Definition – Accountability refers to the act of using power responsibly. It is the process of taking into account the views of, and being held accountable by, different stakeholders, primarily the people affected by the actions of the person/body in power. Ideally there should be a process in place to ensure that officials in relevant organisations are answerable for their actions and that there is redress when duties and commitments are not met. Accountability and transparency are mutually reinforcing.
Relevance to SUMP – The SUMP guidelines set out steps that help to ensure that the plan is prepared in an accountable manner – i.e. participation, integration and monitoring & evaluation. Practitioners may also wish to refer to the 2010 Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) that sets out six benchmarks:
- Establishing and delivering on commitments
- Staff competency
- Sharing information
- Handling complaints
- Learning and continual improvement
Although the HAP Standard was prepared by and for the use of organisations involved in poverty, disaster response and international development, there are clear similarities between the main benchmarks and the SUMP preparation stages.
Source: HAP, 2010; Transparency & Accountability Initiative, 2015 (online)