"Listen First" is a draft set of tools and approaches that NGOs can use to make themselves more accountable to the people they serve.

Improving accountability

Research shows that NGOs deliver high quality work when they are accountable to the people they aim to serve. (See the academic paper.)

But, curiously, NGOs do not generally manage this accountability on a systematic basis. It is often left up to individual managers, while organisations pay more attention to being accountable to donors.

The Listen First project aimed to research practical ways of managing accountability to intended beneficiaries, on a systematic basis.

It was carried out by Concern and Mango, from 2006 - 2008. It involved over 530 people, field work in 6 different field sites and academic research.

What's on this website

This website presents the main tools, methods and reports from the research project. We hope other NGOs and researchers may find them useful, as they develop their own work.

  • NGO staff may be particularly interested in the practical materials.
  • Researchers may be particularly interested in the reports.

All the materials are offered in a spirit of collaboration. They are not guaranteed, and will need to be carefully adapted to your own circumstances.

Please help us improve the approaches further, and learn more about this critical area of work. Contact us with any comments or questions.