How can donors best support the strengthening of domestic accountability in developing countries?
23 March 2011
Rather than encouraging the adoption of particular models of governance, donors should seek to
nurture the environment of transparency and accountability out of which appropriate solutions to
the challenges of development might emerge, led and owned by local stakeholders. This is one of the
key messages from a panel discussion on domestic accountability during the European Development
Days in Brussels, on 6th December 2010. It is also the focus of a new ECDPM discussion paper that
explores how emerging capacity development perspectives can help foster democratic ownership.
Co-organised by the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) and the Belgium Presidency the round table sought to focus attention on the role of aid in improving the landscape of politics and governance, which has received little explicit attention in the aid effectiveness agenda until now. Against the backdrop of preparations for the fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in late 2011, the outcome of the discussions will provide inputs to the ongoing efforts by the European Commission and EU Member States to strengthen their approach to domestic accountability.
The recently published ECDPM Discussion Paper, entitled “Fostering democratic ownership: A capacity development perspective,” takes this discussion a step forward by proposing a conceptual framework to help donors and their development partners in strengthening domestic accountability in diverse operational settings. The authors, Volker Hauck and Tony Land, suggest that by combining insights from change management, complexity and systems thinking, external change agents will be better equipped to effectively support endogenous capacity development processes. Arguing that this goes beyond facilitating multi-stakeholder participation in projects and programmes, the paper calls for more holistic approaches that enhance the respective capacities of state and civil society actors to function and interact in a fair, inclusive and accountable manner.Search Terms analytical frameworks policy casestudies dialogue state-building