NGOs failing on accountability

International non-governmental organisations lag behind multinationals and intergovernmental organisations when it comes to complaints and response mechanisms, a global accountability study has concluded.

The Global Accountability Report, produced by the One World Trust, compared 10 international NGOs with 10 multinational companies and 10 intergovernmental bodies on four benchmarks: transparency; participation; evaluation; and complaints and response.

Rob Lloyd, project manager for global accountability at One World Trust, said that NGOs had to find a way to use complaints and response mechanisms to strengthen their relationship with their stakeholders. Among INGOs, only Christian Aid had a system to deal with external complaints.

Christian Aid, which scored 81 per cent overall, won the ‘high performer' accolade by gaining more than 50 per cent in each category. Five intergovernmental organisations, three multinationals and one other NGO also earned the distinction.

"As an organisation that actively campaigns in the UK and overseas, seeking to hold governments and big business to account for their actions, it is vital that we too are accountable to those we affect," said Daleep Mukarji, director of Christian Aid. "However, there is no room for complacency."

All sectors scored poorly in transparency, but multinationals led the way in complaints and response, IGOs in evaluation and INGOs in participation - a pattern similar to last year's findings.

Lloyd said the report had been well received and that organisations had heeded the recommendations: ActionAid, who came top last year, were working on a complaints and response mechanism whilst Oxfam had developed an information disclosure policy.

The International Accounting Standards Board was second on the INGO category with 69 per cent. FIFA and Greenpeace International brought up the rear with scores of 37 and 42 per cent respectively.

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