AAI Definition of Accountability
AIDS Accountability International does not propose one single definition of accountability.
Each individual’s, organisation’s and country’s context influences what the definition of accountability would be. There are various forms and types of accountability, political and individual; horizontal and vertical and diagonal; and there are various mechanisms to get accountability and circumstances in which accountability exists prior to any commitment at all. For this reason there is no one definition or application of accountability that fits all.
It follows then, as part of our Accountability Literacy work especially, that we encourage individuals to develop a broad understanding of the different kinds of accountability that exist, become aware of the various frameworks, and then filter, consider and engage with a definition which is most contextually relevant at that time.
In a similar manner AAI periodically undertakes a review of our own working definition of accountability, and at this time in 2014 finds the following most applicable to our context:
Being answerable for performance to one’s constituency, according to the obligations of your role, and whether this is done in a transparent, ethical, timely and financially prudent manner.