Jonathan Fox

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The current accountability impasse suggests it may be time to rethink core concepts, as well as the field’s underlying theories of change. The idea of accountability is malleable, ambiguous — and contested. This fuzziness poses challenges for both theory and practice – how do we know what strategies bolster accountability – or whether accountability produces its expected effects? This think piece recognizes the challenge of defining ‘what counts’ as accountability, unpacks a longstanding theory of change - that sunshine is the best disinfectant - and considers some information-based reform initiatives to identify missing links in the causal chain between transparency and accountability.



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