Accountability: the core concepts and its subtypes

The concept of accountability has become increasingly popular in diverse fields including development policy. This working paper from the Overseas Development Institute argues that new meanings and dimensions risk diluting its content and creating conceptual confusion - with significant implications for empirical analysis. A classic approach to concept formation is required, which suggests that accountability refers to a class of concepts under the category ‘methods of limiting power’. It is important to distinguish between accountability and responsiveness.