“The Accountability Lab’s core approach involves ‘accountapreneurs’ – young people with innovative tools for accountability.” —Accountability Lab
new tools for accountability being developed by young Liberians
people directly engaged through the accountapreneurs’ program
May 2016 End date
The Accountability Lab engages young Liberians around issues of accountability and transparency. It uses a low-cost approach to shift conversations about accountability away from issues of donor funding, and towards positive narratives and finding solutions to problems.
But how does this shift happen? How can short-term approaches to accountability be turned into sustainable ideas? How do we build a movement for accountability?
This research will test the hypothesis that the new, youth-driven, creative approaches to accountability – which are being ‘incubated’ by the Accountability Lab – can add to the work of traditional civil society organisations, and potentially overcome the barriers that traditional approaches have faced.
It will investigate how these new approaches create value for young people in Liberia, and what can be done to build on them – in Liberia and beyond. It will also investigate the barriers to innovative approaches to enhancing governance in a difficult environment. As well as reviewing the incubator approach up to now, it will also consider how best to scale up this approach.
The Accountability Lab is a small, flexible and adaptive organisation, comprising a team of four in Monrovia and a network of volunteers who work across much of Liberia. It is a learning organisation that tests new approaches and feeds the learning from this into its own work, and into larger conversations about how transparency and accountability can be improved.
Research carried out during October and November 2016 has seen Accountability Lab survey 1,100 people in 4 districts in Liberia, and carry out several in-depth focus group discussions. Given a lack of research in this area, the study has received significant interest from key government officials - including several parliamentarians. A roundtable is planned to share research findings in early 2017.