11 Dec 2014

Aidspan's analysis of what accountability means in the context of global health cooperation was published in December by Globalization and Health.

This work culminated a year-long collaboration between Aidspan and external researchers to examine how accountability translates in global health cooperation, using the Global Fund as a case study.

The paper draws out different elements of how accountability may be measured across finance, program and governance levels. It also details how participation and transparency have become vital elements of a new accountability agenda alongside the more traditional mechanisms for reporting, monitoring, evaluation, redress and enforcement.

The authors examine the prioritization of different types of accountability and what happens when they come in conflict with one another.

The emergence of new health public-private partnerships and the formal inclusion of non-state actors in policy-making processes provide the backdrop to this discussion. The authors highlight how this more complex landscape has an impact on accountability-related relationships between different actors and argue that these shifts have made the practice of ensuring accountability more complex.

The authors conclude that although accountability is about holding actors responsible for their actions, the mechanisms to do this vary substantially and are far from being politically neutral. The tensions observed in multi-stakeholder participatory models and the more traditional vertical models that prioritize accountability upwards to donors, both of which are embodied in initiatives like the Global Fund, pose challenges not only for future financing but also for future legitimacy in such systems.

Download the paper: http://www.globalizationandhealth.com/content/10/1/73

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