this

concept into mainstream development work, they inevitably recognized the

pressing need for greater donor attention to political institutions and processes.

The dramatically changed international political landscape opened the door

to politics in aid work in several additional ways. The end of the superpower

rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union weakened some of the

political constraints that had characterized much development work in the second

half of the twentieth century—chiefly the need for major Western donors

to maintain friendships with strategically useful partners in the developing

world in spite of their records of domestic repression. The U.S. and European

governments of course retained close military and trade relations with various

authoritarian governments for the sake of security and economic interests—

including, for example, with Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Yet in a number of places

no longer ensnared in a global ideological contest, such as sub-Saharan Africa,

they proved increasingly willing to raise problematic domestic political issues

with aid-receiving governments. In addition, the onset of a startling global

wave of democratization, which Western governments generally perceived to

be in their political and economic interest, prompted Western aid actors to find

new ways to support this trend. Providing politically related assistance quickly

emerged as a crucial tool in this regard.

The end of the global ideological schism as well as rapidly growing civil

society activism in many countries attempting democratic transitions also

brought about a greater international consensus on human rights frameworks

and their role as tools for social and political change. Some Western donor

governments that had previously emphasized only the political and civil sides

of human rights began giving greater attention to socioeconomic rights. This

emerging agreement in turn triggered heightened attention to human rights

issues and approaches as an integral part of development work. Human rights

advocates argued for disempowerment and exclusion to be understood both as

root causes and consequences of chronic poverty, and stressed that economic

growth should serve as a means rather than the end goal of human development.

8 Reflecting this emerging perspective, the Vienna Declaration issued

at the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights emphasized that “democracy,

development, and human rights . . . are interdependent” and affirmed

that development efforts themselves should respect and enhance human rights,

rather than pursue economic prosperity at the expense of the latter. 9

As a result of these varied drivers of change, the development community

started to shed the apolitical mindset and technocratic habits that had characterized

it since the 1950s. Three new streams of assistance took hold, reflecting

the impetus toward a greater integration of politics into development:

aid to strengthen governance, to support democracy, and to advance human

rights. Governance quickly became a focus at many mainstream development

organizations. Democracy was taken on as a priority area by a smaller number,

initially USAID and several more specialized political aid organizations

that were funded by governments but at arm’s length from them, such as the

National Endowment for Democracy and various European political foundations.

Rights-based development became a growing preoccupation of several

northern European donors as well as a number of multilateral institutions,

especially within the United Nations family.

Although these three different streams all grew out of a greater attention to

political methods and goals in development work, they took shape as somewhat

separate areas of aid. Governance assistance aimed at strengthening core

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 7

8 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

institutions of public administration and financial management, and gradually

expanded to also cover service delivery. Democracy aid concentrated primarily

on assisting the formal processes and institutions regulating and shaping

political competition, such as elections, political parties, and parliaments.

And rights-based programming tried to define core socioeconomic areas—

like food, shelter, and education—in terms of rights-holders and duty-bearers

and to translate this conception into more forceful policy

attention to the power inequalities underlying core development


Public sector accountability and

These three new rivers of international aid were separated

not only by different programming foci, but also by

transparency emerged as crucial concepts

in the effort to reduce opportunities for

different philosophies of development and some degree

corruption and strengthen internal and of mutual distrust among their respective communities.

external monitoring mechanisms. Governance practitioners were often wary of emphasizing

rapid democratization in developing countries with weak

state institutions, afraid that premature political liberalization

might pave the way for fragmentation and populist pressures that would

undermine efforts to foster governance efficiency and effectiveness. Democracy

promoters in turn worried that governance programs emphasizing the strengthening

of central state institutions might reinforce anti-democratic governments

resistant to the distribution or alternation of power. The human rights community,

for its part, viewed the new democracy promotion cause with considerable

suspicion, worried that it might be the handmaiden of ideologically

driven political interventionism serving interests far removed from development.

And rights specialists were equally wary of governance assistance, which

they thought too often involved uncritical, supportive partnerships between

aid actors and abusive governments seeking to improve their economic performance

without addressing human rights concerns.

Governance work initially concentrated on public sector efficiency and competence,

with a programmatic focus on public expenditure management, civil

service reform, and privatization. Yet this narrow conception steadily broadened

to take on board the principles of accountability, transparency, participation,

and inclusion. This change occurred for multiple reasons. Starting in the

mid-1990s, the World Bank and other major donors began concentrating on

corruption—which many aid providers had traditionally avoided confronting

head on, viewing it as too politically sensitive—as a key obstacle to poverty

reduction. Public sector accountability and transparency emerged as crucial

concepts in the effort to reduce opportunities for corruption and strengthen

internal and external monitoring mechanisms.

The emergence in those years of transnational advocacy movements that

were focused on government transparency and accountability further pushed

the aid community to begin tackling these issues in their work. Transparency

International and other groups helped push anticorruption onto the agenda.

Nongovernmental groups in developed as well as developing countries led a

widening campaign for freedom of information that in many places produced

new laws and regulation guaranteeing citizens’ right of access to government

information. More recently, the global civil society push for open government

has further solidified attention to public sector transparency in domestic and

international policy circles.

The gradual shift from project aid toward budget support also reinforced

donor interest in accountability and transparency as prerequisites for aid effectiveness.

As donors channeled more assistance directly to central governments

to strengthen state capacity and country ownership, they put greater emphasis

on governance reforms that would ensure the responsible use of these resources.

In addition, frustration with the meager impact of the first wave of technical

assistance to improve government effectiveness pushed donors to broaden their

thinking about how institutional change might be achieved. Faced with the

recognition that technocratic inputs were not enough to overcome entrenched

resistance to reforms, they began to look for ways to encourage greater citizen

engagement, hoping that those groups suffering from the consequences of poor

governance might constitute a more effective driver of positive change.

The rising emphasis on the citizen side of the equation therefore naturally

prompted greater attention to accountability and participation. The United

Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was a leader in this area in the

early 2000s, pushing for the concept of democratic governance—by which it

meant the infusion of elements of accountability, transparency, participation,

and inclusion—as a fruitful formulation of a broadened governance agenda.

The 2004 World Development Report, Making Services Work for Poor People,

further specifically highlighted the importance of accountability in addressing

the catastrophic failure of service delivery to the world’s poorest people, and

pointed to citizen engagement and direct interaction with service providers as

a crucial part of the solution. It recommended, for example, that donors should

not only focus on channeling resources and technical assistance to underperforming

public education systems, but also support citizens in addressing local

challenges such as teacher absenteeism and bribery by monitoring performance

and directly engaging with responsible providers and officials.

This broadening created a bridge across some of the divisions between the governance

community on the one hand and the democracy and human rights communities

on the other. Democracy aid practitioners embraced accountability,

transparency, participation, and inclusion as intrinsic democratic values, viewing

their work on democratic elections, political parties, and parliaments as support

for these very same principles. The democracy community therefore felt that

developmentalists who were giving greater attention to the four principles were

simply catching up with progress it had already achieved. Similarly, those aid

practitioners pushing for greater donor attention to human rights frameworks

and instruments viewed the four concepts as core operational principles of a

human-rights-based approach to development. They supported their adoption

by mainstream aid organizations as crucial elements of good aid practice to be

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 9

10 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

included in aid planning, implementation, and evaluation. In particular, they

focused on reaching the most marginalized groups, deepening participation and

local control over development processes, and enhancing accountability structures

by drawing on international human rights norms and instruments.

An Incomplete Bridge

The apparent convergence among the governance, democracy, and human

rights communities is striking. Yet general agreement on the importance of

accountability, transparency, participation, and inclusion has not fully bridged

the underlying divisions between these camps.

Ask governance specialists at one of the multilateral development banks or

major bilateral aid agencies whether they are engaged in aiding democracy

and they will likely insist that they are not. They will emphasize that they are

pursuing greater participation, transparency, accountability, and inclusion for

developmental rather than politically normative purposes and are not in the

business of trying to shape the political life of other countries. Democracy promotion,

in their view, remains a separate terrain, more ideological than governance

work, more about changing overall political systems than improving the

performance of state institutions and delivering economic growth. They may

note that they often carry out governance programs for decades in undemocratic

contexts such as Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, or Vietnam, without any intention

of changing the larger political direction of the country.

Democracy practitioners, meanwhile, highlight the political dimension

of each of the four concepts. Rather than focusing on social accountability

mechanisms that target the relationship between citizens and service providers,

they attempt to strengthen broader institutions and processes of political

accountability, such as regular and competitive elections and effective,

independent parliaments. When they work on participation, their focus is on

citizen involvement in local and national political processes rather than development

planning and programming. Similarly, they frame issues of inclusion

mostly in terms of political empowerment and representation rather than social

or economic marginalization. In other words, for this group, democratic institutions

such as well-functioning political parties, responsive parliaments, and

a legal framework that guarantees basic political and civil rights are the central

pistons of accountability, participation, and inclusion.

As a result, democracy practitioners are skeptical of governance programming

that skirts the political dimensions of these concepts. They worry that their

governance counterparts are inescapably inclined toward narrow and technocratic

interpretations of these principles that fail to take into account the broader

distribution of power in a society (although some aid programs billed as prodemocratic

fall into the same rut of technocratic efforts to improve the functioning

of state institutions, without challenging underlying power inequalities).

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 11

Divisions also persist between the governance and human rights communities.

Most major aid organizations working on governance reform remain wary of

casting accountability, transparency, participation, and inclusion as rights rather

than desirable programming attributes or principles. Doing so, they believe,

would create rigidities in their own programmatic frameworks or in their consultations

with recipient governments. Rights entail legal

claims and commitments that may hinder tactical decisions

about modulating their pursuit of these principles based on Most major aid organizations working on

other priorities. The human rights community, on the other

governance reform remain wary of casting

hand, generally rejects the instrumental view of the four

concepts that dominates governance approaches. They fault

accountability, transparency, participation,

governance practitioners for interpreting principles such as and inclusion as rights rather than desirable

participation and inclusion in limited or partial ways, or programming attributes or principles.

deemphasizing them for the sake of other development priorities.

Some further dismiss the donor focus on governance

as just one part of the broader neoliberal agenda promoted by major development

organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in

alliance with local power holders—an agenda that, in their view, further marginalizes

the poor in the service of international economic and financial interests.

One Agenda or Several?

There is also disagreement over the extent to which the four principles actually

constitute a unified agenda. Aid providers typically present them as such,

grouping them together in policy documents as an apparently mutually reinforcing

set. And these principles do share a certain common ground—all of

them pertain to the interaction of states and their people, pointing toward a

greater role for citizens in the functioning of the state. Moreover, some natural

links do exist among them in practice. Accountability programs for example

often incorporate transparency as a constituent element while also relying

on citizen participation, such as support for local groups that seek to press a

particular government institution to be more responsive to public concerns.

Similarly, efforts to foster greater inclusion naturally connect to increased participation

by the targeted group.

Yet the links among the four principles are only partial. Some accountability

work consists of efforts to upgrade the technical capacity of selected government

agencies without attempting to improve participation or inclusion. Some

transparency programs are narrowly designed to make government data more

easily accessible to private sector and other stakeholders and do not attempt to

consciously link these transparency mechanisms to accountability or participatory

processes. Participatory development, on the other hand, often seeks to

make participation itself the driver of change by helping citizens take charge of

their communities’ development, without fostering any particular ties to formal

12 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

accountability mechanisms. And accountability programs or participatory development

efforts sometimes fail to include marginalized groups and take their

needs into account, though efforts in this respect have gradually improved.

In short, what is presented to the outside world as a unified agenda instead

appears from within the development community to be a set of goals that

compete with each other for attention and resources. Different aid organizations

or groups within them pursue very different relative emphases on the four

principles. For example, enthusiastic proponents of the growing transnational

movement for accountability and transparency view these issues as a potentially

transformative advance of the governance agenda and one that naturally

connects to burgeoning efforts to harness new Internet and communication

technologies for development ends. Other practitioners have a long-standing

commitment to participatory development and/or socioeconomic inclusion—

two domains of assistance that predate the more recent rush of attention to

accountability and transparency and that have undergone various permutations

over the past decades.

The four principles are not only frequently pursued at least somewhat independently

of each other: they can also at times be in tension. For example, an

effort to push a government emerging out of civil war to pursue accountability

for past rights violations may limit the inclusion of some groups in the postconflict

political system. Accountability programs that seek to reduce state

capture may actually try to limit participation in the workings of certain institutions,

such as central banks, in order to isolate them from political pressure

or improve efficiency. Certain attempts to strengthen public sector accountability

by increasing provider competition in service delivery may perpetuate

patterns of marginalization, and poorly conceived participatory projects can

exacerbate rather than alleviate the exclusion of disadvantaged groups. These

tensions are rarely acknowledged, and remain buried beneath the continual

references to the four principles as a shared agenda.

The Problem of Superficial Application

Another fissure arising in the application of the four principles centers on the

actual depth of donor commitment to transparency, accountability, participation,

and inclusion in programming and implementation. Despite their stated

devotion to these principles, aid organizations sometimes treat them as boxes

to be ticked rather than genuinely significant or even transformative elements

to be pursued in substantial, sustained ways.

This problem partly stems from the fact that despite their suggestive and

appealing nature, the four concepts are sufficiently broad that agreeing on

them in theory does not necessarily translate into agreement about them in

practice. References to principles such as participation and accountability in

aid programming have become so frequent and widespread that pinning down

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 13

with any precision what is meant by those terms often proves difficult. At times

the terms appear to have the quality of an elixir that aid providers sprinkle—at

least rhetorically—on everything they do, in the hopes of giving their activities

an appealing extra shine. Participation, for example,

is generally used to refer to input by citizens into governmental

processes, including, for example, in the planning,

design, implementation, or review of policies that affect

them. Yet such input varies widely in type, duration, and

intensity—it can be formal or informal, sporadic or continuous,

limited or far-reaching, local or national, and so

forth. Participatory measures can be part of broader vertical

accountability efforts relating to public financial management

and service delivery, forming an integral element

of citizen attempts to exert a disciplinary role vis-à-vis the state. Yet the term is

also used to describe broader consultations and public input into decisionmaking

processes that remain firmly in the hands of governments or other stakeholders.

A similar degree of variation holds for the other three concepts as well.

As a result of this variation in definitions, very different things can be carried

out in the name of apparently common principles. Seemingly transformative

concepts and approaches in reality often translate into superficial or limited

applications. In the realm of participation, all major aid providers have during

the last two decades committed—at least rhetorically—to facilitating greater

citizen participation in development work and have built participatory elements

into many of their programs. More often than not, they directly linked

these efforts to powerful claims that participation would help advance capacity-building,

local ownership, and citizen empowerment. But as numerous critics

have detailed in extensive review studies, such elements often fall short of

their transformative aspirations, resulting instead in superficial forms of public

consultation that do not give poor people substantive input into development

decisions or change the balance of power between citizens and states. 10

For example, the move to make the World Bank’s Poverty Reduction

Strategy Papers (PRSP) more participatory through the implementation of

Participatory Poverty Assessments was, in the eyes of some critics, a long and

corrosive study in the superficiality of donor commitment to participation.

Although there is evidence that in some countries, civil society involvement

in these processes helped shape a more multidimensional understanding of

poverty and its causes, it generally fell short of achieving genuine inclusion.

Instead, such efforts too often remained “poorly-conceived, rushed, exclusive

and badly-organised” exercises in information extraction.” 11 Crucial macroeconomic

policy decisions were still made before soliciting citizen input, and

developing country governments often saw the PRSP process as nothing but

a requirement imposed by international financial institutions that they had

limited capacity to meet. 12 Critics have therefore emphasized the need to tie

participation within specific development programs to broader methods of

References to principles such as participation

and accountability in aid programming have

become so frequent and widespread that

pinning down with any precision what is

meant by those terms often proves difficult.

14 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

citizen empowerment. 13 Of course there were other attempts that proved more

meaningful and successful: for example, the participation of civil society representatives

in the writing of shadow reports to the Universal Periodic Review of

the UN Human Rights Council as well as in official discussions of the review

has helped strengthen civil society capacity and facilitated networking between

different citizen organizations and movements.

Efforts to bolster the inclusion of marginalized groups also often suffer from

the problem of superficial application. For many mainstream donor organizations,

inclusion emerged as a priority issue on the international aid agenda

due to the efforts of women’s activists who argued that the economic, social,

and political marginalization of women—for example through their exclusion

from education and political decisionmaking—perpetuated chronic poverty.

However, the domain of gender inclusion is nevertheless littered with examples

of aid providers who have professed their commitment to gender awareness in

their program design without in fact attempting to address the systemic and

structural exclusion of women from development processes. 14

Similarly, a first wave of efforts to foster transparency in different arenas of

state action is quickly giving way to the realization that achieving meaningful

developmental impact this way is a considerably more complex and uncertain

process than many aid providers had initially realized. Scholars have warned of

the frequent conflation of open data technologies and the politics of open government,

emphasizing that a government can “provide ‘open data’ on politically

neutral topics even as it remains deeply opaque and unaccountable.” 15 In

a recent review of transparency’s impact on governance and public services in

particular, Stephen Kosack and Archon Fung further draw attention to the

ways in which different governance contexts account for variations in the effectiveness

of transparency initiatives. They argue that reforms can face obstacles

of collective action, political resistance, and long implementation chains, and

are most likely to succeed in situations marked by competitive service delivery

that poses fewer of these hurdles. 16

The Unsettled Intrinsic Case

Beyond divisions among various practitioner communities and difficulties

in implementation persists a broader debate about the appropriate role of the

four principles in development work. The intrinsic case for making accountability,

transparency, participation, and inclusion major pillars of development

aid seems straightforward to enthusiasts of these principles: the four concepts

describe a relationship between governments and their citizens that honors and

reinforces basic human dignity. As such, they are good things in and of themselves

that should be understood as intrinsic elements of development. In other

words, a society is more developed when its people are treated in accordance

with these values and less developed when they are not.

But within most aid organizations, skepticism over the intrinsic case persists.

The debate is not over whether participation, accountability, transparency, and

inclusion are good things. Instead, the question is whether the primarily socioeconomic

conception of development—on which the field of development aid

has rested since its origins in the 1950s—should be expanded to include these

principles as objectives. Many developmentalists worry that moving away from

the core socioeconomic conception risks diluting the focus on poverty reduction

and economic growth. They fear that opening the door to what they see

as politically normative claims on the development agenda will lead to even

greater disagreements both within aid organizations and between donors and

recipients over basic purposes. They are not necessarily against incorporating

concepts such as participation and accountability if they can be shown to yield

better developmental outcomes—but they are uncomfortable with the normative

argument as a stand-alone rationale. This division also exists within some of

the various practitioner subcommunities that have emerged around the four concepts:

for example, between those that view open data and access to information

as an intrinsic human right and those that see it primarily as a tool for economic

development, greater public sector efficiency, and anticorruption efforts.

It is impossible to assess with any precision the degree to which the intrinsic

case is accepted within the many aid organizations putting forward these four

concepts as important priorities. Official policy statements affirming donor

commitment to inclusive, participatory, accountable, and transparent governance

often do not explicitly state whether this commitment is primarily normative

or based on an assumed instrumental case, and only provide vague

or incomplete theories of change relating to these issues. The World Bank,

for example, argues that social accountability initiatives, besides facilitating

better governance and improved public policies and services, can also serve

to “empower those social groups that are systematically under-represented in

formal political institutions” and to “ensure that less powerful societal groups

also have the ability to express and act upon their choices. . . .” 17 Yet the World

Bank does not specify whether empowerment—another ubiquitous, yet conceptually

ambiguous term—is advanced as a normative end goal or as a means

to achieve better socioeconomic outcomes.

However, it is clear that many mainstream developmentalists remain

strongly attached to a traditional socioeconomic conception of development

and are reluctant to embrace normative principles for their own sake. Few

donors clearly state the normative argument in their policy statements. The

Swedish government is a notable exception in this regard: its core aid strategy

seeks to operationalize Amartya Sen’s argument that a lack of freedom is a form

of poverty, thereby merging normative political principles with a traditionally

socioeconomic definition of development. Rights-based approaches to development

take participation, accountability, and inclusion as inalienable rights

that should be integral to both development processes and outcomes and thus

represent an embodiment of the normative case. But they have gained only

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 15

16 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

partial ground over the past twenty years, and even the minority of major aid

organizations that embrace a human-rights-based approach are still struggling

to incorporate it substantially into development practice and make a difference

in programming beyond appealing statements of intent. One at least partial

exception is the UNDP, which since the early 2000s has advanced a rightsbased

conception of development in its Human Development Reports and

pushed for a convergence between human rights and development agencies in

the UN system. UNDP has invested in efforts to develop clear indicators for

this approach to aid programming and assist donors in assessing human rights

standards and principles in project design, implementation, and monitoring. 18

Divisions Over the Instrumental Case

Not only is the intrinsic case for the four concepts unsettled, so too is the

instrumental one—the argument that building the four principles into development

assistance will help produce better socioeconomic outcomes in aidreceiving

countries. A limited and generally inconclusive evidence base to date

exacerbates this problem. Despite the rapid increase of aid programming relating

to accountability, transparency, participation, and inclusion in the course

of the past fifteen years, relatively little time and funding have been invested

in examining the long-term socioeconomic and political impact of these initiatives.

Only in the past several years have a substantial number of researchers

and aid organizations attempted to address this shortcoming by systematically

investing in evidence collection. This emerging body of work—which is still

in its incipient phase—consists both of evaluations of specific

programs or projects and larger reviews that attempt

Despite the rapid increase of aid programming to extract, code, and synthesize the findings from existing

relating to accountability, transparency, studies and cases. The Overseas Development Institute for

participation, and inclusion in the course example in 2008 carried out a major review of “citizens’

voice and accountability” interventions based on an analysis

of 90 such projects in ten countries and seven detailed

of the past fifteen years, relatively little

time and funding have been invested in country case studies. 19 A comprehensive 2013 report by

examining the long-term socioeconomic World Bank researchers Ghazala Mansuri and Vijayendra

and political impact of these initiatives. Rao similarly attempted to systematically assess the socioeconomic

impact of decentralization and local-level participatory

development in aid recipient countries. 20

Yet trying to distill this emerging area of research into a coherent set of findings

that would convince skeptical policymakers of the merits of the instrumental

case is difficult. First, the endemic conceptual imprecision of practitioners

using the four concepts results in a jumbled array of interventions that cannot

be neatly sorted into categories. The ever-changing but often overlapping application

of the terms also makes it difficult to isolate any one element of programming

and measure its specific impact on development outcomes. Moreover, the

unusually complex and often indirect causal chains that connect work on the

four concepts to socioeconomic outcomes (compared, for example, to the direct

causal link between a vaccination delivery program and a reduction in the incidence

of the targeted disease) pose significant challenges to researchers looking

to trace development impact. A third impediment is the difficulty of drawing

generalizable lessons from highly context-specific interventions. Programming

that relates to the four principles seeks to make changes in sociopolitical relations

(as opposed to technical inputs or the infusion of capital) the driver of

developmental progress. This means that any successful strategy for change

will heavily depend on local power constellations and broader state-society

relations, as well as citizen capacity for collective action, among other factors.

However, one overarching message does emerge from the existing evidence:

the need for a strong dose of realism and caution regarding donor expectations

of developmental impact. Many studies show that programs targeting accountability,

participation, transparency, or inclusion are at least somewhat successful

at achieving their intermediate goals—such as establishing a social audit

process, strengthening the transparency of a particular ministry, or improving

citizen input into a national planning process. However, translating such

achievements into longer-term socioeconomic progress is much less common,

or, at the very least, much harder to detect.

Of course, few studies suggest that incorporating these concepts into programs

has no developmental effect at all. Success stories do exist: In Uganda,

community monitoring has contributed to improvements in public service

delivery, such as increased student and teacher attendance in schools and better

education outcomes. 21 Similarly, community monitoring of health services

using citizen report cards to facilitate regular dialogue with health workers

about problems and expectations led to an increase in the use of outpatient

services as well as overall improvements in medical treatments and a significant

reduction in infant mortality. 22 Participatory governance councils in Brazil

have improved the access to and quality of healthcare services, and participatory

budgeting in cities such as Porto Alegre has stimulated citizen participation

in local politics and increased public funding for housing, health, and

education. However, these initiatives have also been criticized for failing to

ensure inclusion of the poorest or perpetuating clientelistic politics in certain

contexts. 23

A central challenge for the aid community is how to move from these

scattered, often small-scale successes to greater socioeconomic impact. Aid

providers eager to make progress on this question are increasingly trying to

move beyond isolated bottom-up or top-down approaches, instead working

to tackle both sides of the state-society relationship at once. Various analysts

have highlighted the importance of such integrative approaches. For example,

in an insightful analysis of the empirical basis for social accountability work,

Jonathan Fox criticizes what he calls tactical approaches that rely on bounded

interventions, neglect the role of the state, and rest on flawed assumptions

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 17

18 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

about the power of information. Instead, he praises strategic approaches that

attempt to coordinate citizen action with governmental reforms to bolster public

sector responsiveness. While the impact of tactical approaches has been

minimal, Fox suggests that the evidence base for strategic approaches “driven

by coalitions of pro-accountability forces across the state-society divide” is considerably

more promising. 24

Yet despite these advances, practitioners still know very little about the types

of interventions and the broader governance structures and power dynamics

needed for work on these four concepts to have a lasting developmental

impact. Behind the clear affirmations by aid organizations of the importance

of accountability, participation, transparency, and inclusion lie considerable

doubts and disagreements about the validity of the instrumental case.

The Larger Developmental Debate

The debate over the evidence base for the four principles is rooted in the larger,

often fierce debate about the overall relationship between governance regimes

and economic development. In recent years this debate has focused extensively

on whether a clear empirical case exists for the proposition that Western-style

governance (which is seen as including the four principles as well as other elements

such as the rule of law) is good for development, whether as a contributing

factor in achieving socioeconomic success or in sustaining it. Three main

(and overlapping) camps contend with each other in this debate.

The optimists believe that mounting evidence from both historical analysis

and more specific empirical studies indicates that inclusive or democratic

governance is the key to generating and sustaining high levels of socioeconomic

development. Driven by the hopefulness of the immediate post–Cold

War years, policymakers in the 1990s initially embraced this argument primarily

axiomatically rather than on a firm empirical basis. Scholars have

since assembled a significant body of research pointing to a positive correlation

between various aspects of a country’s governance—including transparent,

accountable, and participative institutions—and its economic progress.

Daniel Kaufmann and other World Bank economists built an influential set

of aggregate Worldwide Governance Indicators to measure changes in governance

quality over time, and found a positive correlation between a country’s

performance on these measures and its economic development. 25 Their work

generated numerous efforts that relied on those indicators as well as comparable

measures to tease out the relationship between particular aspects of governance—such

as property rights, transparency, and the rule of law—and global

variations in income levels. 26 This research points to the overarching conclusion

that open and inclusive polities and economies ultimately tend to be more

successful at sustaining economic growth.

Another influential line of work attempts to trace the historical relationship

between institutions and economic growth. In their widely discussed book,

Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson find that countries

that develop inclusive rather than extractive political and economic institutions

produce better socioeconomic outcomes in the long run. 27 Similarly, Douglass

North, John Wallis, and Barry Weingast juxtapose “open access orders,” characterized

by political and economic competition, impersonal governance, and

a shared commitment to equality and inclusion, and “limited access orders” in

which elites engage in rent-seeking and pursue their personal interests. They

argue that historically, the former have been more successful at sustaining economic

growth than the latter. 28

The UK government’s recent statements regarding a “golden thread” of

development draw on this line of argument. British Prime Minister David

Cameron has repeatedly spoken about property rights, the rule of law, strong

institutions, and the absence of conflict and corruption as an interlinked set of

crucial conditions that “enable open economies and open societies to thrive,”

and argued that “eradicating poverty requires the growth that is fueled by open

economies, and open economies are themselves best ensured by open societies.” 29

Most scholars who embrace this optimistic view acknowledge that larger

historical and statistical relationships between participatory, open, and inclusive

societies and economic growth do not translate neatly into specific policy

recommendations. They therefore caution against attempts to impose generic

institutional templates on wildly differing contexts. Skeptics go a step further

and push back against the inclusive governance orthodoxy by arguing that a

number of governments have made significant developmental progress without

embracing these principles. Some de-emphasize the importance of governance

in general, stressing instead the centrality of structural factors—including

geography, natural resources, geopolitics, disease, and the development of

technology—in determining developmental failure and success. 30

A perhaps more prominent line of research on the skeptical side acknowledges

the centrality of governance, but disagrees that democratic or inclusive

institutions are key to prosperity. Scholars embracing this view argue instead

for a capable and effective developmental state, a model that gained prominence

following the remarkable economic rise of the Asian Tigers in the early 1990s.

Countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore did not institutionalize

Western-style democratic governance, yet rapidly grew their economies by

centralizing state power, developing autonomous and effective bureaucracies,

and actively intervening in the market process. In fact, scholars have argued

that the success of these efforts specifically depended on limiting citizen participation

in the political process and isolating state institutions from popular

pressure and accountability mechanisms.

Focusing on governance challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa, David Booth

and the Africa Power and Politics Programme argue that fragmented, clientelistic

governance systems often pose bigger obstacles to economic growth

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 19

20 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

than various forms of “developmental patrimonialism” that effectively centralize

economic decisionmaking. 31 They therefore stress the importance of state

capacity and cohesion, while rejecting a normative insistence on bottom-up

pressure and accountability as a means to better government performance.

Following a similar line, Mushtaq Khan criticizes the good governance agenda

for prioritizing market-enhancing measures such as transparency, rule of law,

and anticorruption in contexts with limited governance capabilities. Instead,

he argues for a greater focus on growth-enhancing aspects of governance, such

as the capacity to strategically attract new investment. 32 Linking these scholars

is an overarching concern that a premature opening of political institutions

and decisionmaking processes can exacerbate existing collective action problems,

and a wariness of good governance approaches that assume state capacity

and political will for reform where both are lacking.

In the third camp, a number of recent approaches have argued for a more

eclectic view that tries to build on these different schools of thought by highlighting

the ways in which they interact with and complement each other.

This emerging “multiple path philosophy” posits that very different governance

models can produce development success in different contexts. Kunal Sen, for

example, distinguishes between phases of growth acceleration and growth

maintenance. He argues that the informal institutions of credible commitment

and patron-client networks highlighted by scholars in the second camp

often play a crucial role in growth acceleration. In contrast, the formal institutions

and effective, inclusive governance structures described by Acemoglu and

Robinson may take on increasing importance in growth maintenance. 33

Merilee Grindle uses the term “good enough governance” to highlight the

need for greater realism regarding the types of reforms achievable in a given

country context, and advises donors to tackle only the most crucial blockages

to socioeconomic progress rather than imposing standard templates or reform

sequences. 34 In his new book, Working With the Grain, Brian Levy also highlights

the need to avoid what he calls “governance maximalism,” and to instead

recognize different political and institutional pathways that can lead countries

to sustainable development. 35 The same concept of working with rather than

against the grain of local contexts runs through the work of Sue Unsworth

and others at the Centre for the Future State, who in a recent report stress the

crucial role of informal institutions and personalized relationships in many

developing countries. The authors call on donors to move beyond a singular

focus on formal, rule-based institutions toward more “indirect strategies to

shift or influence the behavior of local actors.” 36 Yet even arguments for more

pragmatic and locally grounded approaches do not necessarily translate into

clear policy prescriptions or a powerful case for incorporating the four principles

into development policy.

The ongoing, fiercely contested research debate over the relationship between

governance and development exacerbates the continued fissures within the

aid community over the value of incorporating accountability, transparency,

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 21

participation, and inclusion into development work. The arguments for their

developmental impact are strong enough to give at least some comfort to their

devoted proponents. Yet the strengths of the arguments on the other side give

those aid practitioners skeptical of the concepts’ instrumental value a foundation

for their doubts. Given the fact that this decades-old research debate does

not appear to be headed soon toward any definite resolution, these deep-seated

splits over the instrumental case are likely to continue for some time.

Uncertain Commitment to

International Initiatives

The apparent consensus around the four concepts extends to governments on all

sides of the aid equation—donors and recipients alike. Part of the strong appeal

of recent transnational initiatives that have taken up the four concepts—such

as the Open Government Partnership, which now counts 65 member governments

committed to improving government transparency—lies precisely in the

fact that they put developed and developing countries on the same plane and

acknowledge that they face many of the same core problems.

Yet here too, fissures persist. The problem of superficial application identified

with regard to aid programming around the four concepts to some extent

also affects international initiatives centered on issues such as government

accountability and transparency, which struggle with the question of how to

best translate international commitments by participating governments into

meaningful domestic reforms.

This challenge arises with regard to the Extractive Industries Transparency

Initiative, a voluntary international regime that aims to expose revenue streams

to citizen scrutiny in order to expose resource theft and increase public and

private sector responsiveness to citizen demands. EITI-compliant governments

regularly publish their revenues from the extractive sector and require private

industry actors to do the same. 37 Developing countries have strong incentives

to join EITI, as membership is tied to not only reputation but also improved

performance on various international ratings, such as the World Bank “Doing

Business” Index, which in turn influence aid flows and investment. 38 However,

critics argue that corrupt regimes can reap these benefits while at the same time

maintaining kleptocratic governance structures.

EITI’s compliance standards remain relatively weak and narrow in scope,

despite the introduction of additional disclosure and reporting requirements

in 2013. This allows poorly performing governments to be rated as compliant

or “in progress,” while insufficiently rewarding those that are truly reform

minded. EITI has so far also been poorly linked to broader processes of public

sector reform or citizen empowerment, with local civil society organizations in

countries such as Nigeria often ill-equipped to use newly available information

to push for greater accountability. 39 A 2011 evaluation argued that while EITI

22 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

had boosted transparency at the country level, “accountability does not appear

to have changed much, in part because necessary political, legal and institutional

improvements have in most cases not been put in place,” and concluded

that “little impact at the societal level can be discerned.” 40

The initiative has thus been criticized for providing legitimacy to a number

of questionable regimes—including Ethiopia and Azerbaijan—without posing

a real threat to their repressive governance structures and rent-seeking elite

behavior. 41 Although its fifth criterion requires that “civil society is actively

engaged as a participant in the design, monitoring and evaluation” of the EITI

process, these governments have routinely come under fire for systematically

restricting basic civil and political rights, including freedom of assembly, association,

and expression. 42

The Open Government Partnership, founded in 2011, represents another

interesting case study of an international initiative attempting to trigger domestic

reforms on transparency and accountability issues. The OGP is open to all

countries that meet a set of eligibility criteria, and it compels participating

governments to implement regularly monitored open government action plans

developed in consultation with civil society. Some observers have criticized

the initiative for allowing governments to present themselves via their OGP

membership as reform minded and transparent while committing to few specific,

measurable, or genuinely transformative reform proposals. 43 The OGP’s

Independent Reporting Mechanism for example found that up to two-thirds

of the existing partnership commitments “do not pass the three hurdles of

being relevant, having the potential to have a major impact, and being implemented.”

44 Yet the initiative has also been praised for achieving considerable

success in a very short period of time, with 194 ambitious reform commitments

in 35 countries mostly or fully implemented and completed within three

years. 45 Moreover, the OGP is still a relatively new initiative and deserves time

to gain traction and fine-tune its approach.

For international initiatives such as EITI or the OGP, there may of course

also be value in including governments with bad track records on accountability,

transparency, and citizen participation in order to encourage a “race

to the top,” as Western proponents of these sorts of endeavors like to argue.

The inclusion of governments with chronically poor governance records may

indeed serve to gradually socialize them into a different outlook. Yet research

on the European Union and other multilateral initiatives shows that governments

are often most likely to reform before joining an initiative, suggesting

that both entry and compliance criteria should be carefully designed and

reviewed to maximize leverage. 46

A second finding relates to the interaction between such initiatives and

broader domestic reform efforts. Governments repeatedly sign up to reform

projects in one domain while backtracking in another. The example of EITI

shows that meaningful citizen participation needs to be an integral rather than

a secondary part of such initiatives, in order to avoid formalistic processes

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 23

that give citizens little or no control while providing a facade of credibility for

repressive regimes. If it becomes clear over time that some member states are

milking the benefits without fulfilling their responsibilities, the international

agreement or initiative in question inevitably suffers.

The Continuing Donor-Recipient Divide

The four concepts also appear as a potential bridge across the donor-recipient

divide in a second sense—they are not only widely embraced by aid organizations

as programmatic principles and objectives, but have also been agreed on

by both donor and recipient governments as a means to achieve greater aid

effectiveness. Yet here too the consensus is less solid than the rhetoric may indicate.

A number of developing country governments remain fiercely opposed

to incorporating these principles into the international development agenda

as universal characteristics of good governance. While they advocate for their

application to international partnerships, they reject donor attempts to promote

them in aid recipient societies as illegitimate political meddling. In other

words, donors embrace the four concepts as things that they hope recipient

governments will do, while recipient governments embrace them as things that

they hope donor governments will do.

Skepticism on the side of recipient country governments about the four concepts

first emerged when the World Bank and other major aid organizations

began pushing the accountability and anticorruption agenda in the 1990s.

Developing country power holders were unconvinced by the instrumental case

for anticorruption work, fully aware that many developed countries had in

fact experienced substantial corruption throughout their own histories, yet

still managed to reach prosperity. They also doubted the intentions of Western

donors, seeing the new agenda as a cover for political interventionism, an

excuse to embarrass or even delegitimize governments that the West happened

not to favor.

These initial suspicions have continued to fester throughout the expansion

of the governance agenda over the past two decades. The argument that

concepts such as accountability, participation, inclusion, and transparency

are post-ideological is not persuasive to some developing country officials and

observers, especially as they are often presented as core elements of “democratic

governance.” With sensitivities over Western political interventionism having

risen dramatically across the international political landscape over the last ten

years, movements by the aid community toward more normative approaches to

governance inevitably encounter rough terrain on the recipient side. Moreover,

power holders in nondemocratic societies such as China, Vietnam, Rwanda,

and Ethiopia often present their own developmental success as counterarguments

to the instrumental case.

24 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

The difficulties of reaching a global agreement in the ongoing negotiations

over the post-2015 development agenda sharply highlight this continuing fissure.

Major Western donors have persistently argued for the inclusion of a goal that

would incorporate governance principles in a substantial way—particularly since

the Millennium Development Goals fell short of addressing the developmental

role of governance, democracy, and the rule of law. Considerable momentum has

gathered for commitments on accountability and transparency as well as citizen

participation and political freedoms to be incorporated into a future framework.

The High-Level Panel appointed by the UN secretary general to assist the formulation

of a post-2015 development agenda recommended in its final report that

“good governance and effective institutions” be included as a stand-alone goal,

and put governance among the “transformative” factors affecting development

beyond 2015. 47 But disagreements persist over whether such governance components

should be incorporated as cross-cutting principles, measurable targets, or

overarching objectives, and whether their inclusion should follow an intrinsic

(for example, human-rights-based) or instrumental rationale.

Proponents of incorporating governance principles or objectives have faced

persistent pushback from several key states, including China, Egypt, and

Brazil. These countries assert that the focus of the post-2015 framework should

be on poverty reduction, and that incorporating governance objectives as well

as other elements such as peace and security would overburden the agenda

with ambition. Another common line of argument is that the framework

should respect “different models of development” and “individual national

circumstances”—a de facto veto of any attempts to incorporate normative

governance principles. 48 For example, China’s position paper on the global

development agenda beyond 2015 asserts that it should be based on the existing

Millennium Development Goals, and argues that “it is . . . important to

respect the independence of all countries in determining their development

strategies and goals.” 49 The BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China,

and South Africa—have further pushed for a greater focus on reforming international

rather than national governance, which they frame as an excessively

divisive issue.

Governance principles have been a contentious topic not just across the

donor-recipient divide but among developing country governments as well:

the consultations leading up to the Common African Position on the post-

2015 development agenda were marked by disagreements over the inclusion

of the rule of law as well as peace and security, issues that were prioritized by

conflict-affected countries in particular but dismissed by others as a Western

agenda. South Africa, for example, has stressed a holistic approach to peace

and security that centers on human rights and the rule of law, while Uganda

and Rwanda have emphasized conflict-prevention and resolution. 50 Egypt,

on the other hand, opposed any references to governance and the rule of law

whatsoever, arguing that it would be “premature” to mainstream “an abstract

notion . . . without having an agreed definition and commonly shared vision”

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 25

and emphasizing that “diverse cultures and traditions have to be respected at

all times.” 51

Other developing country governments have welcomed a greater focus on

governance, human rights, and even democracy in the post-2015 framework.

But the very difficult road that proponents of these concepts have had to travel

to get close to even a partial inclusion of governance principles in the post-2015

agenda—partiality that some have rejected as potentially counterproductive—

is testament to the still very shaky and incomplete consensus around the four

concepts within the broader aid community.


The recent embrace of accountability, transparency, participation, and inclusion

as crucial aid priorities and overarching principles should not be seen

as one more minor enthusiasm of a donor community prone to grasping for

magic bullets. It is a concrete embodiment of the fundamental movement by

international aid providers away from their decades-long preference for technocratic

approaches that bypassed or neglected the political dynamics of recipient

countries and treated states as deus ex machinas operating without any organic

connection to the citizens they are supposed to serve.

In simple terms it represents the third stage of the evolution of development

thinking across the last fifty years. In stage one, from the 1960s through the

1980s, aid providers focused on state-led development without giving serious,

sustained attention to how governance processes operate and evolve. In stage

two, the 1990s, donors took governance on board as a crucial factor in development,

yet hewed to a primarily narrow, top-down view of the concept. In stage

three, from the early 2000s on, the aid community expanded its approach to

governance, emphasizing the relationship between states and citizens, ideally

informed by principles that embody the importance of citizens’ roles.

Yet powerfully important though these principles are, the consensus around

them is not as strong as it might appear based on formal policy statements by

major aid organizations and the extraordinary proliferation of references to

them in aid programs and projects. Indeed, the consensus is fissured by a host

of doubts and disagreements:

• Although these principles serve as a bridge among the three communities

that emerged in the overall aid world in direct response to the opening of

the door to politics in the 1990s—practitioners focusing on governance,

democracy, or human rights—the bridge is only partial. These communities

still have very different understandings of and approaches to the

four principles in practice. Governance specialists view them primarily as

tools to tackle specific service delivery failures and increase government

26 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

efficiency and responsiveness; they remain wary of appearing too political.

Democracy and human rights practitioners, for their part, reject technical

applications that they believe risk stripping the concepts of their transformative

political value and reducing them to mere formalities in program

design and implementation.

• Aid providers’ application of these principles is often superficial and based on

simplistic or incomplete theories of change. Concepts such as participation

and transparency evoke powerful notions of citizen empowerment, yet in

practice they are often reduced to consultation mechanisms or exercises in

information dissemination that fail to seriously challenge structural inequities

in the distribution of power. Donors include appealing references to the

four concepts in their programs and projects without necessarily specifying

the precise steps by which the desired change will be achieved, and rely on

unrealistic expectations about their transformative impact.

• The aid community remains divided over the intrinsic case for incorporating

these principles into development work. Enthusiasts see them as valuable priorities

in and of themselves, regardless of whether they necessarily produce

better socioeconomic outcomes. But a significant number of aid practitioners

believe that adopting these principles and objectives will detract from a

core focus on poverty reduction or fighting disease and hunger, and drag aid

organizations into a normative terrain beyond the scope of their mandate.

• Divisions also surround the empirical case for the instrumental value of

the four principles. The impact of donor interventions related to accountability,

transparency, participation, and inclusion is often long-term, indirect,

and difficult to isolate from other factors, and the evidence base to

date is still too thin to arrive at firm conclusions. In general, donors so far

seem to have been more successful at achieving intermediate outcomes

than proving a causal connection between their efforts relating to these

issues and broader processes of socioeconomic change. They further struggle

to translate evidence of success in one particular context to more widely

applicable policy recommendations.

• This uncertainty about the instrumental value of the four principles is

compounded by the continuing debate over the relationship between governance

and economic development. While some researchers argue that

open, participatory, and inclusive institutions are closely correlated with

socioeconomic success, another important school of thought de-emphasizes

the importance of Western-style governance. Instead, scholars in

this latter camp stress the crucial role of state capacity to intervene in the

economy as well as the potentially beneficial role of neopatrimonial structures

or informal settlements in accelerating economic growth. A number

of recent approaches have attempted to carve out an eclectic middle

ground that focuses on context specificity, attention to the different stages

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 27

of growth, and working with rather than against the grain of existing governance

processes. Yet the ongoing debate is enough to fuel the skepticism

of developmentalists reluctant to take on board politically charged principles

of uncertain instrumental value.

• Despite the fact that they stand at the center of several prominent international

initiatives, the four concepts are far from commanding universal

agreement at the global level. A number of developing country governments

have rhetorically embraced the value of accountability, transparency,

participation, and inclusion and joined international initiatives

centered on these issues. However, the political will to translate this commitment

into substantive political reform is often lacking. Transforming

multilateral initiatives into sustained domestic change will require continuous

independent monitoring to evaluate their impact and adjust their

approach—the Open Government Partnership’s Independent Reporting

Mechanism could serve as a potential role model in this regard.

• Moreover, donors and aid recipients do not always share the same interpretation

of the four concepts. While recipient country governments advocate

for more inclusive, transparent, and accountable international development

partnerships, they often resist aid providers’ attempts to apply the

same concepts to domestic governance processes. Some view donor efforts

in this respect as an unwelcome attempt to impose Western political values

and interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.

In sum, the apparent consensus around transparency, accountability, participation,

and inclusion should be understood as very much a work in progress,

not a transformation that has largely already been achieved. Enthusiasts of these

principles should avoid the temptation to act as though the agreement around

them is stronger than it really is—and they should be willing to face head on the

many lasting fissures and look for ways to reduce them. Some, like the debates

over the legitimacy of the intrinsic case, reflect differences in the very core idea

of what development is and are thus unlikely to be overcome anytime soon.

But others, like the continuing divisions between governance, human rights,

and democracy practitioners or the problem of superficial application of the

four principles, are much more amenable to practical solutions. In other words,

whether the consensus genuinely solidifies will depend greatly on how effectively

its proponents deepen their understanding of how to put the four concepts into

practice, share that understanding clearly across all parts of the assistance community,

and bridge the divide between donors and recipients on these issues. The

degree of their success will be a major factor determining the shape of international

development work over the next generation.


1 USAID, USAID Strategy on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (Washington,

D.C.: U.S. Agency for International Development, June 2013), 5, 7, www.usaid



2 OECD DAC, DAC Action-Oriented Policy Paper on Human Rights and Development

(Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2007), 3, www

3 World Bank, Strengthening Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anticorruption

(Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2006), 14,


4 SIDA, “Aid Policy Framework: The Direction of Swedish Aid,” Government

Communication 2013/14:131 (Stockholm: Government Offices of Sweden, March

2014), 11–12.

5 OECD, “The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action,”

Organization for International Development and Cooperation, 2005, 2008, 8.

6 Accra Agenda for Action, 3rd High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, September

2–4, 2008, Ghana; and “The Busan Partnership for Effective Development

Cooperation,” July 2012,

7 Jamie P. Horsley, “Public Participation in the People’s Republic: Developing a More

Participatory Governance Model in China,” Yale Law School, 2009, 4,


8 OHCHR, “Frequently Asked Questions on a Human-Rights Based Approach to

Development Cooperation,” Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for

Human Rights, 2006.

9 “Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, Adopted by the World

Conference on Human Rights in Vienna on 25 June 1993,”


10 Sam Hickey and Giles Mohan, “Relocating Participation Within a Radical Politics of

Development: Citizenship and Critical Modernism,” in Participation: From Tyranny

to Transformation? Exploring New Approaches to Participation in Development, ed. Sam

Hickey and Giles Mohan (London: Zed Books, 2004).

11 Rosemary McGee, Josh Levene, and Alexandra Hughes, “Assessing Participation in

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers: A Desk-Based Synthesis of Experience in Sub-

Saharan Africa,” Research Report 52, Institute of Development, February 2002, 7.

12 Ibid.

13 Hickey and Mohan, “Relocating Participation Within a Radical Politics of Development:

Citizenship and Critical Modernism.”

14 Fenella Porter and Caroline Sweetman, Mainstreaming Gender in Development:

A Critical Review (Oxford: Oxfam GB, 2005); Patricia Nilsson, “Gender and

Development: The Challenge of Mainstream,” Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable


30 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

Development 10, no. 1 (2013): 125–35; and UNDP, “Evaluation of Gender

Mainstreaming in UNDP,” United Nations Development Programme, 2006.

15 Harlan Yu and David G. Robinson, “The New Ambiguity of ‘Open Government,’”

58 UCLA Law Review Disc. 178 (2012).

16 Stephen Kossack and Archon Fung, “Does Transparency Improve Governance?”

American Review of Political Science 17 (2014): 65–87.

17 World Bank, “Social Accountability: What Does It Mean for the World Bank?” in

Social Accountability Sourcebook (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2007), 8, www.


18 See, for example, UNDP, “Indicators for Human Rights Based Approaches

to Development in UNDP Programming: A Users’ Guide,” United Nations

Development Programme, March 2006; and UNDP, “Applying a Human Rights-

Based Approach to Development Cooperation and Programming: A UNDP Capacity

Resource,” United Nations Development Programme, September 2006.

19 Alina Rocha Menocal and Bhavna Sharma, Joint Evaluation of Citizens’ Voice and

Accountability: Synthesis Report, Overseas Development Institute Evaluation Report

EV692 (London: DFID, November 2008).

20 Ghazala Mansuri and Vijayendra Rao, Localizing Development: Does Participation

Work? (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, 2013).

21 Abigail Barr, Frederick Mugisha, Pieter Serneels, and Andrew Zeitlin, “Information

and Collective Action in Community-Based Monitoring of Schools: Field and

Lab Experimental Evidence From Uganda,” Working Paper, January 2012, www.

22 Martina Björkman and Jakob Svensson, “Power to the People: Evidence From a

Randomized Field Experiment on Community-Based Monitoring in Uganda,”

Quarterly Journal of Economics 124, no. 42 (May 2009).

23 Anuradha Joshi, “Review of Impact and Effectiveness of Transparency and

Accountability Initiatives: Annex 1 Service Delivery,” prepared for the Transparency and

Accountability Initiative Workshop, October 14–15, 2010, Institute of Development

Studies, October 2010; World Bank, “Empowerment Case Studies: Participatory

Budgeting in Brazil,”

Resources/14657_Partic-Budg-Brazil-web.pdf; and Celina Souza, “Participatory

Budgeting in Brazilian Cities: Limits and Possibilities in Building Democratic

Institutions,” Environment and Urbanization 13, no. 1 (April 2001).

24 Jonathan Fox, “Social Accountability: What Does the Evidence Really Say?” Global

Partnership for Social Accountability, March 3, 2014.

25 See, for example, Daniel Kaufmann and Aart Kraay, “Growth Without Governance,”

Economia 3, no. 1 (fall 2002): 169–229; and Daniel Kaufmann, Aart Kraay, and

Pablo Zoido-Lobatón, “Governance Matters,” Policy Research Working Paper 2196,

World Bank, October 1999.

26 See, for example, Dani Rodrik, Arvind Subramaniam, and Francesco Trebbi,

“Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in

Economic Development,” Working Paper 9305 (Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau

of Economic Research, October 2002).

27 Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power,

Prosperity, and Poverty (New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2012).

28 Douglass C. North, John Wallis, and Barry Weingast, Violence and Social Orders:

A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History (Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 2009).

29 David Cameron, “Combating Poverty at Its Roots,” Wall Street Journal, November 1,




30 Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (New York: W. W.

Norton, 1999); and Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time

(London: Penguin Press, 2005).

31 David Booth, Development as a Collective Action Problem: Addressing the Real

Challenges of African Governance, Synthesis Report (London: Overseas Development

Institute, Africa Power and Politics Programme, 2012); and David Booth,

“Governance for Development in Africa: Building on What Works,” Policy Brief 1,

Overseas Development Institute, Africa Power and Politics Programme, April 2011.

32 Mushtaq Khan, “Governance, Economic Growth and Development Since the 1960s:

Background Paper for World Economic and Social Survey 2006,” UN Department of

Economic and Social Affairs, 2006.

33 Kunal Sen, “The Political Dynamics of Economic Growth,” ESID Working Paper

5, University of Manchester, Effective States and Inclusive Development Research

Centre, April 2012.

34 Merilee Grindle, “Good Enough Governance: Poverty Reduction and Reform in

Developing Countries,” Governance 17, no. 4 (2004): 525–48.

35 Brian Levy, Working With the Grain: Integrating Governance and Growth in

Development Strategies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

36 Centre for the Future State, An Upside Down View of Governance (Brighton: Institute

of Development Studies, April 2010).

37 As of May 2014, 26 countries were considered compliant, 25 had already produced

EITI reports, seventeen were candidates, three had been suspended, and two removed.

38 Liz David-Barrett and Ken Okamura, “The Transparency Paradox: Why Do Corrupt

Countries Join EITI?” Working Paper no. 38, European Research Center for Anti-

Corruption and State-Building, November 2013.

39 Mary Ella Keblusek, “Is EITI Really Helping Improve Global Governance?

Examining the Resource Curse, Corruption and Nigeria’s EITI Implementation

Experience,” Niger Delta Professionals for Development, January 2010, http://

40 Scanteam, Achievements and Strategic Options: Evaluation of the Extractive Industries

Transparency Initiative, Final Report (Oslo: Scanteam, May 2011).

41 Hannes Meissner, “Functioning, Effects and Perspectives of Transparency Initiatives:

The Example of EITI in Azerbaijan,” City of Vienna Competence Team Black

Sea Region, University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna,



42 Human Rights Watch, “Extractive Industries: Transparency Group Rewards

Repression,” March 19, 2014,;

and “Eye on EITI: Civil Society Perspectives

and Recommendations on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative,” Publish

What You Pay and Revenue Watch Institute, 2006, 13–14, www.humanrightsinitiative


43 Jessica McKenzie, “Near 3-Year Mark, Open Government Partnership Success

Still Unclear,” TechPresident, May 29, 2014,


44 Alan Hudson, “Opening Government: What Does the Data Say?” Global Integrity

Blog, May 9, 2014,

45 Martin Tisne, “The Ambition of Open Government Partnership,” Open Government

Partnership Blog, May 27, 2014,

46 See, for example, Christina L. Davis, “Membership Conditionality and Institutional

Reform: The Case of the OECD,” prepared for presentation to the Annual Meeting

of the International Political Economy Society, Claremont Graduate School, October

Thomas Carothers and Saskia Brechenmacher | 31

32 | Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

25, 2013; Sudip Ranjan Basu, “Does WTO Accession Affect Domestic Economic

Policies and Institutions?” HEI Working Paper no. 03/2008, Graduate Institute

of International Studies Geneva, 2008; and Mert Kartal, “Accounting for the Bad

Apples: The EU’s Impact on National Corruption Before and After Accession,”

Journal of European Public Policy 21, no. 6 (2014).

47 United Nations, A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies

Through Sustainable Development, Final Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent

Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (New York: United Nations, 2013).

48 “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Development, Integration and Industrialisation.

eThekwini Declaration,” Fifth BRICS Summit, March 27, 2013,


49 Jiang Ye and Thomas Fues, “A Strong Voice for Global Sustainable Development: How

China Can Play a Leading Role in the Post-2015 Agenda,” German Development

Institute, Briefing Paper 2/2014,

50 Saskia Hollander, “Africa: An Increasingly Powerful Post-2015 Player? The Common

African Post-2015 Position and the Continent’s Role in the Negotiations,” Broker,

April 23, 2014,

51 Intervention by Counsellor Mohamed Khalil, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the

UN, for the 8th Meeting of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development

Goals, February 3–7, 2014,

documents/6425egypt2.pdf; and “South Africa and the Post-2015 Development

Agenda,” proceedings report, Institute for Global Dialogue, December 2013.

Carnegie Endowment for

International Peace

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network of policy research centers in Russia, China, Europe, the Middle

East, and the United States. Our mission, dating back more than a century,

is to advance the cause of peace through analysis and development

of fresh policy ideas and direct engagement and collaboration with decisionmakers

in government, business, and civil society. Working together,

our centers bring the inestimable benefit of multiple national viewpoints to

bilateral, regional, and global issues.

The Carnegie Democracy and Rule of Law Program rigorously examines

the global state of democracy and the rule of law and international

efforts to support their advance.


Page 114 of 141

Attachment C


The Core Concept and Its Subtypes

Page 115 of 141

Accountability: the

core concept and its


Staffan I. Lindberg

Working Paper

No. 1 Apr, 2009

Copyright: The author.

Published on behalf of the Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP) by the

Overseas Development Institute, 111 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JD,

UK (

The APPP Discussion Paper series is edited by Richard Crook, Professorial Fellow,

Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9RE, UK


The Africa Power and Politics Programme is a consortium research programme

funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with additional

support from Irish Aid, for the benefit of developing countries. The views expressed

in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those of DFID, Irish Aid

or the Programme as a whole.

Accountability: the core concept and its subtypes

Staffan I. Lindberg ∗

Accountability is a central concept in comparative politics. Yet its growing

popularity in a number of applied fields, including development policy, has

resulted in a dilution of its content and introduced an undesirable semantic

confusion. This paper argues that it may still be possible to recover from this

state of affairs, by resisting ‘conceptual stretching’ as recommended by Giovanni

Sartori. The paper contributes with a synthesized approach based on a widely

recognized set of core features of accountability, and provides a typology of

subtypes with examples. Implications for empirical research include the

importance of distinguishing between accountability and responsiveness, and the

difficulty of aggregating findings about different subtypes of accountability to

construct general conclusions in causal form.

1 Making Sense of Accountability

The concept of accountability has a long tradition in both political science and financial

accounting. In political science, John Locke’s theory of the superiority of representational

democracy built on the notion that accountability is only possible when the governed are

separated from the governors (Locke, 1690/1980; cf. Grant and Keohane, 2005). It was also a

major concern for the fathers of the American constitution, and few areas have been as

fundamental to thinking about the political system in America as accountability (e.g. Finer,

1941; Friedrich, 1940; Dubnick and Romzek, 1993).

The central idea from that time is still with us: when decision-making power is transferred

from a principal (e.g. the citizens) to an agent (e.g. government), there must be a mechanism

in place for holding the agent to account for their decisions and if necessary for imposing

sanctions, ultimately by removing the agent from power. In accounting, the concept’s long

tradition is more limited in scope, referring to financial prudence and accounting in

accordance with regulations and instructions (e.g. Normanton, 1966; Barton, 2006), but the

principle of delegating some authority, evaluating performance and imposing sanctions is

essentially the same.

In the last 10 to 15 years, however, the concept of accountability has become fashionable not

just in expanding circles of political scientists and economists but among the broader

community of scholars and practitioners concerned with such diverse areas as administration,

development, business ethics, governance, international organizations, policy networks,

democratization, civil society, and welfare state reform. To illustrate this growth with an

example from just one sub-field: when Schmitter and Karl (1991) contended that

accountability was the central key to most definitions of democracy, their claim was met with

overwhelming indifference and occasional expressions of hostility (cf. Schmitter, 2004). A

decade and a half later, a quick search with any of the academic search engines using

‘accountability’ in combination with ‘democracy’ or ‘democratization’ generates literally

hundreds of results. Expanding the search to cover related fields in the social sciences, one is

confronted with a dizzying number of entries, illustrating the magnitude of the explosion of

articles on accountability in its various forms.

Assistant Professor, University of Florida (

Predictably, this proliferation has resulted in a myriad of meanings and dimensions associated

with the concept of ‘accountability’. To make matters worse, the international donor

community and their veritable crowds of consultants have picked up on this trend in their

focus on ‘good governance’ and added their (not always politically independent) peculiarities

to the conceptual landscape. I write ‘make matters worse’ because of the inherent dangers of a

byzantine conceptual nightmare leading not only to stretching (Sartori, 1970, 1984, 1991) but

to severe confusion about what the core meaning of accountability is, accentuated by donorinspired

reformulations divorced from sound research practices.

One may reply ‘so what?’ since examples abound of ‘essentially contested concepts’ (Gallie,

1958; Collier et al., 2006) which have produced both interesting and fruitful theoretical

debates and spurred further empirical research. This paper is not an argument against such

informed engagement in advancement of key concepts in the social sciences. Rather, it is an

effort to escape the dangers of ‘hi-jacking’ established concepts and endowing them with new

meanings and dimensions which dilute their currency and create ambiguity, vagueness, and

collective semantic confusion.

There is an important difference between a debate over the advantages and disadvantages of a

few clearly delineated alternative definitions, and uncontrolled, myopic, and unrelated

conceptual diversification. There are real dangers and costs to the conceptual confusion which

can follow such developments. Indeed, if and when a concept takes on too many and at least

partly contradictory meanings it loses its value as an analytical instrument. Studies using

different notions of a concept such as accountability, and which arrive at different results,

cannot be directly compared and therefore at best risk engaging in what can be likened to a

‘dialogue of the deaf’ rather than constructive theoretical and conceptual advance. At worst,

results are transplaced from one meaning to the other resulting in false conclusions.

Are we at that point with regard to accountability? Perhaps not, but the current state of affairs

bears an uncanny resemblance to the situation regarding ‘diminished subtypes’ in the study of

democratization not long ago. For a while, scholars were constantly issuing new more or less

helpful labels of democratically sub-optimal systems of rule. Collier and Levitsky (1995)

reportedly stopped counting at 550 different ‘democracy with adjectives’ when reviewing the

literature in the 1990s. 1 We have not gotten that far yet in descriptive labels of accountability

but after reviewing a substantial portion of the literature I have nevertheless counted well

beyond 100 different ‘subtypes’ and usages. It may well be that the battle is already lost and

we will soon see the abandonment of accountability as an analytical construct in favour of

more precise alternative concepts.

Yet, ‘accountability’ may still be useful if we are able to organize its usage appropriately. The

key argument of this paper rests on the understanding that accountability is one of several

methods of constraining power and thus subordinate to the concept of power in the classical

typological sense (Sartori, 1970, 1984, 1991). As such, it has a conceptual core. However, the

internal structure of the concept of accountability in terms of its subtypes (such as political,

bureaucratic, legal, professional, financial, and societal accountability) requires a typological

theory where differences have important methodological implications. There are implications

not only for the study of different subtypes but also for the extent to which conclusions based

on the study of one subtype can be extended beyond that domain.

In short, the argument in this paper is that while the various subtypes can be accommodated

within one general definition, they each have an internal logic and separate domains


Examples range from ‘limited democracy’ (Archer, 1995: 166), to ‘restricted democracy’

(Waisman, 1989: 69), ‘protected democracy’ (Loveman, 1994), and ‘tutelary democracy’

(Przeworski, 1986). Some scholars have argued that some labels are misleading since they are

negations of democracy, for example Joseph’s (1997: 367-8) ‘virtual democracy’.

Lindberg, Accountability 2

necessitating alternative empirical approaches to analysis. Hence, causal arguments based on

studies of accountability on one level of analysis, using a particular type of concept, do not

necessarily apply to other types and levels.

In an effort to facilitate an informed and somewhat more orderly and consistent usage of

accountability, this paper ventures through a few familiar stages of concept formation. This

paper thus first clarifies a few fundamentals about concept formation and comparison. The

structure of the concept of accountability is then analysed and the implications in terms of

appropriate empirical strategies and distinctions are drawn, based on the development of an

exhaustive typology of the subtypes of accountability.

2 A clarification of terms, concepts, and phenomena

It may be advisable to begin with a few fundamentals in order to avoid misinterpretations of

the following argument. In reference to what is sometimes called the semantic triangle, there

is no necessary linkage between i) a particular term like ‘accountability’, ii) the conceptual

construct of the beholder, and iii) the empirical phenomenon to which it refers. Present day

post-positivists of various inclinations 2 build much of their critique of mainstream approaches

on this realization. 3

Second, if theory is always coloured by observation – and I believe it is – there is a critical

relationship between theory and observation. Not every observation can support a theory and

accordingly, not all theories are equally good. But any causal or descriptive theory must have

empirical referents so that we can make observations. Theory should always be evaluated on

its own terms, but without empirical implications it is simply not a theory; it is an untestable

assumption at best, and a metaphysical belief at worst – except if it concerns theories in

political philosophy (cf. King, Keohane and Verba, 1994). This is a stance informed by

Popper’s proposition that empirically falsifiable theories are the evidence of scholarship

(Popper, 1953/1999: 57ff). Any concept is inherently analytical while concepts used in social

science, according to this argument, must lend themselves towards empirical evaluation. 4 This

is not to say that we can always observe the referents of a concept directly, of course, or that

we should only be concerned with ‘measurable but trivial’ aspects of social reality. 5





For some particularly useful – though not unproblematic – critiques of positivism, see Bourdieu

(1977), Dreyfus and Dreyfus (1967/1986), Flyvbjerg (2000), Garfinkel (1984), and Giddens (1982,


But Pierce (1931-58), Ogden and Richards (1923) and de Saussure (1915/1974) recognised it long

ago and few modern positivists persist in assuming any kind of objective relationship between a

term, the concept we have in mind and the phenomena we try to measure. Rather, as argued

effectively by Sanders (2002: 54-63), modern mainstream social science scholars have found ways

to adapt while retaining the strengths of the positivist tradition. For example, while our

conceptualizations always condition our observations – thus, if we define ‘swans’ as white birds we

will miss the black Asian variant of swans – the conclusion is that we need more precise and

explicit specifications of concepts, not less. Hence, the indeterminate relationship between

terminology, concepts and reality, and the ‘softness’ of certain phenomena that we wish to study, do

not either make social scientific endeavour impossible, or force all of us to become concerned only

with ‘emic’ meanings.

The discussion here moves between theory and concept as if these were interchangeable. This is not

strictly so but the principles discussed are applicable to either. Concepts are important building

blocks for theory, but many concepts are theoretically ‘loaded’ and sometimes even involve causal

relationships, as in explanatory typologies. There is not room to go into that discussion here,


To take an example from the natural sciences, the concept of gravity (a concept that is a whole

causal theory in itself, by the way) has empirical implications we can observe; but gravity itself

cannot be observed. Similarly, in most instances we must do with less than perfect empirical

referents and data (whether quantitative or qualitative) for evaluation of our theories in the social

Lindberg, Accountability 3

2.1 Classic concept formation

Classic concept formation is hierarchical and aims for mutually exclusive definitions. It

involves identifying the attributes that are co-jointly necessary and sufficient (in the

descriptive sense, not to be confused with necessary and sufficient causal factors). In the logic

of classical understanding of concepts therefore, all defining characteristics must be present in

an object in order for it to be classified as an instance (Collier and Mahon, 1993; Coppedge,

2002, 2005; Munck, 2001; Sartori, 1984; Schedler, 2001). The defining characteristics are

necessary minimum criteria that must be present in full; if one or more characteristics are

missing, the object in question is simply classified as ‘not belonging’. When all criteria are

present, that is fully sufficient to make it an instance of the category.

Table 1: Classical category: apples



Superior: Apples A B C

Sub-Types: Red Apples A B C D

Green Apples A B C E

Yellow Apples A B C F

The organization of classical categories builds on what Sartori (e.g. 1984: 23) refers to as

intension and extension: intension refers to defining characteristics while extension refers to

objects to which it applies. It follows that the more and precise characteristics one attaches to

a concept, the fewer the objects to which it will apply. 6 This is what some philosophers have

held to be a ‘law of inverse variation’ (e.g. Angeles, 1981: 141). Hence, there is a hierarchy of

concepts, such that red, green and yellow apples are categories of apples, which in turn belong

to the class of fruits along with bananas, oranges and so on. Fruits are part of a superior

category of foodstuffs and we can go on. Sartori (1970: 1040) refers to this as the ‘ladder of

abstraction’ but in line with Collier and Mahon (1993: 846) I think it is better labelled ‘ladder

of generality’: the further up the ladder the fewer defining characteristics (intension) and the

larger number of objects referred to (extension).

2.2 Alternatives to conceptual ‘stretching’

What is to be done when a concept such as accountability (that once upon a time had a

commonly defined core set of characteristics) is applied in new contexts? Assuming we agree

it is a classical concept, 7 and if scholars are concerned with conceptual integrity one should



sciences in order to address non-trivial issues. This cannot be used as an excuse for advancing

theories that are not testable in principle, however.

This is not true in an absolute sense, however. The number of objects a concept refers to is a matter

of empirical investigation, not analytical deduction (cf. Munck, 2004) but in practical terms the

reasoning holds in virtually all cases and is therefore useful.

In terms of the structure of concept formation, there are three principal and fundamentally different

concepts: classical, radial, and family resemblance concepts. It could possibly be argued that

accountability belongs to the radial conceptual group rather than the classical, but for the sake of

simplicity and in order to prevent distraction from the main argument, that discussion is not pursued

here. For a discussion of the different structures of concepts, see for example: Adcock (2005),

Collier and Mahon (1993), Coppedge (2005), Goertz (2006), Lakoff (1987), Marsteintredet (2007),

Munck (2001), Ostiguy (1993), Sartori (1984), and Schedler (2001).

Lindberg, Accountability 4

follow Sartori’s advice and move up the ladder of generality. The answer could be something

like: accountability belongs to a class of concepts under the more general category of

‘methods of limiting power’ (others being, for example, devolution of power, violence,

economic pressure, public shame, and anarchy). When a phenomenon in a new context does

not squarely fit the definition of accountability, one moves up the ladder of generality to a

superior category, thus avoiding conceptual stretching. To go back to the metaphor: red

apples and oranges are not comparable as instances of apples, but they are comparable as

instances of fruit.

Classical concept formation thus follows a neat and simple set of rules, not only for

categorization but also for comparison. In deciding on what basis a set of cases should be

compared, the defining characteristics are used for classification – not for explanation. The

methodological implication should perhaps be obvious: apples cannot, or should not, be

compared with regard to their ‘appleness’ as an explanation for why humans tend to favour

one type over another. Classical concepts initially dichotomise, distinguishing between

objects that clearly are, and those that are not ‘A’: a binary 0/1 which lends itself to standard

small-N comparative methods, Boolean analysis, and maximum likelihood estimation

techniques. Subtypes of classical concepts, however, can be more numerous and are all

complete instances of the general category. Classical subtypes are therefore nominal

categories (not more or less, just different) versions of the type in question. Religions, for

example Islam and Christianity, are not more or less religions but nominally different

instances, or subtypes. If we think of various kinds of accountability as subtypes in the

classical sense, this applies to instances of various types of accountability (political, financial,

legal, bureaucratic, and so on). None of them represent more or less accountability but

different types of accountability.

Classical concepts allow for more flexibility than it may seem at first, although only if they

are used with care and conscious crafting. What is sometimes forgotten is that while from the

perspective of the superior concept these subtypes are only nominally different (i.e. they are

not instances of more/less of for example accountability) they can nevertheless have other

interesting qualities and/or effects that are matters of degree. Among full democracies,

subtypes distinguished by electoral systems are known to have various effects such as higher

levels of participation and women’s legislative representation in countries using proportional

representation (e.g. Lijphart, 1984, 1994, 1999; Lindberg, 2004, 2005; Norris, 2004). All are

variants of full democracy.

Second, if one rather wishes to measure the impact of various ‘levels of accountability’

between systems, it is appropriate and fully legitimate to shift unit of analysis. This point

about classical categorizations is sometimes missed in the literature (e.g. Marsteintredet,

2007: 3-5). Instead of using criteria for what accountability is to select the universe of cases,

one picks a set defined by something else, e.g. local community political systems,

relationships between courts and district assemblies, citizen-bureaucrat relationships in the

land sector, or another topic. Level (and/or kind) of accountability can then be conceptualised

as qualities that these units of analysis have to a greater or lesser degree (making them

variables at ordinal or interval level). The point is that instead of restricting the universe of

cases to objects that are instances of accountability relationships (when that is conceptualised

as the unit of analysis), the universe of cases is defined by a different set of criteria which

present a range of cases which have the potential to display certain qualities – in this case

accountability relationships. Another possibility is to create a new concept and the social

sciences are full of more or less useful and more or less unknown conceptual innovations. 8


The danger is of course isolation and incommensurability with findings from earlier studies but

when timely and useful it can launch important new research directions such as Hyden’s (1992)

suggestion to move from focusing on how the government rules (or fails to rule) to study how

Lindberg, Accountability 5

The third solution, which is very common (and much disliked by Sartori and his followers), is

to redefine the existing concept, by dropping some characteristics and sometimes adding

others instead. Reading the now vast literature on accountability with various typologies

covering virtually everything from policy networks in the international community (Grant and

Keohane, 2005) to community governance of crime in some particular localities in Britain

(Benyon and Edwards, 1999), this seems to be the dominant trend. 9 It produces a Byzantine

complexity of conceptual innovation and variation that makes the serious political scientist

inclined either to abandon the concept of accountability or to simply dismiss the bulk of the

work based on it.

2.3 Layers of conceptual complexity

The above discussion applies only to aspects of concept formation which have to do with the

internal structure of concepts, which should not be confused with other aspects. The internal

structure is relatively uncontroversial and unproblematic for most concepts. For example, if

we decide to study countries, legal courts, local governments, legislatures, political parties, or

some other of the many other units of analysis in political science, the categorization of ‘ins’

and ‘outs’ is not often controversial. The same goes for many of the more specific qualities, or

factors, that we may want to include: the number and categories of bills enacted by the

legislature, participation measured as voter turnout, electoral systems, women’s legislative

representation, levels of education and wealth, and the list goes on. But a fair number of

concepts are complex, multifaceted, multidimensional, and often contested. These tend also to

be the ‘big’ concepts used for categorization such as democracy, civil society, legitimacy, and

the concept of concern here: accountability. Hence, we need to pay sufficient attention to the

identification of the core conceptual attributes of accountability writ large before developing

a theory of its differentiation in terms of subtypes and discussing the methodological

implications that follow.

3 The Fundamental Notion of Accountability

If potentially overlapping, multilayered, and multidimensional – what is this polysemantic

concept of ‘accountability’? The fact that a growing number of varied definitions is being

used, in a literature ranging from ethnographic interpretations of idiosyncratic local meanings

to highly technical financial auditing techniques, should perhaps caution us against even

trying to find a common denominator. 10 It would anyway be impossible to discuss all the



‘governance’ actually takes place, laying the foundation for the whole new paradigm of ‘good


Another technique frequently used when one or two characteristics are missing for a class of

objects, is to create ‘diminished sub-types’. In the democratization literature this has been fairly

standard, as mentioned above, and involves a danger of creating an ever larger set of diminished

subtypes with unclear relationships. Strictly speaking, ‘diminished’ subtypes are not instances of

the superior category. For example, accountability minus the right of the principal (e.g. the people)

to sanction the agent (e.g. a politician, a chief, a family head) is a ‘diminished subtype’ but again is

not really an instance of accountability since there is no enforceable obligation by the agent to be

responsive to the principal (but more on this later). This, however, in effect means one is departing

from classical concepts and moving into the land of family resemblance categorization. See more


See for example, Ackerman (2003), Anderson (2002), Baldwin (2007), Barton (2006), Browder

(1975), Considine (2002), Crook and Manor (1998), Day and Klein (1987), Shor (1960), Finer

(1941), Finn (1993), Fisse and Braithwaite (1993), Foweraker and Krznaric (2002), Goetz and

Jenkins (2001, 2005), Hagiopan (2007), Hobolt and Klemmensen (2008), Hood et al. (1999),

Hunhold (2001), Keefer (2007), Kelly (2003), Klijn and Koppenjan (1997), Knouse (1979),

Mainwaring and Scully (1995), Mansbridge (1998), March and Olsen (1989), Marsh and Rhodes

(1992), Maskin and Tirole (2004), McCubbins, Noll, and Weingast (1987), McKinney (1981),

Lindberg, Accountability 6

attempts in the literature to define and operationalise accountability. Yet, a discussion of some

of the meanings in current use can help us narrow down and identify core attributes of the

root concept – whether or not we think it is classical in nature. 11

3.1 Accountability, authority, and democracy

Bentham’s principle – ‘The more strictly we are watched, the better we behave’ (quoted in

Hood et al., 1999) – perhaps best captures the idea behind the necessity of accountability. As

Nietzsche recognised, we give an account only when it is requested, and only when that

request is backed up by power (Butler, 2005: 11). This is the reason that accountability has for

long been a key issue in constitutional scholarship (Smith and Hague, 1971: 38).

At a very fundamental level, then, accountability is closely associated with authority though

not necessarily political authority. Puppets acting as extensions of someone else’s will are not

legitimately objects of accountability (even if puppets sometimes become scapegoats in

practice). That is why accountability is different from ‘responsiveness’. While a certain

degree of responsiveness is often hailed as a desirable characteristic of leadership, in its

extreme form it removes both leadership as such and any need for accountability mechanisms.

Only actors with some discretion to make authoritative decisions can be the object of

accountability relationships (e.g. Christiano, 1996: 219; Hyden, 1992: 14; Thomas 1998). In

Burke’s succinct statement on representative accountability: ‘Your representative owes you

not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices

it to your opinion’ (1774, cited in Brevold and Ross, 1960: 148).

Accountability, hence, is associated with the act of discretionary governing, typically

understood as the authoritative allocation of resources and exercising control and coordination

(e.g. Dahl, 1971; Kooiman, 1993; Marsh and Rhodes, 1992; Rosenau and Czempiel, 1992).

This in turn points toward the need for an identifiable locus of authority, as argued famously

by J.S. Mill:

‘Responsibility is null and void when nobody knows who is responsible. … there must

be one person who receives the whole praise of what is well done, the whole blame of

what is ill’ (Mill, 1861/1964: 332).

This of course, does not negate the possibility that having overlapping layers of accountability

relationships creates a stronger bulwark against undesirable use of authority, as argued by e.g.

Day and Klein (1987), Finn (1993), Fisse and Braithwaite (1993), Romzek and Dubnick

(1987), and Stone (1995). But it explains why accountability always has been central to

democratic theory, to the extent that it is sometimes posited that democracy necessitates


What Locke captured in the statement that all men are, or ought to, be considered equal as

political beings 12 (Locke 1689-90/1970, 322) and what Dahl calls the ‘idea of intrinsic



Moncrieffe (1998), Mulgan (2000, 2003), Normanton (1966), Norris (2004), O’Loughlin (1990),

Oliver (1991), Olukoyun (2004), Painter-Morland (2006, 2007), Philips and Berman (2007), Radin

and Romzek (1996), Rakner and Gloppen (2003), Rhodes (1986), Rose-Ackerman (1978), Rosenau

(1992), Schmitter (2004), Shenkin and Coulson (2007), Smith and Hague (1971), Stirton and Lodge

(2001), Stone (1995), Thomas (1998), Thynne and Goldring (1987), Tsai (2007), Walker (2002),

Weber (1999), Woods and Narlikar (2001), Woods, (2001) and Wrede (2006).

See footnote 7 for approaches other than the ‘classical’ one.

At the time, of course, ‘men’ meant just free men, thereby excluding the vast majority of the

population. Without any intention of downplaying its significance, this difference is a matter of

citizenship and not democratic principle, hence, it is not central to the discussion here.

Lindberg, Accountability 7

equality’ (1989: 85) is the fundamental condition of rule by the people. 13 It is equal access to

the decision-making process 14 rather than approval of the substantive decision by everyone,

which satisfies the right to self-government (Ake, 2000). Yet, the etymological understanding

of democracy leaves out the other side of the coin (Sartori, 1987: 30). Rule of the people is

exercised over the very same people and to be workable any modern form of national

democracy must be representative, 15 thus representation became grafted upon democracy

(Hindess, 2000). This understanding of democracy induces a particular kind of vertical

political accountability (Schedler, 1999), and with modern notions of democracy in larger

more complex political systems, accountability has taken on a paramount significance (e.g.

Moncrieffe, 1998; Schmitter and Karl, 1991).

Yet there are non-democratic as well as democratic types and mechanisms of accountability

(cf. Grant and Keohane 2005); accountability as an idea pre-dates modern democracy and is

wider in scope than ‘democratic’ accountability. For now, we thus have to stay on the more

general level.

3.2 The core concept

At that general level, there seems to be a general agreement on four characteristics of all types

of accountability. Unless I am mistaken, more or less all of the literature referred to in this

paper agrees that the following should be included in the defining characteristics of any form

of accountability:

1. An agent or institution who is to give an account (A for agent);

2. an area, responsibilities, or domain subject to accountability (D for domain);

3. an agent or institution to whom A is to give account (P for principal);

4. the right of P to require A to inform and explain/justify decisions with regard to D;


5. the right of P to sanction A if A fails to inform and/or explain/justify decisions with

regard to D.

These defining characteristics may be expressed in various ways 16 but seem to capture the

core of the concept. It should be noted at the outset that none of these conditions specify that

these relationships have to be formally codified or that the agents and institutions involved are

formal institutions or hold an official office. Even if the individuals involved are indeed office

holders such as bureaucrats in a state body, their accountability relationship may be in part or

wholly informal. The director of operations in any given department may also be the informal

patron of a number of employees who in turn as clients are given areas of responsibility. For

example, a chief transport officer may be charged with making sure that the transport needs of

the director’s main rival who is also a Director competing with him or her for the slot as





It is not within our scope here to go into depth on each of these related concepts. For a good

discussion of the notion of how the ‘people’ can be conceived, see Dahl (1989: Ch. 9).

Political participation in the decision-making process may indeed take many forms in a democracy,

ranging from localised and indulgent deliberations among friends to national and cross-national

advocacy, and the selection of representatives for the execution of power. But in terms of

democracy as a political system of national self-rule, it is the latter that is a necessary component

and hence the focus here.

Even ‘participatory’ democracy as a formula for decision-making translates into a representative

form as only the few can in practice lead, speak and contribute to mass meetings – or the meetings

would be endless – whilst the many are confined to listen, evaluate and vote just as in a

representative democracy proper (e.g. Dahl, 1989: 277). There are indeed other venues for

participatory approaches to inclusion that can feed into a policy process before the decision-point

but that renders participatory approaches a supplement, as opposed to an alternative, to

representative democracy.

For a very similar reasoning, see Philip (2009).

Lindberg, Accountability 8

deputy chief director, are never met. If and when the rival’s transport works well, so that he or

she can claim successes in his operations and thus threaten to overtake the Director in his or

her quest for the higher office, the informal client will be called to justify and explain, and

will possibly be sanctioned. In any case, the client will be monitored and evaluated and, if

successful, rewarded.

Condition 1 and 2 together mean that an identifiable person or office must have some

discretionary power over a certain domain, and that domain is subject to accountability. This

neither implies that the agent or institution is elected or otherwise democratic, nor does it

mean that the agent or institution is necessarily accountable for all of the domains it has

discretionary decision-making power over. Condition 3 and 4 together mean that there is

another agent or institution with a de facto right to require the agent or institution A to explain

and justify decisions and actions with regard to the specified domain. Again, it is not assumed

that P is elected or acting necessarily in the public interest (cf. Philip, 2009: 30). Another

important thing to note at this stage is the wider applicability of this conceptualization to

many others, in particular those that build on democratic principal-agent theory.

Accountability is then usually thought of as P (the people) holding A (elected official)

accountable for actions with respect to P itself. However, in many accountability relationships

P is holding A accountable with respect to x, y or z denoted above as D. For example,

ministers can hold top-level bureaucrats accountable for their decisions and actions with

respect to lower-level bureaucrats, or other state agencies. In other words, it should not be

assumed that those affected by decisions are necessarily the ones who have the right to hold

the decision-maker(s) accountable.

Finally, condition 5 stipulates the crucial condition of the right of P to sanction A if the

request to inform and/or explain and justify actions is not honoured to P’s satisfaction. More

restrictive definitions that exclude condition 5 are rare but Smulovitz and Peruzzotti (2000) in

their conceptualization of ‘societal accountability’, for example, exclude any right to sanction

agents and institutions. This effectively removes any obligation on decision-makers and actors

to inform, justify and explain their actions beyond what they themselves are comfortable with,

or feel obliged to disclose. This reduces the notion of accountability to meaning little if

anything in terms of holding to account, since the decision-makers are holding themselves to

account only as much as they like.

A few things regarding condition 5 should be noted. The right to sanction in its most general

sense is limited to the right to punish a failure on the part of A to provide information and

justification. Many definitions of accountability (e.g. Schedler, 1999) take this further to

require that the right to sanction A’s decisions and actions is part of the definition. But an

important distinction should be made between the right to sanction A for failure to provide

requested information and justifications for decisions and actions taken, and the right to

sanction agents or institutions (A) for the content or effects of such decisions and actions. At

its core, accountability necessitates only the right to sanction A for failure to provide

information and justify decisions. The right of P to also sanction the content of decisions and

actions by A, is a possibility that if present adds additional leverage for the P but is not strictly

necessary for the concept of ‘accountability’.

There are many examples of institutions of accountability that can illustrate this. Take the

ombudsman office present in many contemporary democracies. It acts as a principal

monitoring elected officials as well as bureaucracies and has the right to request that those

agents to provide information about their decisions and actions as well as calling them to

justify their actions. Ombudsman-offices typically do not have the right to sanction the agents

for their actions as such but can use the courts to sanction offices if the requested information

and/or justifications are not provided. Similarly, in many situations elected officials can

demand bureaucrats to provide full information about their decisions and actions and to

justify them, but as long as a holder of a bureaucratic office has not acted in direct

Lindberg, Accountability 9

contravention of the formal rules and instructions, the elected official (the P in this case) is

not allowed to sanction the bureaucrat with degradation, loss of office and so on.

The right to sanction failures by A also has another implication. There must exist a set of

criteria for measuring accountable behaviour (cf. e.g. Knouse, 1979; Schedler, 1999). If there

are no standards or measurable expectations of A with respect to A’s duties in the domain (in

terms of information, justification, and perhaps decisions and performance), there can be no

accountability. If one has no clear picture of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable

behaviour, it cannot be evaluated and sanctioned. This means, further, that there must be some

form of evidence of accountable behavior.

Together these implications are crucial in drawing a line between instances of empirical

phenomena which belong to accountability and those which do not. In private client-patron

networks, for example, there are often only blurred or poorly defined expectations of

behaviour on the part of the patron, whereas the client can be confronted with rather direct

demands. The client’s right to demand information and justification from the patron is

sometimes very weak, or non-existent in these highly asymmetrical power relationships, and

then it ceases to be an accountability relationship. If the client can request such information,

there are often no or few means available to verify it, in which case the level of accountability

is low. No one really knows what the patron does for the various individual clients other than

the patron him/herself. Thus, even if the client or a set of clients regularly can extort some

form of compensation, protection, or personal favours from the patron, that does not make

such relationships instances of accountability.

If and when the patron-client network is at least partly transposed into a more public form

where the asymmetry of power is more level, for example when the patron becomes an

elected official, the clients get principal-status as voters and can demand information as well

as justification on explicitly stated standards such as promises made during election

campaigns. There will also be more verifiable measures of behaviour such as to facilitate

accountability. This example is not intended to mean that only elected officials can be held

accountable, nor does it imply that informal relationships such as patron-clientelism can never

involve accountability relationships. In any setting, with any set of actors, however, the five

conditions and the implications discussed above with regard to measurable standards and

verifiable information must be met to a sufficient degree.

I am acutely aware that this still leaves substantial room for interpretation in terms of what

‘sufficient degree’ means. I am not sure this can be resolved at this level of generality,

however. What is sufficiently explicit and measurable in terms of duties of information and

justification, and in terms of verifiable indicators, must probably be established in contextspecific

analyses of specific subtypes of accountability. It is the principle of the argument,

however, that is important to keep in mind.

3.3 A stylised time-line

The five conditions also translate into a stylised time-line of accountability as depicted in

Figure 1. Decision-making power over a particular D must first be transferred to A by P. A

then acts in this capacity and P can thereafter require A to provide information and

justification for these actions. If A fails to do so, P has the right to sanction A.

Lindberg, Accountability 10

Figure 1: Time-Line of Accountability

t 0 t 1 t 2 t 3 t 4

Transfer of


from P to A

A acts using



P requests

information and

justification from


A adheres or not

P sanctions

or not

The foregoing elaborations, perhaps somewhat prolonged, have nevertheless been necessary

to avoid misunderstandings along the way which might prevent a full understanding of the

final argument.

4 Types of accountability

Formulations based on types of accountability use a variety of criteria to make analytical

distinctions. However, it seems to me that the existing approaches, despite sometimes using

various labels, can be organised along three dimensions.

A basic notion is the distinction between different sources of the accountability relationship.

Is the accountability holder, or principal, internal or external to the one being held to account

(e.g. Romzek and Dubnick, 1987; Radin and Romzek, 1996; Gormley and Balla, 2004)? For

example, in a bureaucracy where superiors are holding subordinates accountable for their

tasks the source is internal. In the relationship between voters and representative, the source is

external to the legislature or executive being held to account.

But it is not only the source of accountability that is important. The degree of control which

the principal exercises over the power holder is also important. It is probably preferable to

keep our conceptual tools open to some extent to the possibility that the degree of control

varies. That variation can be a source of explanation and interest in itself. Studies of voting

and democracy have, for example, spent considerable energy on trying to find out exactly

how much control voters in fact exercise over their representatives (e.g. Cox, 1997; Powell,

2000). Nevertheless, there are some fundamental differences between, say, financial auditing

exercising extremely detailed control based on specific rules and regulations, and patronclient

accountability, where control is typically diffuse and highly contextual.

The third critical dimension in distinguishing types of accountability relates to the spatial

direction of the accountability relationship (cf. Schedler et al., 1999, among others).

Shareholders exercise an upward form of vertical accountability when they hold business

executives accountable for the company’s performance. When politicians hold bureaucracies

and their leaders accountable for the implementation of decisions they have taken, the

accountability relationship runs downward in a vertical fashion. Finally, when the legislature

engages in executive oversight or the constitutional court reviews acts adopted by the

legislature, this is a form of accountability that runs horizontally ‘among equals’ (O’Donnell,


4.1 Typology and examples

Using these three dimensions as analytical distinctions, we end up with 12 different

types of accountability relations as depicted in Table 2.

Lindberg, Accountability 11

Table 2: Sub-types of accountability

Source of Strength of Vertical Horizontal

Control Control Upward Downward

Internal High Business Bureaucratic Audit

Low Client-Patron Patron-Client Peer Professional

External High Representative Fiscal Legal

Low Societal Political Reputational

This table is an elaboration and synthesis of typologies found in Gormley and Balla (2004), Radin and

Romzek (1996), Scott (2000), Smulovitz and Peruzzotti (2000), Grant and Keohane (2005), Mulgan

(2003), and Schedler (1999).

Business accountability is characterised by a P that is part of the organization typically as

shareholders, holding A (executives) to account for producing profit. The degree of control is

high, with details of operations provided, and it runs vertically upward. The control is not

necessarily detailed but in principle the P can require any form of information regarding the

business. Sometimes business accountability serves as an inspiration for enhancing

accountability in other spheres. It is often this type of accountability that serves as the model

for various experiments with user-influence in efforts to expand local democracy and improve

the quality of service delivery. But a user is not empowered in the same way as a shareholder

and users also typically have a range of interests, whereas shareholders are joined by their

vested interest in the successful operation of the company and in expanding profit. Hence, the

business model of accountability, and studies thereof, cannot be transferred directly to other


Bureaucratic accountability is also characterised by an internal P and high control, but runs

downwards from top managers to lower levels. As long as it is a question of bureaucratic

accountability (and not informal patron-clientelism) the object of accountability is following

rules and regulations in carrying out the instructions regarding implementation decided upon

at higher levels. Managers have the right to request any information regarding the operations

of the bureaucracy from lower levels, but not from higher-ups. The fact that seniors can

influence and often directly decide about juniors careers, promotion and conditions of work,

according to the formal hierarchy of a bureaucratic organization, gives this form of

accountability its special character.

Audit accountability is a particular sub-type of business or bureaucratic accountability in that

it is horizontal rather than vertical. An internal P is holding other offices and office holders

within the same state organization accountable, typically for financial accuracy and prudence.

Again the level of control and ability to require very specific information is a defining feature

but auditors cannot request just any kind of information but only such that lies within the

formal purview of the audit.

In all organizations we can find informal forms of accountability relationships which run both

upwards as in client-patron accountability and downwards as in patron-client accountability.

Both are characterised by a low degree of control, with adjacent information scarcity and

limited means of monitoring and evaluation. A client can request information and hold the

patron accountable for delivery of the kind of benefits promised as part of the bargain but is

usually limited to that. If the client is a more powerful broker as representative of an

Lindberg, Accountability 12

important group of clients for example, or has a special favoured relationship with the patron,

that client can often hold the patron accountable for certain issues outside of the direct

exchange relationship. The exact dynamic typically revolves around the importance of the

loyalty of the client to the patron since the main leverage for the client tends to come from

threatening (implicitly or explicitly) to exit. The reverse is also true.

In the patron-client form of accountability, the patron can usually hold the client accountable

for a wide range of things, given that what the patron can offer the client can be of substantial

value, be it material rewards, personal safety, career opportunities, or improved status and

fame. In poorer societies, material rewards and low-skill jobs are naturally more compelling

for a client than in more economically developed countries. To buy client loyalty of poor

people takes a lot less resources than paying off more affluent individuals. Add to that the

informal norm that someone who helps to sustain your living is a ‘father’ to whom you must

always be loyal (not uncommon in poor nations), and it becomes evident that the power of the

patron to hold the client accountable can be strong. On the other hand, the patron’s right and

ability to require very specific information regarding all facets of the client’s activities is

fairly low compared to the subtypes of accountability discussed above. The individualised

nature of patron-client forms of accountability and the absence of formal rules along with the

exit option for clients seems to distinguish this form of accountability from other subtypes, to

the extent that generalizations from studying clientelism are unlikely to be generalisable to

other forms.

A sometimes formal (as in academic and professional organizations) and sometimes informal

(as among peers and cohorts of professionals) form of horizontal accountability is

professional/peer accountability. The degree of control is low since peers can only require

rather unspecific information about very narrow segments of the activities of their colleagues.

The P (the peers) are internal and accountability relationships are horizontal, focusing, like

audits, on safe-guarding the organizational or occupational reputation. Among the factors that

distinguish this subtype of accountability are the respect for colleagues and voluntary selfsubmission

to being held accountable that come with professional peer reviewing. Academics

evaluating each other’s work and results, and lawyers’ associations certifying and monitoring

peers, are examples. Thus, the dynamic of this subtype of accountability is also not easily

transferred to other spheres and findings from studies of peer professional accountability are

unlikely to be useful for generalizations across to other subtypes.

Accountability relationships with external Ps are fundamentally different. Representational

accountability in democratic political systems puts the citizens as P and their elected

representatives as A in a vertical relationship running upwards. The degree of control is

relatively high. Several forms of participation are available to citizens for the purposes of

requiring information and holding elected leaders accountable. Voting is one such activity

that can have dramatic consequences for representatives but it is non-continuous and in

between electoral periods other means are more effective. Calls, meetings, demonstrations,

letters, emails, writing to newspapers, and mobilization of community and action-groups are

just some of them.

The nature of elected office gives citizens a powerful position and they can require specific

and detailed information about a broad range of issues covered in political activity, including

often the private affairs of the representatives. Yet, in modern states with large citizenries, a

rather large-scale collective action is often required to exercise effective accountability, not

the least when using the tool of voting. Thus special collective action problems frequently

affect the P’s ability to use the formal rights of requesting information and holding elected

representatives accountable. These distinguish this form of accountability from many of the

other subtypes.

Lindberg, Accountability 13

In addition, the formal rules and set-up of political institutions differ in ways which impact on

accountability relationships. First-past-the-post electoral rules in single-member districts, for

example, facilitate a closer and more direct accountability relationship between citizens and

their representative to the national legislature but effectively also undermine the viability of

using elections to demand new policy by voting for new or smaller parties. These are just

illustrations to exemplify that generalizations regarding both the causes and the effects of

representational accountability are unlikely to travel well to other subtypes. Comparisons

between findings from studies of representational accountability and other subtypes are

probably not, therefore, going to form a sound basis for higher-order theory.

Fiscal and Legal accountability respectively can be both vertical downward and horizontal. In

both cases the degree of control is typically high and very detailed. When fiscal accountability

runs vertically downward an external P such as a legislature holds various ministries,

departments, and agencies (MDAs) fiscally accountable. Another case is when a state

bureaucracy holds an implementing agency such as a non-profit business fiscally accountable.

But when the legislature holds the executive accountable for fiscal prudence and budgetary

constraints, the relationship is horizontal rather than vertical. The ministry of finance can also

hold other ministries fiscally accountable and again the relationship is horizontal. We find a

similar situation with regard to legal accountability. Most instances of legal accountability run

vertically downward. Various judicial institutions, being the external P, hold citizens,

businesses, politicians and others accountable for lawful behaviour. But when judicial

institutions hold other state institutions accountable such as when a constitutional court, or in

some countries supreme court judges, investigate the lawfulness of executive decisions and

acts by the legislature, the accountability relationship is horizontal.

An external P does not always go hand in hand with a high degree of control, however.

Societal accountability is involved where civil society and the media Take actions aimed at

forcing political, bureaucratic, business and legal decision-makers to give information on, and

justifications for, their actions. The strength of control is typically relatively weak in these

cases but also varies with contextual factors such as legislation (e.g. whether there is a

freedom of information act or not). It is distinguished from representational accountability in

that the Ps are more or less ‘self-appointed’ in their role and first have to convince the As and

the surrounding society of this arrangement. It is therefore tenuous and circumscribed by the

fact that the ‘right’ of the P to hold the A accountable is in the end based on voluntary action

and the degree of control is therefore low and rather diffuse.

Political accountability is the vertical-downward variant of external accountability with

relatively weak control. Politicians’ degree of control over MDAs is by its very nature

relatively weak. Bureaucracies are large and handle thousands of issues every day, while

politicians are few and have several competing priorities as well as severe time and cognitive

constraints. In consequence, there are only a very limited number of bureaucratic decisions

and processes which politicians can attend to in any detail, giving the bureaucracy significant

discretionary powers.

Reputational accountability’s most significant expression runs horizontally among peers or

peer institutions which are external to the agent. It is another form of diffuse and even indirect

accountability whereby the agent’s reputation among other equals can be damaged if s/he is

deemed to act in contradiction with established norms and procedures. It is highly dependent

on informal norms amongst participants, both agents and principals, and thus even within this

category the causes and effects of successful accountability are likely to vary significantly.

Lindberg, Accountability 14

4.2 Accountability and responsiveness

Before concluding, a final note is important. Responsiveness is often proclaimed to be one of

the key aspects of accountability (e.g. Schedler, 1999; Walker, 2002; Kelly, 2003; Barton,

2006). There is a crucial difference here between the two types of vertical accountability. In

vertical-upward forms of accountability this is exactly the point. Share-holders, clients,

citizens, and societal organizations are the P’s who, after delegating decision-making power

and discretion to agents such as executive, patrons, and politicians, monitor their behaviour

and hold them to account for their failure or success to provide information and justifications

for their decisions (and sometimes the outcomes of those decisions as well). If dissatisfied, the

P’s can sanction the A’s by way of ‘throwing the rascals out’ or simply expose the A’s actions

and failures. The sought-after effect is to make agents responsive to the wishes and interests

of the principals.

Vertical-downward is in principle very different. In these cases, the P (who transfers power to

the agent) is not directly involved in the accountability relationship. Instead it is the A who in

turn holds an implementing agent (I) accountable for its actions toward P, or even a principal

behind P. For example, a president (P) appoints and transfers decision-making power to the

head of an agency (A) who holds the bureaucracy of that agency (I) accountable for carrying

out directives towards citizens (principals behind P) who elected the president (P). In this

case, you may argue that the ultimate principal is the citizens, but even if we limit ourselves

to considering the president as the P, the triangular relationship has consequences. The I is

held accountable by A but is supposed to be mainly responsive to P (or even the principal

behind P, i.e. the citizens) and must still act within the law and bureaucratic regulations. This

means that lower-level bureaucrats are in fact not supposed to be responsive to A or P if and

when A’s or P’s directives go against either bureaucratic rules or the law.

This is particularly evident in the case of legal accountability. The highest ranking judges are

typically appointed by the executive and/or legislature with the mission to uphold the law. In

a democratic system it is reasonable to argue that citizens are the ultimate P who elects the

politicians who in turn appoint judges. In exercising their mandate, however, judges are not

supposed to be responsive to either politicians or citizens. Indeed, they are expected to do the

exact opposite: to exercise their decision-making power independently of the interests and

wishes of various Ps in the interest of the rule of law. Judicial institutions generally are held

accountable for being non-responsive.

Similarly, vertical accountability in the form of periodic voting may, for example, be a blunt

instrument of policy-specific accountability since voters typically can only chose between a

few alternatives that represent complex mixes of a number of policies, from defence to child

care. But vertical accountability exercised in the form of frequent interactions between the

legislator elected in single-member constituencies and constituents can be very effective in

achieving policy-specific responsiveness (cf. Goetz and Jenkins 2005). In short,

responsiveness may be the desired outcome of some types of accountability but far from all,

and should not be understood as integral to accountability itself.

5 Concluding on a cautionary note: empirical analysis and


Where does all this leave us? A key argument of this paper is that accountability as an

analytical concept can be saved despite the current state of conceptual stretching and

Byzantine confusion. The way to save the concept and its usefulness for empirical analysis is

to follow the classic approach to concept formation. In this approach, five key characteristics

denote the conceptual core of accountability: 1) An agent or institution who is to give an

account (A for agent); 2) an area, responsibilities, or domain subject to accountability (D for

Lindberg, Accountability 15

domain); 3) an agent or institution to whom A is to give account (P for principal); 4) the right

of P to require A to inform and explain/justify decisions with regard to D; and 5) the right of

P to sanction A if A fails to inform and/or explain/justify decisions with regard to D.

Beyond these five characteristics, this paper argues that there are three additional

characteristics which can take on two values each (absence or presence), and these generate

twelve subtypes or categories of accountability (Table 2). Each subtype occupies its distinct

conceptual terrain denoting specific empirical phenomena. We have seen that the differing

characteristics of these twelve subtypes lead to difficulties in making generalizations above

the level of subtypes with regard to causes and effects.

In addition, it should be noted that most accountability theories assume linear cause-effect

relationships, as well as rational and informed decision-making aimed at producing collective

goods. These are not viable empirical assumptions. Moreover, as the conceptual theory above

reveals, they are not theoretically consistent where the object of accountability may have as

its primary focus the maximization of non-objective functions such as the maintenance of

relationships and loyalties (cf. Philips and Berman, 2007). There is a second reason why

effective accountability should not be assumed to have only positive or desired outcomes. The

incentives for agents to be responsive to principals as a consequence of effective

accountability relationships can also lead to agents taking actions and decisions that are easily

‘sold’ or popular, rather than doing what is right or necessary (Maskin and Tirole, 2004:

1035). In the extreme, agents may undermine the functioning of a society’s economy and the

rights of minorities and other groups.

This is also the time for a cautionary note on the extent to which empirical analysis can lead

us towards comparative generalizations. There are several important implications for

empirical research on accountability implied in the reasoning above and it is time to make

them more explicit, along with some additional complications of a more general sort.

First, we cannot scale or even rank order the various types of accountability. The differences

amongst them are nominal and it makes no sense to use qualitative or quantitative techniques

designed for scale or ordinal variables in analysing outcomes comparatively across sub-types.

Second, each type of accountability has its designated functions and is compatible with

certain situations only; no one is a panacea for all kind of problems of restraining power.

Besides the logical reasoning in this paper, contextual factors naturally play a role in this but

it remains important to recognise the different nature of the problems which various types are

suited to address. Legal accountability is designed to insulate agents from influences and from

pressures to be responsive to principals for example, while bureaucratic accountability is

more suited to detailed and very direct responsiveness by subordinates. Representative

accountability allows for broad mandates allowing sufficient (yes, sometimes excessive)

discretion to agents to deal with unforeseen and complex matters according to their judgment.

An empirical analysis that mistakes different types of accountability for more or less

accountability, is unlikely to be very helpful.

Third, within each of the subtypes of accountability, one can find many variations in levels. It

is possible to construct measures of levels (ordinal or scale, qualitative or quantitative) for

each of these types. Yet it remains crucial not to assume that a measurement instrument,

criterion, or approach used for one type of accountability is necessarily very useful for

gauging levels of accountability in another type. We need to develop separate measurement

schemes and instruments for each type.

Fourth, for the reasons given, one has to be very cautious in terms of making generalizations

and transposing causal inferences from the study of one subtype of accountability to another.

As long as the causal inference involves defining characteristics with varying values, the

Lindberg, Accountability 16

inference can only be generalised to other subtypes with the same defining ‘profile’. In most

cases, the unique profile of a subtype is derived from the characteristics relevant to the causal

inference; hence, results cannot be generalised to other subtypes without appropriate testing.

However, there is a further problem which applies to the aggregation of findings even within

one subtype.

As long as one’s ontology with regards to causation stays within the typical statistical

worldview (i.e. assuming unit homogeneity, symmetric and linear causation, and independent

effect of individual factors), studies of the same subtype of accountability can be compared

across contexts and generalizations be drawn from an accumulated set of results. However,

many contemporary theories about politics theorize rather more complex and varied models

of causation where equifinality, multifinality, multiple conjectural causal models, path

dependencies, increasing returns, and diffusion figure prominently (cf. Brady and Collier eds.

2004; Gerring, 2001; George and Bennett, 2005; Hall, 2003; Mahoney and Goertz, 2006;

Ragin, 1987). When trying to serve the aim of accumulation of knowledge, efforts at

combining results from such studies to create more general statements about either the causes

of, or the effects of one particular subtype of accountability seem to be inherently implausible,

or at least very much more difficult.

A path dependency argument, for example, negates the independent effect of individual

factors as well as the causal ontology of multiple conjunctural causation insofar as the latter

approach models factors identified with a particular outcome as current and historically

independent (Pierson, 2000). Therefore, even if studies are carried out on the same subtype of

accountability but are based on different causal ontologies, the results will again not be a

sound basis for comparative generalizations.

Finally, empirical reality also has a way of making things complicated. In most societies and

political systems, various accountability relationships have been established at various points

in time with the effect that even single institutions have multiple layers of various types of

accountability. This makes it hard to discern and then disentangle when and where a

particular type of accountability relationship is engaged, and to establish the level of

accountability produced. That it is not easy does not justify not doing it, however, since the

alternative is fraught with risks of systematic measurement errors (conflating the presence of

one type of accountability with zero accountability for example) which may undermine the

validity of the analysis.

In a more practical sense, it stands to reason to believe that the problems and prospects of

accountability differ. What is required for a society to imbibe a general culture of

expectations of accountability from the state and its political institutions is one thing; the

specific issues relating to vertical political accountability between citizens and representatives

are another; how horizontal political accountability in terms of the legislators’ providing

effective oversight of the executive works a third; what factors and incentives make for

effective vertical bureaucratic accountability a fourth question, and so on. It cannot be

assumed that what works in one area will also work in another.

There may even be causal relationships among these issues, such as the prevalent logic of

vertical political accountability (exercised through voting and other means), which can impact

on how much horizontal political accountability is provided in a particular political system. If,

for example, vertical political accountability is centred on local and perhaps even personal

issues, there are few incentives for legislators to invest time and resources in the provision of

executive oversight. Conversely, an electorate putting a high premium on a clean and wellmonitored

executive will impact positively on horizontal accountability. Such a situation in

which both vertical and horizontal political accountability have different goals is in turn likely

to impact on the nature and level of bureaucratic accountability. In short, it is vital to be aware

Lindberg, Accountability 17

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The e-Advocate Newsletter

Genesis of The Problem

Family Structure

Societal Influences

Evidence-Based Programming

Strengthening Assets v. Eliminating Deficits

2012 - Juvenile Delinquency in The US

Introduction/Ideology/Key Values

Philosophy/Application & Practice

Expungement & Pardons

Pardons & Clemency

Examples/Best Practices

2013 - Restorative Justice in The US

2014 - The Prison Industrial Complex

25% of the World's Inmates Are In the US

The Economics of Prison Enterprise

The Federal Bureau of Prisons

The After-Effects of Incarceration/Individual/Societal

The Fourth Amendment Project

The Sixth Amendment Project

The Eighth Amendment Project

The Adolescent Law Group

2015 - US Constitutional Issues In The New Millennium

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2018 - The Theological Law Firm Academy

The Theological Foundations of US Law & Government

The Economic Consequences of Legal Decision-Making

The Juvenile Justice Legislative Reform Initiative

The EB-5 International Investors Initiative

2017 - Organizational Development

The Board of Directors

The Inner Circle

Staff & Management

Succession Planning

Bonus #1 The Budget

Bonus #2 Data-Driven Resource Allocation

2018 - Sustainability

The Data-Driven Resource Allocation Process

The Quality Assurance Initiative

The Advocacy Foundation Endowments Initiative

The Community Engagement Strategy

2019 - Collaboration

Critical Thinking for Transformative Justice

International Labor Relations


God's Will & The 21st Century Democratic Process

The Community Engagement Strategy

The 21st Century Charter Schools Initiative

2020 - Community Engagement

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The Nonprofit Advisors Group Newsletters

The 501(c)(3) Acquisition Process

The Board of Directors

The Gladiator Mentality

Strategic Planning


501(c)(3) Reinstatements

The Collaborative US/ International Newsletters

How You Think Is Everything

The Reciprocal Nature of Business Relationships

Accelerate Your Professional Development

The Competitive Nature of Grant Writing

Assessing The Risks

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About The Author

John C (Jack) Johnson III

Founder & CEO

Jack was educated at Temple University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Rutgers

Law School, in Camden, New Jersey. In 1999, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia to pursue

greater opportunities to provide Advocacy and Preventive Programmatic services for atrisk/

at-promise young persons, their families, and Justice Professionals embedded in the

Juvenile Justice process in order to help facilitate its transcendence into the 21 st Century.

There, along with a small group of community and faith-based professionals, “The Advocacy Foundation, Inc." was conceived

and developed over roughly a thirteen year period, originally chartered as a Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Educational

Support Services organization consisting of Mentoring, Tutoring, Counseling, Character Development, Community Change

Management, Practitioner Re-Education & Training, and a host of related components.

The Foundation’s Overarching Mission is “To help Individuals, Organizations, & Communities Achieve Their Full Potential”, by

implementing a wide array of evidence-based proactive multi-disciplinary "Restorative & Transformative Justice" programs &

projects currently throughout the northeast, southeast, and western international-waters regions, providing prevention and support

services to at-risk/ at-promise youth, to young adults, to their families, and to Social Service, Justice and Mental

Health professionals” everywhere. The Foundation has since relocated its headquarters to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and been

expanded to include a three-tier mission.

In addition to his work with the Foundation, Jack also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law & Business at National-Louis

University of Atlanta (where he taught Political Science, Business & Legal Ethics, Labor & Employment Relations, and Critical

Thinking courses to undergraduate and graduate level students). Jack has also served as Board President for a host of wellestablished

and up & coming nonprofit organizations throughout the region, including “Visions Unlimited Community

Development Systems, Inc.”, a multi-million dollar, award-winning, Violence Prevention and Gang Intervention Social Service

organization in Atlanta, as well as Vice-Chair of the Georgia/ Metropolitan Atlanta Violence Prevention Partnership, a state-wide

300 organizational member, violence prevention group led by the Morehouse School of Medicine, Emory University and The

Original, Atlanta-Based, Martin Luther King Center.

Attorney Johnson’s prior accomplishments include a wide-array of Professional Legal practice areas, including Private Firm,

Corporate and Government postings, just about all of which yielded significant professional awards & accolades, the history and

chronology of which are available for review online. Throughout his career, Jack has served a wide variety of for-profit

corporations, law firms, and nonprofit organizations as Board Chairman, Secretary, Associate, and General Counsel since 1990.

Clayton County Youth Services Partnership, Inc. – Chair; Georgia Violence Prevention Partnership, Inc – Vice Chair; Fayette

County NAACP - Legal Redress Committee Chairman; Clayton County Fatherhood Initiative Partnership – Principal

Investigator; Morehouse School of Medicine School of Community Health Feasibility Study - Steering Committee; Atlanta

Violence Prevention Capacity Building Project – Project Partner; Clayton County Minister’s Conference, President 2006-2007;

Liberty In Life Ministries, Inc. – Board Secretary; Young Adults Talk, Inc. – Board of Directors; ROYAL, Inc - Board of

Directors; Temple University Alumni Association; Rutgers Law School Alumni Association; Sertoma International; Our

Common Welfare Board of Directors – President)2003-2005; River’s Edge Elementary School PTA (Co-President); Summerhill

Community Ministries; Outstanding Young Men of America; Employee of the Year; Academic All-American - Basketball;

Church Trustee.

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