NGO self-regulation: enforcing and balancing accountability

Robert Lloyd and Lucy de Las Casas

Increasing visibility and increasing criticism, among other factors, have led to growing pressure on NGOs to be more accountable, both from within and outside of the sector. One increasingly prominent means of doing so is self-regulation, but without means of enforcement how effective is this? And how can self-policing codes tilt the balance in accountability procedures away from the powerful (donors and governments) and towards the NGO’s beneficiaries – those people on whose behalf an NGO claims to be working and who, after all, provide the rationale for its existence?

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