Transparency, Participation and Accountability Matter More Than Ever – Here is How TAI’s New Strategy Can Help
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We are excited to introduce our new five-year strategy designed to reinforce the “what”, the “how” and the “who” of funding for the transparency and accountability field.

The midst of a global pandemic and economic crisis may not seem the most opportune moment to launch a new strategy. However, we believe the new objectives and flexible way of working match well in dealing with the current situation and shaping the world that comes out the other side.

Our members’ vision is of a more just, equitable, and inclusive world where people are informed and empowered; governments are open and responsive, and collective action advances the public good. This is unchanged and revealed to be all-the-more important as societies seek to control and recover from the coronavirus impacts.

What is changing is a shift to operating toward these three mutually reinforcing strategic outcome areas:

What We Fund – optimizing impact of funding portfolios. Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI) members fund organizations working on similar issues from strengthening independent media to advocating for greater financial transparency to equipping communities to assert their rights. Collectively, we want to strategize together, learn together, and align funding to see the greater impact across these portfolios. This has always been core to TAI and it remains as relevant today as ever.

How We Fund – reinforcing effective grantmaker practice. It is not enough just to write a check – TAI members want to hold each other accountable to be more inclusive, equitable, and effective grantmakers. TAI offers members a platform for candid, constructive exchange grounded in a core of shared issues and grantees. Funder members have been pushing for these conversations more and more, over the past couple of years and we are excited that these are explicitly recognized in our strategic objectives. So, challenge us to push the envelope!

Funder Landscape – expanding and enhancing funder connections. Core to the value of TAI is learning from each other, yet the pool of funders explicitly supporting transparency, participation and accountability programming is small. We want to reinforce a funder ecosystem that supports the transfer of learning and practices across issue areas, can scale up proven work, and ultimately improves the volume and quality of funding. We know that accountability dimensions are essential to making progress on global challenges – be that providing equitable healthcare services or mitigating climate change, but those connections will not happen through serendipity alone.

These strategy outcomes are directly informed by the evaluation that TAI commissioned in 2019 and accumulated insights around how best to support donor learning and collaboration. Alison Miranda, TAI’s Head of Impact and Learning summarizes the evaluation findings and resulting shifts here. We want to thank both the Arabella Advisers team and Chris Michael at Collaborations for Change who worked closely with us throughout the process and the many others who provided valuable feedback and suggestions along the way.

If you are a funder who already supports transparency- and accountability-related programming or are new to this field, we welcome the chance to partner with you and learn together.

If you are a practitioner or a researcher, we want to learn from you and amplify your work.

Read our evaluation. Read the strategy (it’s deliberately short!) and tell us what TAI and its membership can do better.

When this strategy period wraps up we want to be able to celebrate more innovative and effective accountability interventions. We want to see increased support for those championing those changes on the ground. We want transparency and accountability dimensions integrated into a broader range of international development programming. Lots to do. We are glad to be doing it collectively.