Dominant stakeholders, activity and accountability discharge in the CSO Sector

Carolyn J. Cordery, Dalice Sim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) comprise a diverse range of associations, including NGOs, community groups, political parties and social networks. Nevertheless, despite heterogeneity, regulators, funders and donors often treat CSOs as homogeneous when demanding accountability. This paper highlights differences in to whom CSOs across different categories (or types) perceive themselves to be accountable, what for, and the different practices they undertake to discharge accountability. It calls for stakeholders to acknowledge diversity in accountability across different CSO types. This survey-based research finds CSOs weight upwards and downwards stakeholders equally, and undertake voluminous reporting. They would benefit from negotiating multiple-use mechanisms, especially with dominant stakeholders. In combining stakeholder and accountability theory, the research highlights specific CSO types needing further study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-96
JournalFinancial Accountability and Management
Issue number2
Early online date17 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [Dominant stakeholders, activity and accountability discharge in the CSO Sector
Cordery, C. J. & Sim, D. 17 Oct 2017 In : Financial Accountability and Management. 34, 2, 20 p., DOI: 10.1111/faam.12144], which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


  • NGO accountability
  • Membership NGOs
  • Advocacy NGOs
  • Social Service NGOs
  • Charities
  • Infrastructure NGOs
  • ; Foundation accountability


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