08.05.15 // Institutional Strengthening, News

Does collaboration with civil society strengthen accountability institutions?

By Carolina Cornejo and Marcos Mendiburu.

How citizens interact and collaborate with accountability institutions has been the subject of much careful review in recent years. This note highlights key points from the discussion. But first, perhaps we should clarify what we mean by “accountability institutions.” Accountability Institutions (AIs) include anti-corruption bodies, supreme audit institutions (SAIs), ombudsman institutions (OIs) and human rights commissions. This note will focus on OIs and SAIs which may differ in their specific mission and function, but are similarly tasked with addressing some of the shortcomings of the separation of power across the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of government (see Peruzzotti 2012). As such, they have direct relevance to the interests of citizens and civil society organizations. How can further collaboration between AIs and civil society be best encouraged within the socalled accountability ecosystem (see Halloran 2014)? What are the benefits and risks of this collaboration? In a brief review of international experience and debate, this note addresses these questions and raises others for further consideration.

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