Which culture and practices of accountability do we need then to ensure: a focus on what people really want, a high level of interactivity and collective efficiency towards the shared goal? Accountability approaches that focus on compliance and accounting for results will only partly get us there. What we need is an accountability practice that propels listening, interaction, co-creation and sharing of responsibility for results.
We capture some of the pioneer good practices in the following section.
1. Ask stakeholders how to add strategic value
CSO strategies need to be radically clear on how the organisation adds real value and welcomes contributions to what numerous other actors already do in the same field. CSO interventions have to replenish not deplete relationships and communities they enter. Only then they will achieve the high level of stakeholder engagement – the heart of the new model.
When preparing their annual work plan, 38 Degrees asks its members which strategic priorities to focus on. They also decide on a weekly basis which topic 38 Degrees should campaign on. 350.org follows a similar approach: only with a small team of paid staff, they support thousands of grassroots activists running their own independent, loosely affiliated organisations to advance the shared issue of climate justice. Also, Internews avails their world class media expertise and reach for communities to produce local news and information with integrity and independence.