The Science and Innovation for Development Center (SCiDEV) is a think tank based in Tirana, Albania, committed to driving sustainable social and economic development in the Western Balkans. Our work spans four key pillars: democracy, good governance, and EU integration; media and democracy; research to society links; and digital transformation. As a relatively new organization, we understand the importance of accountability in delivering on our mission. That’s why we’ve made dynamic accountability a central focus of our practices.
In this blog post, I will share with you some of the ways we’ve implemented dynamic accountability at SCiDEV. We believe that transparency and accountability are essential components of our work, and we’ve strived to incorporate them into our practices in a variety of ways. From our annual reports and financial audits to our commitment to open access and knowledge sharing, as well as ongoing learning, we try to reflect, learn and improve on an ongoing basis. Additionally, we prioritize collaboration, synergy, and coordination with partners and stakeholders at national and regional level.
Furthermore, as part of the Regional Accountability Community of Practice, we hope to contribute to the ongoing conversation around accountability and share our experiences and practices with others, but also to learn from other organisations as well.
At SCiDEV, we are seeking to strengthen a culture of transparency and collaboration that permeates all of our work. To achieve this, we’ve implemented some practices to promote dynamic accountability.
One of our established practices to promote transparency is through open access publishing of our research and data sharing. We make our research and data available to all stakeholders and the wider public through open access channels, such as our website and social media accounts, sharing via dedicated email lists. By doing so, we aim to ensure that our findings are accessible and understandable to everyone who might benefit from them.
In addition, we conduct targeted communication campaigns to share our findings more widely. This includes publishing research reports on our website, hosting webinars or workshops, or collaborating with media outlets to share our research with a broader audience. Through these efforts, we hope to increase the impact of our work and contribute to the development of evidence-based policies and practices that can benefit society as a whole.
Another critical component of our dynamic accountability practices is our annual reports and auditing of financial reports. These tools help us ensure that we are transparent about our activities, funding sources, and expenditures. We also have gender equality compliance in place to promote inclusivity in our work, and we regularly assess our practices to ensure we are upholding our commitments.
We believe that accountability is not just about reporting on our activities but also about continuous learning and improvement. That’s why we use monitoring and evaluation, stakeholder feedback, and continuous learning to assess our work’s impact and identify areas where we can improve. By embracing dynamic accountability in this way, we hope to foster a culture of transparency, collaboration, and continuous learning that benefits our organization and the communities we serve.
As a small and growing organization, SCiDEV faces several challenges in promoting dynamic accountability. One of our biggest challenges is limited resources and human capital. With a small team of dedicated professionals, we work hard to drive social and economic development in the Western Balkans, but we often struggle to keep up with demand. Additionally, fundraising is a constant challenge for us. As a non-profit organization, we rely on grants and donations to fund our work, but securing funding can be a time-consuming and highly competitive process.
Another significant challenge we face is the rapid pace of digital development. As a think tank focused on promoting digital transformation, we need to stay ahead of the curve in terms of technological advancements and digital practices. This requires a constant commitment to learning, adaptation, and innovation, which is not always an easy process for us.
Despite these challenges, we remain committed to promoting dynamic accountability in our work. We believe that transparency, collaboration, and continuous learning are essential components for our growth as organisation. Through our practices and experiences, we hope to contribute to the broader community of CSOs and stakeholders in the region who are working towards the same goal.
As part of our commitment to dynamic accountability, SCiDEV is eager to contribute to the Regional Accountability Community of Practice for CSOs in Western Balkans. Through our experiences and practices, we believe we can offer valuable insights to fellow practitioners.
For example, we can share our strategies for open access publishing, data sharing, and targeted communication campaigns, as well as our practices for conducting annual reports and auditing financial reports. We can also offer insights into our gender equality compliance and stakeholder engagement practices, which aim to promote inclusivity and collaboration in our work.
Furthermore, we can contribute to discussions on innovative solutions to challenges such as limited resources and fundraising. As a small and new think tank, we have learned to be resourceful and creative in our approaches to these challenges, and we believe that sharing our experiences can benefit others in the community.
Ultimately, our goal is to engage in ongoing learning and growth, reflecting on our practices and taking in feedback from the community. By contributing to the Regional Accountability Community of Practice, we hope to build stronger relationships with fellow practitioners and drive positive change in the Western Balkans.