Is there a place for “compliance” in democracy assistance; or would that be inconvenient?

Is it time, with democracy facing so many challenges, and questions from taxpayers about what is and is not worth paying for, for compliance to become a recognized part of democracy assistance?

I would not suggest that compliance in democracy assistance would be taken as seriously as in, say, the defense industry where I used to work, or in health care where I work now, but why couldn’t we apply some minimum standards and functions of the type that are routinely used to other types of assistance to seek to at least make sure that democracy assistance functions under controlled and repeatable processes that can be managed in accordance with law and pre-established rules. For instance, what is transparent and what is secret, and if secret on what terms and among whom?

As I was finishing up my temporary duty working in democracy assistance with the International Republican Institute a trend was starting for “[self]Monitoring and Evaluation” as part of the portfolio of democracy assistance enterprises. Academic institutions are now even offering degrees. Why not add Compliance?

One thought on “Is there a place for “compliance” in democracy assistance; or would that be inconvenient?

  1. There is a definite need for robust evaluation of the impact of democracy assistance in such countries as Kenya; compliance standards need to be enforced. Between 1981 and 1990 my primary role within the Africa Regional Office of Family Planning Intrrnational Assistsnce /PPFA was ensuring compliance with the letter and spirit of our USAID contracts and grants; compliance is, however, not the same as performance evaluation.

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