Sections on this page:
Basic Elements of Accountability | Basic Elements of Impact Measurement

This site contains an introduction to Accountability and Impact Measurement. For more information visit ECB Project Accountability in Emergencies and download The Good Enough Guide

Basic Elements of Accountability



At a minimum, humanitarian project staff should:
1. Provide public information to beneficiaries and other stakeholders on their organisation, its plans, and relief assistance entitlements.
2. Conduct ongoing consultation with those assisted.
This should occur as soon as possible at the beginning of a humanitarian relief operation, and continue regularly throughout it. ‘Consultation’ means exchange of information and views between the agency and the beneficiaries of its work. The exchange will be about:
  • The needs and aspirations of beneficiaries
  • The project plans of the agency
  • The entitlements of beneficiaries
  • Feedback and reactions from beneficiaries to the agency on its plans and expected results
3. Establish systematic feedback mechanisms that enable:
  • Agencies to report to beneficiaries on project progress and evolution
  • Beneficiaries to explain to agencies whether projects are meeting their needs
  • Beneficiaries to explain to agencies the difference the project has made to their lives
4. Respond, adapt, and evolve in response to feedback received, and explain to all stakeholders the changes made and/or why change was not possible.


Basic Elements of Impact Measurement



Impact measurement means measuring the changes in people’s lives (outcomes) that result from a humanitarian project, striking a balance between qualitative and quantitative data. At a minimum, humanitarian project staff should:
  1. Establish a basic description (profile) of affected people and related communities.
  2. Identify desired changes, in negotiation with affected people, as soon as possible.
  3. Track all project inputs and outputs against desired change.
  4. Collect and document individual and community perspectives through participatory methods in order to:
    • Increase understanding of what change they desire
    • Help establish a baseline and track change
  5. Explain methodology and limitations to all stakeholders, honestly, transparently, and objectively.
  6. Use the information gathered to improve projects regularly and proactively.