Frameworks for Mutual Accountability and Enhanced Policy Dialogue

3rd August 2020
Author: Izzy Birch

This rapid review synthesises evidence on frameworks for mutual accountability and enhanced policy dialogue processes between donors and recipient governments by exploring the processes, products and governance mechanisms used in developing countries and fragile and conflict-affected states. The literature notes that mutual accountability mechanisms between donors and recipient governments generally comprise a number of common elements: a policy framework that articulates shared goals; mutually agreed targets and systems for monitoring progress towards them; structures that facilitate regular policy dialogue and review at both political and technical levels; and the publication and dissemination of results and findings. The nature and configuration of these elements will vary by country, as will the capacity to establish, manage, and implement them. The report describes a selection of accountability mechanisms and processes in common use, including joint results frameworks, joint sector reviews, and information management systems, and the lessons from applying them. Some common findings emerge including effective monitoring and accountability frameworks depend on sufficient data management capacity being in place at national and lower levels of government, but this is often lacking. Furthermore, strategic-level policy dialogue can strengthen accountability by focusing collective attention on higher-level development outcomes. The report highlights the potential of regional-level accountability mechanisms, particularly for peer review and learning. It concludes with short case studies of the mutual accountability framework designed for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, which operates at national, regional, and continental levels, and of the compacts used by the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States.

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Suggested Citation

Birch, I. (2020). Frameworks for mutual accountability and enhanced policy dialogue. K4D Helpdesk Report 869. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies


3rd August 2020


Continent: Global