Accountability – the obligation of those in power to take responsibility for their actions – involves different types of relationship between different actors in state and society.
Many factors influence accountability. These are often more complex than one might at first think, especially for new actors in the governance field hoping to leverage the potential of ICT for development.
In one of three background papers prepared for the Making All Voices Count ‘Transforming Governance' learning event, held in Manila in February 2016, Brendan Halloran reviews how accountability relationships work in reality and considers the extent to which ICTs can influence these processes.
Using as examples two web-based platforms that were designed to increase accountability – but which ultimately failed to meet expectations – Halloran concludes that:
- influencing government decision-makers is hard, and there is not an ICT short cut to achieving this
- where decision-makers are already willing to listen, however, ICT‐enabled citizen voice can increase their ability to do so.