This blog was originally published by Making All Voices Count.
This report shares the findings from an impact assessment of Accountability Lab, conducted between August 2016 and March 2017 as part of a research and learning grant from Making All Voices Count.
Accountability Lab Liberia aims to build a new generation of active citizens and responsible leaders across the country. The team supports change-makers to develop and implement positive ideas for integrity in their communities by enabling people to generate the knowledge, skills and networks needed for accountability. It sees accountability as dynamic – “a continually evolving set of relationships, incentives and ideas”.
Accountability Lab’s work is rooted in a commitment to ‘doing development differently’ – which sees evaluation and research as necessary for continual organisational learning, and as vital for success in complex, unpredictable social systems. A mixture of surveys and semi-structured key informant interviews were used for the evaluation.
The evaluation offers a number of key insights about building accountability in Liberia:
- vertical integration is key – in terms of building strategic linkages at different levels of power and influence to drive change
- focusing on individuals rather than projects supports the establishment of pro-accountability coalitions
- shifting social values around corruption and integrity are important components of building accountability over time
- bringing change agents together and building partnerships across sectors helps amplify and reinforce the work of social innovators.
The Accountability Lab team is aware that improving accountability is a long, slow process of building trust, establishing relationships and gaining access to previously closed institutional spaces. The evaluation shows how its activities are already having significant impacts in each of these domains.