Keystone was born out of a deep commitment to help social purpose organizations manage and describe their work better. Our aim is to help increase the effectiveness of organizations working in social change and increase the confidence all actors have in the sector.
From 2001 - 2003, David Bonbright initiated discussions on establishing new measuring and reporting practices for social change. They culminated in an inception report, published in 2003.
The following year, David's employer, the Aga Khan Foundation, seconded David to the initiative. Initial seed capital from the Omidyar Network and Hewlett Foundation allowed Keystone (then known as ACCESS) to come into existence.
AccountAbility hosted Keystone and operations began in September 2004. Senior staff quickly came on board including Andre Proctor, based in South Africa. The board of trustees was assembled.
From 2004 onwards the organisation benefitted from widely respected advisors including: Srilatha Batliwala, Anabel Cruz, Jed Emerson, Simon Zadek, Catherine Odora-Hoppers, Alnoor Ebrahim, Jacinto Gavino, Sanjeev Khagram, Mark Orkin, Jamey Power and others.
Subsequently, Keystone engaged in a range of piloting, learning and development activities, including with the Philippine Council of NGOs and the Nelsone Mandela Foundation. We refined our tools and models, deepened our knowledge of the field, and built a strong network of accountability innovators. In parallel with this methodology development work, we delivered a variety of services to clients.
By 2007 our experience and learning chrystalized around the concept of constituency voice. We believe that social organizations can bring constituents' voices systematically into their planning, measurement and reporting - and that when they do this, they dramatically enhance their performance. Today, our analysis, theory of change, tools and services all aim to help social purpose organizations to realize these constituency voice related benefits.