Challenging the Development Paradigm: assessing accountability and equity of global institutions in climate-change governance responses to the poor

Lead Research Organisation: London Sch of Hygiene and Trop Medicine
Department Name: Epidemiology and Population Health

Abstract

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Description The Climate Governance project is a partnership between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the One World Trust. It set out to investigate the dynamics of institutional change in global organisations resulting from the emergence of climate change as a major global public goods issue affecting concepts of sustainable development. Using a consciously 'mixed' combination of innovative research methodologies including assessment with the Global Accountability Framework (II), extensive qualitative interviewing at headquarters, strategy and policy analysis, as well as in-country field work, the project researched how institutions understood and responded to external changes affecting their mandate, policy and programmes, new and changing accountability demands, and interactions with in-country institutions.



We analysed and juxtaposed findings from four influential globally operating organisations with an explicit mandate for sustainable development: three multilaterals (WHO, WTO and IRBD) and one bilateral body (DFID). We then explored the response of government institutions in an aid-recipient country (Ghana) and the nature of interactions with the study organisations.



Findings indicated that the actual sectoral focus of the organisation such as being a development donor, regulator or policy maker, plays some role in its capacity or rather degree to which it is responsive to climate change and the needs of those affected by it. Clearly the organisations are different and it could be claimed that the IBRD and DfID as major development funders would show themselves naturally more responsive to the challenge of climate-change in contrast to WTO or WHO which are primarily regarded as standard setters and compliance monitors. Nevertheless, the pattern arising from the research does not conform to these assumptions. Accountability geometries and institutional responsiveness shows itself to be more a result of a number of factors that are a) variable and b) to a large extent within the gift of the organisations themselves to change, including:



• Good accountability structures; in particular good external accountability;

• Substantive and operationalised policies and strategies on both accountability and climate issues;

• Flexible structures and processes across institutional and professional hierarchies to discuss emerging issues;

• Financial and ideological support to (climate) structures ;

• Both (internal) elite support and mid-management support for responding to climate issues;

• Consensus among key internal and external stakeholders about the role and mission of the organisation;

• Culture of critical and innovative thought;

• Resonance of 'climate' issues with perception of institutional mandate.



On the basis of the above main factors framing institutional change the project developed a concept of institutional responsiveness, and translated it into a research framework for use across other sets of institutions.



In the framework, an organisation's capacity to respond to climate change affected stakeholders is centrally affected by its capacity to innovate. This leads to a deliberate setting of strategy, followed through in terms of institutional design, i.e. development of new functions and relationships in the institution and manifest for instance in new departmental structures, roles and responsibilities in management as well as in governance. This in turn allows for the structuring and formal support of accountabilities to a changing landscape of external but also internal stakeholders. External accountability demands can also set in motion a process of change in institutional design to better respond to these demands, generating new strategic orientations and enhancing the innovative capacity of the organisation itself.
Exploitation Route One of our main exploitation routes to maximise uptake of findings by the study organisations was direct liaison. As agencies that have a mandate for sustainable development, any action by them as a result of our findings that will improve their accountability and their responsiveness to the needs and demands of stakeholders affected by climate-change, will benefit "user" communities. This includes aid-recipient governments and ultimately every citizen who receives and benefits from aid programmes in low and middle income countries.

Additionally, an important non-academic "user" group are professional evaluators. Our adapted framework for Accountability Assessment and improved understanding of what factors facilitate organisational innovation and climate-responsiveness for sustainable development, are important tools for this group of users.

We currently disseminate our findings to this group through opportunities arising as a result of the study researchers' own professional profiles. Michael Hammer is now director of INTRAC - an agency specialising in capacity building, design, and monitoring & evaluation for worldwide operating organisations in sustainable development. He contributes to a cross institutional senior evaluation specialists' forum supporting the IMF Independent Evaluation Office, and serves on the board of BOND, the UK development network. Susannah Mayhew is a board member of several non-government organisations engaged in health and climate aspects of sustainable development and is a consultant to various donor agencies engaged in the same. Through these links we further the use of our research tools and understanding of the implications of our findings for promoting organisational responsiveness to climate-issues important for sustainable development. Interaction with the study organisations is a major exploitation route pursued throughout the project, and preparing the ground for organisational uptake of the results.

At the World Bank this is most tangible. Research results were presented to senior staff in the External and Operations Policy Departments during a World Bank-requested meeting in May 2013, feeding into the preparation of the World Bank Group's strategy. Published in October 2013 it takes up challenges put to the Bank in our May meeting (see Impact and Outputs for details).

In the other case study organisations uptake has been slower, partly inhibited by exactly those factors identified by the project as impeding institutional change. However, a commitment by DfID for a senior level briefing by the project PIs is in place. The research team will continue to follow up with individual institutions, to explore opportunities for briefings and discussions around uptake of the research project findings.

In terms of scientific impact, our main exploitation routes are presentation of findings to academic audiences through workshops, seminars, conferences and journal publications. To date we have presented results, to acclaim, in Washington DC, London, Oxford and Accra. We are completing a range of publications currently in preparation for peer-review journals and anticipate further presentations at relevant conferences. Through these routes, our adaptation and empirical application of the Global Accountability Framework II, together with our new conceptual framework for understanding and researching institutional responsiveness will begin to shape future research on institutional accountability, responsiveness and governance.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Energy,Environment,Leisure Activities/ including Sports/ Recreation and Tourism,Government/ Democracy and Justice,Transport

URL http://www.globalclimategovernance.org/
 
Description The process of our research, development of methods and the new GAF II (academic impacts) have all clearly contributed to strengthening capacity in the knowledge economy well beyond academia to achieve societal impacts. They have significantly contributed to strengthening research capacity in third sector organisations (at the present time, OWT and INTRAC) and enhanced the potential for applications of these frameworks to influence public-sector agencies (specifically, DFID) and global institutions (specifically, the World Bank). Reference to components of the RCUK's Pathways to Impact framework are highlighted in bold in the text below. Academic Impacts and pathways One of the aims of the Global Climate Governance project was to adapt and develop innovative research methods and tools developed through cross-disciplinary approaches to measure and assess institutional accountability. This resulted in the final version of the Global Accountability Framework II (GAF II), published in 2012 and freely available under Creative Commons licensing. There was considerable interest in the GAF II and the qualitative methods and findings from political scientists and other disciplinary academics attending our workshops in Washington and London. The GAF II does appear to be entering mainstream academia and directly enhancing the academic knowledge economy and furthering the conceptual understanding of and methodological discourse in accountability, contributing to the health of accountability as a field of academic enquiry. This is manifest in the range and multi-disciplinary citations below (not an exhaustive list); of particular note is the reference to the framework in the prestigious Oxford Handbook of Public Accountability: • Brandsma, Gijs (2014): Quantitative Analysis, in: Mark Bovens, Robert E. Goodin, Thomas Schillemans, eds (2014): The Oxford Handbook Public Accountability, Oxford University Press, Oxford • Drake, Anna (2012): Locating accountability. Conceptual and categorical challenges in the literature, Policy report 2, Entwined and International Institute for Sustainable Development, Stockholm • Olawuyi, Damilola S. (2012): Towards a Transparent and Accountable Clean Development Mechanism: Legal and Institutional Imperatives, in: Nordisk Miljörättslig Tidskrift/Nordic Environmental Law Journal 2012:2 • Kinchin, Niamh (2013): UNHCR as a Subsidiary Organ of the UN: Plurality, Complexity and Accountability, IRPA Working Paper GAL Series n. 4/2013 • Siivonnen, Mikko (2014): Rethinking Comprehensive Service - Public Value and Minority Interest Provision as New Strategic Objectives for Public Service Media Institutions, Paper presented at Challenging Media Landscapes conference Salford International Media Festival University of Salford The GAF II and its associated qualitative methods are also being used the NGO sector - described below. The academic knowledge economy has also been enhanced by researchers of the Global Climate Governance Project being a¬ble to build on the population/health sub-component and apply this thinking to produce further health/population and climate related articles that challenge: • a) the existing complacency in the health sector of the impact of climate on health institutions and systems. This includes a publication in Lancet Global Health and the development of an informal international network of interested researchers and practitioners from multiple disciplines related to climate and health (this was convened at a side-event at the Health Systems Global conference in Cape Town in 2014); and • b) the refusal of health and development practitioners to recognise and act on the importance of population dynamics and their interaction with climate and environmental change. This includes an article arising from intellectual collaboration with a third-sector partner specialising in population and climate (the Population and Sustainability Network). Societal Impacts and pathways The Global Climate Governance project was designed to be explicitly participatory. We partnered with a third-sector think-tank who was leading methodological innovation in the measurement of institutional accountability and already engaging at high level with several of the study organisations. We refined and applied this framework to global institutions and (for the first time) a national government institution. We actively engaged with these institutions to disseminate and discuss the accountability findings and consider their institutional implications. As we have noted in our reports, it is staff from the World Bank and the UK's Department for International Development who were most responsive in requesting one-on-one meetings between researchers and key institutional staff to discuss findings. This is a first step in enhancing the effectiveness and sustainability of organisations including public services and global institutions tasked with providing and protecting global public goods. The most direct impact on improving accountability of a global institution that we are able to show from our research findings remains the influence of the project findings on the World Bank Group's strategy document of 2013. Frustratingly from a point of view of a direct pathway, the document does not reference the project, but the circumstantial evidence is strong: in May we met (at their request) with the Deputy VP of External Communications Department, a senior staff member from the Planning and Evaluation Department and the Head of the Inspection Panel of the IBRD to discuss the project findings (which were already public). The Strategy was under discussion at that time and these senior staff were directly involved and were concerned about ongoing accountability challenges. We discussed a range of very concrete issues and actions. In October 2013 the document was published (https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/16095/32824_ebook.pdf?sequence=5) and takes up challenges that we put to the Bank in our May meeting on: transparent use and response to evidence; consolidated strategy tracking at WBG level; and mainstreaming of organisational accountability including a particular focus on a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral set of stakeholders including civil society. Additionally, the Global Climate Governance project has directly enhanced the research capacity, knowledge and skills of third sector organisations. Our partners, the One World Trust (OWT), developed the original GAF framework which we refined during our research. The methodological approach underpinning the GAF II is currently being used by INTRAC, now headed by the former Director of OWT, to conduct an ongoing longitudinal study of the research impact of the DFID funded Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). In this study INTRAC is designing a qualitative comparative analytical framework informed by the experiences of the GAF II and the research on the Climate Governance project. The study will establish what in CDKN funded research projects (their design, implementation, stakeholder mapping and engagement including accountability outlook and assessment of the stakeholder environment of the projects) generated policy impact and/or contributed to institutional change in the target sectors, institutions, policy environments of the projects. This research design and study of accountability and policy impact in this CDKN project has directly benefitted from the experience of the Director during the Global Climate Governance project who says "I couldn't have done this so successfully without the experience of the GAF II and the climate governance project". This CDKN project is particularly important as it will contribute to the overall evaluation of the CDKN which is a major DFID climate focused initiative and may have lessons for other funding schemes that DFID has put into place including the BRACED scheme (which focuses on local civil society and community climate change resilience, while CDKN focused on state institutions). The CDKN evaluation results will also feed into decision making about CDKN's future. This decision making process may also be influenced by an individual within DFID, now heavily involved in CDKN, who was very engaged in the Climate Governance research and took project findings (on accountability) back to internal DFID discussions and learning. Ultimately, the Global Climate Governance project's underlying assumption is that improving the accountability of global institutions and national governmental institutions responsible for protection, and providing, public goods in relation to sustainable development, is in itself a key pathway to a range of high-level social and economic impacts including: improved evidenced-based policy making and more accountable public policies to protect the environment and enhance sustainable development. This will be turn lead to improved health, wellbeing and sustained economic prosperity. 2017 UPDATE: The year 2016 and early 2017 have been a rollercoaster ride for many global institutions. The run up to and results of the December 2015 Paris Agreements generated an unprecedented positive dynamic for the acceptance of climate change as a key driver of programmes for governments and IGOs alike, as well as a recognition that climate change brings critical new and broader sets of stakeholders into the horizon of influential climate change actors. In the case of the World Bank this led to a continuation of both its emphasis on the Bank's climate related knowledge and innovation function as part of the 'Forward Look' strategic redevelopment exercise initiated by President Jim Kim in 2015/2016, and the 'voice' review process which is expected to lead in 2018 for the first time to a nominal majority of voting shares (of 53%) to be with developing and transition countries. Both the proactive engagement in form and function with climate change as well as the need for ongoing accountability reform such as through more equitable voting shares, have been key recommendations of the project. Structural changes and governance reform in the WHO are finally beginning to emerge and the one-to-one feedback of this project's findings to WHO staff responsible for governance and accountability has contributed to these reforms. These changes include for instance the introduction of an annual report on the evaluation function to the Executive Board, the publication of an evaluation practice handbook, the creation of a Global Evaluation Network and other steps within the WHO to improve quality assurance of evaluations. In 2014 a new Office of Compliance, Risk Management and Ethics began its work. In 2015 the WHO published a new accountability framework which for the first time presents a common strategic vision of the different elements of accountability for the organisation. A new Whistleblower policy followed in 2015 , new WHA guidelines for the engagement of non-state actors, and a code of ethics and professional conduct in 2017. At the WTO the number of internal documents produced by the Secretariat and member states to initiate and support discussions in the negotiation committees has increased significantly in 2015 ahead of Paris. Yet with the exception of some proposals to encourage climate change discussions in the Trade and Environment Committee the mainstay of these documents is information about what happens elsewhere (with impact on trade), such as at the UNFCCC. The members of the organisation remain very divided on the degree to which to engage with climate change directly. The November 2016 Marrakesh COP 22 reaffirmed the international commitment to the Paris Agreement and progressed on the detail of implementation framework. All study organisations actively participated in the meeting, which demonstrates a greater dynamic especially from the side of the WHO and WTO compared to five years ago. Yet the impact of the change of leadership within the UK DFID following the change of government in the wake of the BREXIT referendum and the election of a new President in the USA also sent waves of uncertainty about the longer term commitment especially of the USA to the role of global organisations, the interest / or lack of it of the USA in abiding by common rules and agreements secured through these organisations, their funding, and the future of a hard won global climate change consensus. This is currently generating a not insignificant element of distraction especially for the IGOs in the studied set of organisations. 2017/2018 Update Following the assessment, the WHO started work on a new information disclosure policy; this was eventually was adopted in March 2017.
Sector Other
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Framework cited in The Oxford Handbook Public Accountability
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Project recommendations were taken up in WHO reforms
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
 
Description key project findings and recommendations on accountability were reflected in the World Bank's Strategy document published in October 2013
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
 
Title Revised Accountability Assessment Framework 
Description The Accountabiltiy Assessment Framework is a framework of methods and indicators for assessing the degree of accountability attained by an institution. It has been applied to government, non-government, private sector and multi-lateral/global institutions. It was originally developed by the One World Trust (our partners in this project) and was updated and revised as a result of this project. It is freely available under the Creative Commons Licence. The data in the boxes below refers to the REVISED tool that resulted from this project. The original AAF was available to users since 2007. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The accountability structures and processes in a number of agencies have been revised and improved as a result of the application of this tool. Specifically, in relation to our study, the World Bank undertook high level discussions with the project team to revise its internal accountability processes. Many of our one-to-one recommensations were subsequently reflected in their revised procedures and documents. 
 
Description Accountability and Engagement of Global Institutions Involved in Climate Change 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation poster presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster presented at the Planet Under Pressure conference, London March 2012.

It outlines the phases and purpose of the Climate Governance study then describes the Pathways to Accountability II framework and provides accountability findings for the 3 global organisations according to the framework. It also includes preliminary findings on the organisations' responsiveness to and engagement with climate change.

Poster was visited by a range of viewers who asked questions - the preliminary findings were well received.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Invited briefing and disussion meeting with accountability assessment panel within the IBRD 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact After IBRD representatives attended our project workshop at which we presented preliminary findings on institutional accountability, they invited the PI and Co-PI to engage in a formal meeting with the IBRD's internal accountability assessment panel, to further discuss the implications of our findings for IBRD practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Lecture at Science Po, Paris 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact A lecture on global institutional response to climate change to students at the prestigious Science Po university in Paris.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Power, Equity and Accountability in Global Climate Change Governance 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation poster presentation
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This poster was presented at the Population Footprints conference in London on 25 and 26 May 2011. The poster summarises the four spheres of investigation of the global climate change governance project and explains the rationale for the choice of case study organisations and the country reference study. A number of questions were asked by viewers of the poster during the interactive session.

None that can be directly related to our contribution - the conference itself recieved widespread press coverage.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Project workshop with key stakeholders and leading researchers from the UK. Participants were from: DFID, ESRC, NGOs (INTRAC and One World Trust) and Universities (LSHTM, Oxford, UCL, LSE, Kings, Sheffield, Exeter, Sussex, Warwick) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Project findings presented for discussion. Participants were highly engaged and debated both the findings and methodological approaches and the wider implications of the study.

High level of engagement from participants and requests for publications/reports arising from the research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Project workshop with key stakeholders and leading researchers from the US (hosted for us by the IBRD in Washington) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Project findings on IBRD, WHO, WTO, DFID and Ghana were presented to key stakeholders and leading researchers including from: IBRD (from Sustainable Development and the independent high-level Inspection Panel); Universities of Yale, Colombia, New York, American, Colorado State and Toronto. Excellent engagement and discussion of the presentations and the implications of the findings for further research, policy and practice as well as further ideas for analysis.

IBRD requested one-to-one meeting between the research team and the IBRD team responsible for internal accountability procedures and also representatives from the independent Inspection Panel.
The World Bank Group's strategy published in October 2013 https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/16095/32824_ebook.pdf?sequence=5 takes up challenges that we put to the Bank representatives at this follow-on meeting around: transparent use and response to evidence; consolidated strategy tracking at WBG level; and mainstreaming of organisational accountability including, and with particular focus on, a multidisciplinary and multisectoral set of stakeholders including civil society.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/16095/32824_ebook.pdf?sequence=5
 
Description Project workshop with key stakeholders in climate governance in Ghana 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact The workshop presented key findings from the Ghana data to stimluate discussion and feedback including views on the authenticity and validity of the findings and discussion of their implications for future policy action and decision making on climate governance in Ghana.
The workshop was attended by members of the University of Ghana (who had been involved in compiling reports and reserach evidence to inform policy decision making), donors (including Denmark and the Netherlands), Ministry of Health officials and NGOs (both international and national) active in the field. There was considerable interest from the participants and some rich debate.

University of Ghana researchers contacted the PI to request references and information on theoretical frameworks used in this study and related work on analysis of policy and governance.
NGOs who attended expressed commitment to being more pro-active in seeking to influence government agencies to commit to resourcing their policy commitments on climate change (though we cannot verify whether this actually occured).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013