ICGFM Promotes Knowledge Transfer Among Public Financial Management Experts

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Monday, May 19, 2008

The Dimensions of Accountability

Mitchell O'Brien of the World Bank expanded traditional concepts of accountability with newer concepts of accountability and the legislature's accountability tools. Mr. O'Brien provided a copy of a World Bank document called "Accountability in Governance" because accountability can be difficult for practitioners to define. There are so many different factors of accountability. Answerability and enforcement represent the two stages of accountability regardless of the modality of accountability.

  • Traditional accountability tends to be defined by horizontal (state institutions to check government actions) and vertical accountability (citizens and media attempt to influence accountability).
  • Newer concepts of accountability describes social accountability (such as citizen report cards or participatory budgets) and diagonal accountability (vertical or horizontal accountability actors engaging directly with citizen and citizen groups).
Mr. O'Brien says that the legislature should function within the government on a horizontal basis and engage civil society in order to achieve broad and effective accountability.

Read this doc on Scribd: Day 1 (1700) - Theme 3b - OBrian Notes

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