Accountability is an integral part of CARE International’s effort to fight poverty and injustice around the world.
We value accountability because it provides the basis for our legitimacy as an authentic, responsible, and effective voice of the poor communities in which we seek to create lasting change.
Accountability is about holding ourselves responsible, in an honest and open way, to the key stakeholders in our work. Being accountable to the communities, supporters, and partner organisations who are affected by and involved in our work enables us to improve the quality of our programs based upon their feedback.
Accountability is about ensuring and improving the quality of our work by being honest about what has worked and what has not. It also means being open about what was promised and what was achieved. It is both a way to improve the quality of our work and an explicit recognition that our stakeholders – especially those impacted by our work – have a right to hold CARE to account for our work.
Accountability is about building trust so that our donors, beneficiaries, and supporters are assured that CARE is providing the best programs and value.
When working in the field of humanitarian disasters, CARE International adheres to The Sphere Handbook. The handbook establishes universal minimum standards and shared principles in response to emergencies. CARE International sits on the board of The Sphere Project.
Accountability makes a difference
On 15th August 2007 a magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck the coast of Peru, killing over 500 people and leaving more than 75,000 families homeless. A focus on accountability to the disaster affected populations CARE was dedicated to reaching was an important focus of the emergency response.
A complaints mechanism allowed beneficiaries to provide valuable feedback on CARE programmes. For example, one community complained that CARE staff had not fulfilled their promise to attend a meeting and wasted the community’s time. The staff, which had been prevented from attending due to logistical challenges, was able to apologise to the community and the relationship between the community and CARE was actually strengthened instead of destroyed.
In Peru, strengthening our accountability enabled us to reach vulnerable populations we may not have reached, resolve problems we may not otherwise have been aware of, and contribute to greater dignity of the affected population.