The Transparency and Accountability Network
The Tr-Ac-Net vision is that power of knowledge should help the world use its
resources and its technological capacity in ways that are equitable and do not
impose on people's rights. There are enough people who want this, and there
are the technical capabilities to make it happen.
The Tr-Ac-Net mission is to facilitate improvement in the performance of relief
and development by focus on the effectiveness of the use of funds, the use of
resources to achieve community level progress and the use of technology to
make management information for relief and development effective and universal
Who make up Tr-Ac-Net
Tr-Ac-Net is a network of professional individuals and organizations committed to success
in development. The goal is action more than advocacy, and a belief that good information
can be a driver of change and improved decision making and operational performance. The
organization has been slowly emerging over a period of several years and in 2005 has been
establishing programs to turn ideas into practice. The professional network of Tr-Ac-Net
is international with active members in North America, Europe, Africa, South Asia,
Who funds Tr-Ac-Net?
Tr-Ac-Net has been funded by family and friends. Up to now the network and its professional
tools have been developed through voluntary contribution of time and effort. Now the program
has grown, new arrangements for financial and volunteer have been made. Tr-Ac-Net is
cooperating with Ecologia Virtual Foundation (EVF) to expand the funding and support available to
Tr-Ac-Net. Under this cooperation, EVF serves as a fiscal agent for Tr-Ac-Net in the USA and
donations to EVF earmarked for Tr-Ac-Net are tax deductable.
Transparency and Accountability
People know very little about economic fund flows, and where the money is
going. There is now a lot of dialog about transparency and accountability (T&A)
and it is good that T&A is now on the relief and development agenda. But the
underlying changes needed to have better decision making and more relief and
development performance have hardly started. Tr-Ac-Net has the goal of making
T&A an effective integral part of the relief and development process so that
donors and beneficiaries are well served.
The Tr-Ac-Net premise is that management information is central to good decision
making for relief and development and the basis for socio-economic progress.
Tr-Ac-Net wants to encourage very good accounting and management information and
wants to change the mindset that more information is needed for better decisions.
It is more of the right information and less of everything else.
Community Centric Sustainable Development (CCSD)
Tr-Ac-Net puts the community as the central focus of relief and development.
Performance is measured in the community, and aggregates development from the
community level. Communities in the 'south' have a lot of knowledge, but have
not made a lot of progress during the past several decades. Tr-Ac-Net has a
philosopy and structure that makes CCSD an efficient way to utilize resources
for relief and development progress.
Tr-Ac-Net recognises some of the transparency and accountability issues are
difficult for organizations and provides help in ways that respect the integrity
or the organizational entity while also satisfying the need for better sharing
of information. Tr-Ac-Net has an approach to Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
that makes it more effective and less costly than traditional M&E.
The Tr-Ac-Net approach uses analytical methods to give early warning
about performance and active feedback to improve activities.
Resource Flow Transparency
Tr-Ac-Net answers the question of what happens to funds that are disbursed for
relief and development in all its forms. To the extent that the answer is that
nobody knows, the information can be used to make decisions about allocation
of scarce resources.
An Internet accessible database of key information about development is
being implemented. It was started in its first phase at the end of 2003.
The goal is to put all the information that is needed to understand
development performance into an 'open access' system. The database
content is designed to improve decision making, to help assess
development performance and to make independent reliable management
information for development easily available. The database is Internet accessible.
In its first phase the implementation was done using an open access Wiki. The
ongoing development of the database is being phased to add functionality
as the content matures. The database embraces the concept of open access.
Everyone is welcome to use and contribute to the common pool of information.
Information is only of management value when it is reliable. The content of the
database is subject to validation by Tr-Ac-Net members.
Dialog about relief and development issues
Sharing information that is already known is better than ignoring existing data
and repeating mistakes. International socio-economic development is complex and
there are thousands of issues. The database is host to a dialog about issues and
ways in which problems can be addressed and solutions implemented.
Community information is the foundation for metrics about relief and
development. There is very little data about community performance that
is easily accessible, yet it is community that has the most impact on
an individual and a family's quality of life. Certainly the ORDA community
has done studies and community development, but the associated metrics have
never been established.
In any community, there are a range of activities that go on all the time
simply to sustain life and provide food, water, clothes and shelter for the
family. In addition there are other activities that can be implemented to
improve the quality of life and provide durable benefit for the community.
Tr-Ac-Net aims to help bring critical activity metrics into consideration
as part of management information about relief and development, and a way
of managing relief and development resources.
Organizations have a set of metrics that are defined for reporting to the
oversight authorities, and other metrics that are used internally to measure
organizational performance. Broadly speaking, there is little measurement of
the organizations use of resources and the related impact on relief and
development performance. Tr-Ac-Net aims to help link the community level
performance, with the activities and the organizations in a comprehensive
systemic analysis framework.
Tr-Ac-Net is organized so that there is much more reliable information
being compiled so that it is easily accessible about relief and development
resource flows and the actual use of the resource.
The text being discussed is available at