What is accountability to beneficiaries (AtB)? Why is it important? What types of work should apply these commitments? How should AtB commitments be applied when working with partners? This document details the British Red Cross’s eight AtB commitments.


At the programme level, AtB commitments include:

  • Communicating who the British Red Cross are and what they do – sharing and discussing timely information with beneficiaries and communities, and ensuring operations are transparent;
  • Participating in programme decisions – enabling beneficiaries and their representatives to play an active role in programme design and the decision-making processes and activities that affect them;
  • Using evidence as the basis for decisions (systematically collecting, using, and learning from evidence to inform programmes and demonstrate impact);
  • Hearing and responding to complaints (setting up complaints and response mechanisms through which beneficiaries and communities can question programmes and actions, and get feedback about how these will be acted upon).

At the organisational level, AtB commitments include:

  • Staff and volunteers’ competencies – ensuring staff and volunteers have the competencies needed to meet AtB commitments;
  • Improving approaches for achieving AtB –assisting partners to review and improve approaches for strengthening AtB;
  • Leadership and management for quality – putting in place policy and processes that places intended beneficiaries at the centre of decision-making, and ensuring these AtB commitments are modelled in organisational ways of working;
  • Collaborating with partners to strengthen AtB – working with partners to raise awareness of, strengthen commitments to, and support the realisation of AtB.

Annex 1 (p.15) looks at the links between the eight AtB commitments and the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) 2010 standard benchmarks.

Usage: Guidance for project implementation, policy guidance

Audiences: National society leadership, Technical staff

Reference: British Red Cross (July 2013). Our commitments to: accountability to beneficiaries and the communities where we work (pp. 1-15). Available from: http://www.hapinternational.org/pool/files/BRC%202013_Accountability%20to%20beneficiaries%20and%20communities.pdf[Accessed: 19 December 2015].

Document Data

Publication date:
Status: Final Type: PDF Size (MB): Size: 2
Country: Global
Resource type: Guidelines

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