Accountability in International Governance and the 2030 Development Agenda

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After revisiting the concept of accountability in national governance, this paper analyzes the challenges of its application to international governance, including an assessment of some of the modalities it has assumed. It then proposes a bottom-up multilayered and multistakeholder accountability framework for the 2030 Development Agenda: national follow-up processes at the base of the pyramid, consultations and possibly peer reviews at the regional level, a global accountability system led by the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) and supported by the ECOSOC system, United Nations and other international organizations, and active participation by civil society and the private sector with their own accountability frameworks in place.

Policy Implications

  • The accountability framework for the 2030 Development Agenda should have at its base strong national follow-up processes with active participation of parliaments and civil society.
  • The regional context should include peer reviews of national commitments.
  • The global follow-up process led by HLPF should make full use of the whole ECOSOC system and other international organizations.
  • Civil society and the private sector should be essential partners, but must develop their own accountability frameworks.
  • A sound global information system should be built up and serve as the basis for independent evaluation reports by the UN secretariat and the World Bank.
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