The One World Trust, with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), has created an interactive, online database of tools to help organisations conducting policy relevant research become more accountable.
Processes of innovation and research are fundamental to improvements in quality of life and to creating a better society. But to realise these benefits, the quality of research alone is not enough. Organisations engaged in policy-relevant research and innovation must continually take into account and balance the needs of a diverse set of stakeholders: from the intended research users, to their clients and donors, to the research community and the research participants. Responsiveness to all of these is crucial if they are to be legitimate and effective. In this, accountable processes are as important as high quality research products.
The Trust has built the online accountability database to support researchers, campaigners and research managers to think through the way they use evidence to influence policy in an accountable way. The database takes into account that research organisations are increasingly diverse – they are no longer just universities, but private companies, public institutes and non-profit think-tanks. No single accountability model can encompass this diversity.
Instead, the database provides an inventory of over two hundred tools, standards and processes within a broad, overarching accountability framework. With a dynamic interface and several search functions, it allows users to identify aspects of accountability that interests them, and provides ideas to improve their accountability in this context. Each tool is supported by sources and further reading.
We also encourage engagement with and discussion on the database content, through allowing users to comment on individual tools, or to submit their own tools, processes and standards for inclusion.
The database is an output of a three-year project, titled “Accountability Principles for Research Organisations.” Working with partners across the globe, the project has generated an accountability framework which is sufficiently flexible to apply to many contexts and different organisations.
For more information about the project please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.