“Accountability is a mirror that shows not only your face, but also your back.” World Vision Ethiopia’s Accountability Learning Initiative

March 2016 | Sarah Cechvala, and Isabella Jean

Suggested Citation: Cechvala, Sarah, and Isabella Jean. “Accountability is a mirror that shows not only your face, but also your back.” CDA-World Vision Ethiopia Feedback Loops Case Study. Cambridge, MA: CDA Collaborative Learning Projects, March 2016.


This case study is a result of a learning partnership between CDA, World Vision UK (WV UK), and World Vision Ethiopia (WVE). It documents WVE’s experience integrating accountability and feedback loops into long-term development programs. World Vision and CDA collaboratively seek to document emerging lessons on feedback utilization in organizational decision-making, course correction, and program review and redesign.

The case study represents a snapshot of the experiences and viewpoints shared at the time of the field visit. Broad generalizations cannot be made from a single case study; instead; it is meant to contribute to a larger learning process on feedback loops. This case study, and others was written to allow for the identification of cross-cutting issues and themes across a range of situations.

The primary focus of this case is to document lessons learned during WVE’s pilot of the Accountability Learning Initiative (ALI) project. The ALI project is a WV UK-funded initiative, which provides funding to several country offices (Pakistan, Nepal, Somalia, and Ethiopia) to examine and improve existing accountability practices in their development programming in order to enhance or improve such practices.

CDA collaborated with World Vision Ethiopia and World Vision UK to produce this case study. This collaboration was made possible with funds from World Vision UK and by UK Aid from the UK government; however, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.

Where Should the Feedback Function Sit?

Determining the Institutional Location for the feedback function

If we want to see change informed by local feedback, what elements are vital? While perhaps less ‘sexy’ than real-time SMS feedback channels, the decision on where to anchor your feedback mechanism within your institution has a significant impact on its effectiveness and your ability to utilize the data it generates. This blog traces CDA’s evidence regarding the institutional location of feedback systems, and provides questions for practitioners seeking to strengthen their accountability mechanisms and processes. Continue reading.

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