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The interplay between NGO accountability and ‘development’: A case study

The interplay between NGO accountability and ‘development’: A case study
The interplay between NGO accountability and ‘development’: A case study
This paper examines the interplay between accountability and ‘development’ in the NGO context. It seeks to understand how different understandings of ‘development’ can shape or emphasise the type of accountability systems practiced in such organisations, namely relational and identity accountability. In particular, the theoretical notions and implications of a ‘development ideal’ and ‘development practice’ lead to different appreciations of what is considered to be a ‘successful’ development project unless organisations and their actors ensure an alignment between the development ideal and practice. We investigate these issues from the perspective of a ‘Southern’ branch of a UK NGDO and chart its emergence, growth, crisis and decline over a period of about 15 years. Our case evidence shows that perceptions about identity, social and functional accountability fluctuate over time in response to contextual changes, namely funding restrictions/changes, leadership changes, post-Tsunami re-construction, changes in brand name and the introduction of government-based monitoring systems. These changes impact on organisational actors in that it challenges their attitudes towards the organisation’s stated ideal and practice of development. In particular, an alignment of development ideal and practice appears to privilege and foster identity and relational accountability, whilst a shift away from such an alignment will lead to a decline in these different forms of accountability.
Jayasekera, Ranadeva
1788723e-6a7e-4302-9358-26acd64ea204
Soobaroyen, Teerooven
6686e2f8-564f-4f7f-b079-9dc8a2f53a48
Jayasekera, Ranadeva
1788723e-6a7e-4302-9358-26acd64ea204
Soobaroyen, Teerooven
6686e2f8-564f-4f7f-b079-9dc8a2f53a48

Jayasekera, Ranadeva and Soobaroyen, Teerooven (2012) The interplay between NGO accountability and ‘development’: A case study. AOS Workshop on Accounting, Non-governmental Organizations and Civil Society, United Kingdom. (Submitted)

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

This paper examines the interplay between accountability and ‘development’ in the NGO context. It seeks to understand how different understandings of ‘development’ can shape or emphasise the type of accountability systems practiced in such organisations, namely relational and identity accountability. In particular, the theoretical notions and implications of a ‘development ideal’ and ‘development practice’ lead to different appreciations of what is considered to be a ‘successful’ development project unless organisations and their actors ensure an alignment between the development ideal and practice. We investigate these issues from the perspective of a ‘Southern’ branch of a UK NGDO and chart its emergence, growth, crisis and decline over a period of about 15 years. Our case evidence shows that perceptions about identity, social and functional accountability fluctuate over time in response to contextual changes, namely funding restrictions/changes, leadership changes, post-Tsunami re-construction, changes in brand name and the introduction of government-based monitoring systems. These changes impact on organisational actors in that it challenges their attitudes towards the organisation’s stated ideal and practice of development. In particular, an alignment of development ideal and practice appears to privilege and foster identity and relational accountability, whilst a shift away from such an alignment will lead to a decline in these different forms of accountability.

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More information

Submitted date: December 2012
Additional Information: A revised version of the paper has been submitted to Accounting, Organizations and Society (May 2013)
Venue - Dates: AOS Workshop on Accounting, Non-governmental Organizations and Civil Society, United Kingdom, 2012-12-01
Organisations: Centre of Excellence in Decision, Analytics & Risk Research

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 345545
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/345545
PURE UUID: b80a46ec-c165-4482-8e6e-0aa39634506f

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Nov 2012 15:08
Last modified: 14 Dec 2018 17:31

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