This webinar took place on April 30th, 2014. Albert Van Zyl, from the International Budget Partnership (IBP), presented a research paper on “How Civil Society Organizations Close the Gap between Transparency and Accountability”.
Based on a set of 21 case studies commissioned by the IBP, this research paper argues that CSOs play a more important role in bridging the gap between transparency and accountability than the literature recognizes. Some authors mention a partial role for CSOs in the transparency-accountability equation, however, none of them discuss the diverse and strategic ways in which CSOs can make up for the deficiencies of formal oversight actors and thus lubricate the gears of the accountability system. This research aims to bridge that gap, showing that CSOs do this in four main ways:
- by accessing, interpreting, and distributing information to multiple stakeholders in useable and accessible formats;
- by demanding accountability of government directly;
- by supporting and encouraging formal oversight actors to demand accountability (such as legislatures, auditors, judiciaries); and
- by supporting and encouraging other actors to demand accountability (such as executive insiders, political parties, donors).
Paper’s reference: Van Zyl, A. 2014. How Civil Society Organizations Close the Gap between Transparency and Accountability. Governance, Volume 27 (2) 347–356.