Accountability is a process, aimed at helping actors meet responsibilities and reach goals. Individuals or institutions are obliged, on the basis of a legal, political, social or moral justification, to provide an account of how they met clearly defined responsibilities.
UNESCO. Accountability in education: meeting our commitments; Global education monitoring report, 2017/8. Paris: UNESCO, 2017.
Where officers feel a sense of accountability, organizations tend to function better. Efforts to strengthen accountability may be counterproductive, however, if officers feel isolated and unsupported. Unfortunately, few ministries have developed a genuine staff development programme and nor do they incite their staff members to take personal initiative in this regard. De-professionalization and demotivation of the civil service is a real risk, if the strengthening of external accountability is not accompanied by efforts towards professional development (De Grauwe, 2009: 16).
De Grauwe, Anton. Without capacity, there is no development. Rethinking capacity development. Paris: UNESCO-IIEP, 2009.