Accountable to beneficiaries? : the modern development enterprise & its contractors at war : lessons on accountability from Afghanistan to inform the contracting reform agenda
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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This thesis will review the most relevant existing and proposed accountability mechanisms for private development and security contractors coming out of the human rights, public administration and anti-corruption fields. These three fields were selected because first, they directly shape the policy discourse around contractor accountability. Second, they each have a different emphasis or bias in their policy recommendations. Human rights advocates, for instance, are largely concerned about applying legal frameworks to and extending jurisdiction over private military and security contractors. Since private development companies by and large rely on PMSCs in lieu of adequate military security, this perspective is important to ensure development contractor accountability. Human rights discourse thus, primarily emphasizes legal accountability mechanisms. The anti-corruption field focuses on political accountability mechanisms for private contractors through initiatives to increase transparency and facilitate better governance. Lastly, public administration discourse encompasses a series of bureaucratic procedures and regulations that institutionalize accountability mechanisms through reporting, database creation, and standard operating protocols. In the human rights, anti-corruption and public administration fields, there is a cross cutting emphasis on professional accountability, whereby individual experts or firms are both internally accountable to a code of conduct and externally accountable to their peers and industry partners. But none of the existing American accountability mechanisms includes accountability to beneficiaries. Accountability is embedded within a series of relationships, whereby one party has the right to demand information, voice their opinions in a public forum and have enough leverage to impose sanctions or give rewards to another party. All present reform efforts however, continue to reinforce upwards, monetary accountability to donors, while marginalizing the ability of beneficiaries to hold private contractors accountable. The question this thesis will try to answer is: As American development projects are increasingly contracted out to private actors in conflict contexts, how should we reframe the concept and practice of "accountability" towards beneficiaries?
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, June 2011."June 2011." Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 85-92).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.