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Open Access Conversations in accountability: Perspectives from three charities

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Objective: The conversations in accountability were designed to gain an understanding of the use and changes to accountability in charities over time, including learning how results are measured.

Methods: As part of a larger study which investigated accountability in charities working to reduce mortality of children younger than 5 years in least developed countries, a multiple-case study comprising semistructured in-depth key informant interviews was conducted to investigate the use and effects of accountability in three charities of differing sizes.

Results: Smaller charities tend to use fewer accountability mechanisms than larger ones, whereas the variation in their use between small and medium-sized charities is greater than the variation between medium-sized and large charities.

Conclusion: Although accountability has changed over time, charities believe that they are providing the correct amount of accountability ‐ that is, enough to satisfy the perceived demands of their stakeholders but not so much that it detracts from the mission or incurs costs in excess of benefits. However, the tools to determine effectiveness and impact are lacking.

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Keywords: Accountability; charity; mortality of children younger than 5 years; non-government organisation (NGO)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2016-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) is an open-access journal focusing on subjects that are common and relevant to family medicine/general practice and community health. The journal publishes relevant content across disciplines such as epidemiology, public health, social and preventive medicine, research and evidence based medicine, community health service, patient education and health promotion and health ethics. The journal has a specific focus on the management of chronic illness particularly diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, hypertension, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease and common mental illness. FMCH is published by Compuscript http://www.compuscript.com on behalf of the Chinese General Practice Press http://www.chinagp.net.

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