Discussion at the TAG in Montreal reached a consensus that there is no consistent way in which to define and apply the role of "accountable" organisation, and that it is therefore best to remove it.
Deprecate code list organisation_role/accountable
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Within Akvo RSR we are using the Accountable Organisation type as a direct match to one of our partner types: Support Partner. This works effectively for us and we are actually considering migrating the term to Accountable. In our experience this is the organisation that is responsible not necessarily for the implementation, but for the activity as a whole and who arranges the funding and ensures contracts are in place for the other parties for example.
In most instances this is also the reporting organisation for an activity, so there is some sense in reducing this duplication. However we do experience situations in which there are multiple Accountable parties within an acitivty. This would become more difficult to encapsulate.
What are your thoughts on accomodating these structures?
The Akvo example demontrates that "accountable organization" is understood very differently across various publishers (and probably users). It's hard to see how the data could be useful given this confusion.
Remember that the definition of accountable organization is "the country institution with who an aid agreement has been signed". Most people understand this to mean a government body (eg a ministry). The current thinkin is that the Budget Identifier will be a better way to show which part of the government the activity relates to. Hence the consensus that this element could be deprecated.
This being said, Akvo raises an important point. If we are missing an organization role to reflect the business model of some publishers, let's discuss what the missing roles are and how best to address the gap. If "accountable" is indeed seen as the best term, the definition should be aligned on this new meaning.
I don't think it makes sense to drop the accountable organisation field on the basis outlined above. I agree with Yohanna and Akvo that it would be helpful to discuss what organisation roles are missing. However, for "accountable" organisation I think the definition given seems fairly clear as applied to traditional donors; for CSOs, I understand there are ongoing efforts to tailor some of the guidance to use language that makes more sense from their perspective.
The extensive 2012 paper commissioned by the IATI Steering Committee on aid and budget alignment discusses this, and its relationship with the budget identifier. Often the information provided here would indeed be provided by the budget identifier; but not in all circumstances: "There are also cases where the accountable institution – i.e. the institution signing the aid agreement – may not be the institution benefitting from the funds. In these cases this information will not assist in mapping aid information to country budgets." (p. xxi)
The technical team accepts the case for not deleting this value.
There is however a need for a new, looser description of its meaning and use.
The above discussion demonstrates that we need a clearer, not looser, description of its meaning and use.
As mentioned above, the community is expressing a need to define additional organisation roles and add them to the standard. This would help publishers restrict their use of the "accountable" role to the definition quoted by Mark (which is one of several floating around): the government institution signing the aid agreement.
We've been discussing the overall resposnsibilities and description of an accountable partner within Akvo and have come up with this list of items that we think are suitable for the role.
I don't necessarily think that this is the final list that should make the cut, but could be used as a basis for further expansion and discussion here:
- Establishes agreements with the implementation partners where mutual role and responsibilities are clarified.
- Organises funding and administration for the financials of the activity.
- Responsible for approving activity content and monitoring the implementation.
- Provide access to knowledge, information, training and contacts to the network of partners working on the activity.
- Provides support and assistance to implementation partners.
- Ensures monitoring and evaluation of the activity is performed and recorded.
- Responsible to the funders & donors for the results of the activity.
Yohanna, I agree that the definition needs to be clearer. By "looser" we meant that this definition may need to cover a number of different use cases.
We have time to sort this out - the important thing is that we agree not to delete the value in 2.01