May 11, 2016

Blog

  By storming the barricades at Budapest’s Keleti station and setting out on foot for the Austrian border, Syrian refugees rejected an international refugee system that provides them neither protection nor hope for the future. Thousands have already arrived in Germany as many European citizens rally to their cause. I was at Vienna’s Prater Stadium on Sunday morning to witness hundreds of volunteers set off for neighboring Hungary in their own vehicles to bring backRead More
This was originally posted on the Ground Truth Solutions website. When, in 2008, the United Nations General Assembly designated August 19 as World Humanitarian Day, the aim was to honor humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. As we recognize their service and sacrifice this year, let us also use the occasion to reflect on the contribution of the people whose plight inspires aid workers to do what theyRead More
The post Beyond Accountability: Feedback as transformation appeared first on Alliance magazine. Beyond Accountability: Feedback as Transformation is the title of Alliance magazine’s June 2015 special feature, and this was the topic of the Alliance breakfast club, kindly hosted by the Shell Foundation. The panellists were David Bonbright, co-founder and CEO of Keystone Accountability and one of the guest editors for the special feature, and Nina Schuler, Social Development Adviser from the Finance Performance and Impact Department at the Department for International Development (DFID). The emergingRead More
Alex Jacobs at Plan International is working hard to make the World Humanitarian Summit a great leap forward in terms of accountability to affected people and community engagement. In this piece he outlines the challenges in landing this agenda as well as drawing attention to what is already showing promise on the ground, including Ground Truth Solutions‘ work in Nepal and Sierra Leone.  Read More
Something worth pushing in preparations for next year’s World Humanitarian Summit is a shift from the current ad hoc approach to designing accountability systems in emergencies to a standard whole-of-program model that spells out what needs to be done and provides a robust delivery vehicle. Providing this kind of support at the overarching program level complements the work of individual agencies and sectoral clusters as they get their act together on accountability to affected people,Read More
Coventry has a history of listening to people. During the Second World War, the people of Coventry wanted to voice their support for the Soviet Army during the Battle of Stalingrad, and their voice was heard. Coventry and Stalingrad were twinned, to promote mutual understandings and improve relationships. The practice of twinning has continued to this day, as has Coventry’s tradition of listening. In the 2015 Guardian University League Table, Coventry University sat at 27,Read More
This lead article was first published in Alliance magazine, as part of the June special feature – Beyond Accountability: Feedback as Transformation – co-edited by Keystone’s David Bonbright. A huge shift is happening in the social sector. Dennis Whittle traces it all the way back to the birth of democracy in Greece circa 594 BCE. The people are sovereign! In titling our special theme ‘Beyond accountability: feedback as transformation’ we are signalling that the longRead More
As 2013 comes to a close, I write to thank you for your interest in our work to advance Constituent Voice as a tool to solve important societal problems. Topics like performance management, real time data, continuous improvement and downward accountability may make most people’s eyes glaze over — but not yours! Thank you! 2013 was a break through year for Keystone. We are blessed with a geographically and thematically diverse group of clients andRead More
It is inconceivable today that a disaster like Typhoon Haiyan could hit without a rush to deploy specialist accountability staff and the issuance of guidance about how to include beneficiaries in the way the relief program is designed. This is  progress but it is premature to claim victory. Rather, we need to make sure the humanitarian horse actually drinks the water of beneficiary accountability. Rigorous standards and smart methodologies are not enough on their own.Read More
There is a growing understanding that constituent feedback is crucial to development work. The terms “feedback” and “listening” now permeate our collective discussions, so much so that Lucy Bernholz has made “Constituent Feedback” one of the top buzzwords in her recently published Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2014. As Lucy notes, however, feedback is not always simple. Well, let me refine that point. Some aspects of feedback are relatively easy; some commonly require someRead More