CIVICUS’ 90 Day Accountability Challenge!
A self-assessment exercise through the Rendir App
Written by Belén Giaquinta and Juliette Wiss, CIVICUS.
Our world is changing quickly and no one really knows what it will look like post COVID-19. During these times, the creativity, the adaptability and the ability of civil society to stay relevant has been put to the test. But in order to give much needed grounding to the direction of change we are heading into, we need to ramp up our accountability practices now more than ever.
For the next few months, CIVICUS will be piloting the 90 Day Accountability Challenge, a new peer-to-peer learning activity that aims to boost the accountability processes and mechanisms of our members – starting with the Affinity Group of National Associations (AGNA). We like the idea of a challenge as a call for CSOs to reflect back on how well they listen to, inform, respond to and engage their constituents and other stakeholders in the governance and decision-making of their organizations.
We decided to start with AGNA because they are a network of national and regional umbrella organizations from around the world that have already been working on Legitimacy, Transparency and Accountability (LTA) issues for quite some time, through an LTA Working Group convening campaigns like the Global Accountability Week. It is thus high time to take their LTA work to the next level! As member-based organizations themselves, improving their accountability and leading by example will not only trickle down their impact to other national organizations in their own context, but hopefully also pave the way towards more accountability, legitimacy and transparency within our sector.
The 90 Day Challenge asks participating CIVICUS members to self-reflect on their accountability practices and policies during a 90-day period, using Rendir App and Rendir App for networks (a version AGNA adapted to fit member-based organizations). This is a questionnaire-turned-self-assessment tool developed by Rendir Cuentas based on the Global Standard for CSO Accountability’s 12 accountability commitments. We hope that during the Challenge, CSOs will use the diagnostic results of the Rendir App as a springboard to set organizational accountability priorities and work to improve those during the 90 Day Challenge.
The 90 Day Challenge will also see participants design their road to success and assess their progress, with the feedback of their peers and support from Resilient Roots champions. Buddy systems will be used to connect members working on and interested in the topic, and strengthen existing communities of CSO Accountability. Ultimately, we hope this pushes our sector to prioritize the importance of accountability to deliver on our missions!
From the learnings of this first iteration of the Challenge, we hope to continue to use self-diagnostic tools, like Rendir App, as entry ways into other capacity strengthening and peer-to-peer learning activities. These will help us fine-tune ways for CIVICUS to support our members in their journey to becoming ever more accountable to their stakeholders, both in COVID-19 times and beyond!