The rapid growth in number, influence and effectiveness of Non-Governmental
Organizations (NGOs) in recent years has produced greater demands
for NGO accountability; accountability to its stakeholders and to
the society as a whole. Thus, Social Accountability is very crucial
to organizations in general and NGOs in particular.
The very fact that NGOs aspire to improve the lives of the poor
means that they have committed themselves in some manner to perform
activities on behalf of others; their ability to accomplish what
is expected and promised is fundamental and necessary to their relationship
with others as well as to the community or poor. Such organizations
are therefore not free of critique, expectations or input from those
whom they serve, and receive legitimacy, funding and interact.
NGOs have been struggling with the idea of evolving such tools and
mechanisms which would help them further to enhance and also demonstrate
their accountability towards various actors/stakeholders. Even though
there is a wide consensus regarding the need and importance of greater
accountability mechanisms, there is little agreement upon the kind
of mechanism which will be appropriately applicable for the voluntary
sector; a mechanism that would ensure transparency and at the same
time take care of the heterogeneity of the voluntary sector.