Greasing the Wheels of the Accountability System: How Civil Society Organizations Close the Gap between Transparency and Accountability

This paper addresses the most critical question for activists and scholars of accountability: how and when does transparency lead to greater accountability? Civil society organizations (CSOs), development practitioners, and governments have given much attention to the publication of government information over the past decade, but their assumption that this would lead to greater accountability has often been disappointed.


Albert van Zyl

Country Manager, South Africa , International Budget Partnership

Albert van Zyl is the International Budget Partnership’s (IBP) South Africa Country Manager. van Zyl joined IBP in 2005 from South Africa where he established and managed the macroeconomic analysis and budget offices in the Western Cape Treasury. Before that he worked at the Budget Information Service (BIS) at the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) and directed it from 2000-2002. Most recently he worked as IBP’s Director of Strategy and Learning. Van Zyl holds MA degrees in Politics, Philosophy, and Economy from the Universities of Stellenbosch and Bordeaux, France. He has been published on a range of public finance issues including CSO oversight of budgets, fiscal policy, social service finance, budget transparency, and subnational finance.

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