Civil society organizations in Honduras, especially the more formal nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), have become formidable force in national development policy and politics. With this status has come a responsibility to be accountable to all those who have enabled them.

This research paper first analyzes whether key stakeholders, directly or indirectly related to NGOs, address accountability issues. Second, it discusses an accountability training developed by the researcher to help determine what the public knows about NGOs in Honduras, and how it perceives them. Third, the paper summarizes the results obtained from a questionnaire proposed as an accountability tool and designed to evaluate three organizational capacities: structure and governance; human and financial resources management; and performance and impact. The design includes cross-cut lines measuring legitimacy, credibility and transparency. The main purpose for presenting the questionnaire was to measure its acceptance and usefulness as an NGO accountability tool.

The study concluded that Honduran NGOs often lack internal systems or mechanisms for addressing accountability issues of transparency, credibility and legitimacy. Moreover, there is no consensus about if and how NGOs should respond to this situation, partially due to lack of clarity and partially due to distrust of motives. However, there are some recent initiatives that offer promise. And the response to the proposed accountability tool developed by the author was generally positive. As elsewhere, it is critical that NGOs in Honduras adopt one or more of these mechanisms so if they are to continue playing a key role in shaping the country’s future.


Public Administration | Social Welfare