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Accountability and Democratic Governance

Orientations and Principles for Development

image of Accountability and Democratic Governance

The ability of citizens to demand accountability and more open government is fundamental to good governance. There is growing recognition of the need for new approaches to the ways in which donors support accountability, but no broad agreement on what changed practice looks like. This publication aims to provide more clarity on the emerging practice. Based on four country studies Mali, Mozambique, Peru and Uganda, a survey of donor innovations and cutting-edge analysis in this field, and the findings of a series of special high-level international dialogues on how to best support accountability support to parliaments, political parties, elections and the media. The publication takes the view that a wholesale shift in behaviour is required by parts of the development assistance community - moving outside conventional comfort zones and changing reflexes towards new approaches to risk taking, analysis and programming around systems of accountability and ‘do no harm’ efforts in political engagement.

This piece is aimed at a range of development practitioners, as well as a wider audience, including civil society actors and citizens around the world who interact with donors working on accountability support.

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Introduction to principles for assistance to accountability

The second part of this document sets out specific principles for targeted, support to key components of domestic accountability systems: electoral assistance, parliamentary support, political party assistance and media assistance. Taken together, these principles provide a guide for how to achieve more effective, and more politically aware, programming for support to particular actors or institutions, or as part of a wider systems approach. These principles have been developed through a series of highlevel roundtables and seminars on support to election, political parties, the media and parliament held by GOVNET in addition to the case studies undertaken.

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