Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 11/2014

Accountability, Transparency, Participation, and Inclusion: A New Development Consensus?

Thomas Carothers, Saskia Brechenmacher

October 2014

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


Four key principles—accountability, transparency, participation, and inclusion—have in recent years become nearly universal features of the policy statements and programs of international development organizations. Yet this apparently widespread new consensus is deceptive: behind the ringing declarations lie fundamental fissures over the value and application of these concepts. Understanding and addressing these divisions is crucial to ensuring that the four principles become fully embedded in international development work.