The Accountability Lab works within complex systems with rapidly changing and evolving accountability dynamics. The Lab’s learning efforts help the organization adapt and improve by filling critical knowledge gaps that might impede informed design and implementation decisions.

The focus is both on processes for learning and on building a culture that supports active learning on a continual basis. The idea is that learning is not an end in itself but a means to improve everything we do. More on the Lab’s approach to learning can be found in our 2020 – 2023 Strategy (English Version). This year, we released a 2022 Strategy Update to reflect some of the changes and adaptations in our programming.

See the links below for our Strategy in Spanish and French:

We have developed several theories of change (ToC) over the lifetime of the Accountability Lab. We are proud of the fact that our understanding of our work is evolving as we iterate and learn. At any given time, we are also trying to test more than one theory of change within a given context. Accountability relates to complex social and political dynamics and building it requires multiple inter-related activities- it is not linear, nor is it singular. Our efforts are just one part of the process of change we hope to see.

We view a theory of change not just as a way to map out inputs, outputs and outcomes but as a way to understand in practical terms the causality between them; and to support double loop learning (learning that recognizes that the way a problem is defined and solved can be a source of the problem itself). As a result our theory of change is not an agreed, defined diagram – it is a living document that we amend and refine over time as we learn on the ground. See our most recent ToC here.