RE: Neutrality-impartiality-independence. At which stage of the evaluation is each concept important?   | Eval Forward

On Accountability

If I were told that I am accountable for certain actions of mine, I would be in a very awkward position unless I knew ---

   • What I am accountable for and

   • To whom I am accountable.

As far as I can see, I would not be able to make a sensible response to the query whether I have successfully accounted for my actions unless and until I have received reasonable answers to these two questions.

Now, if my actions are guided by the norms of several groups, for instance, fund providers, political poltroonery etc., on the one hand, and one or more concrete needs of a social group on the other, my position will be extremely difficult with respect to the two questions above.

Then, are my actions to be accountable with reference to ---

   • Norms of the fund provider,

   • A parcel of politicians or

   • One or more concrete needs of a social group my actions are intended to satisfy?

So far in this discussion, most participants seem to believe that the answers to above questions are reconcilable. Indeed, in a cooperative world it would be so, but most people champion a competitive environment.

The same difficulty becomes even more glaring, when one has to face fund providers, politicians and the most vociferous representatives  of a ‘target group.’

Perhaps, it is time the evaluators paused for a moment to check their basic premises carefully, for when we face what may seem irreconcilable, an impartial examination of our premises would show us that one or more of them is untenable.

The perceptive reader may already have noticed that ‘neutrality’, ‘impartiality’ and ‘objectivity’ are terms relative to the norms used by fund providers, politicians, target groups not to mention what is humourously called ‘media’. Under these circumstances, ‘independence’ becomes an extremely questionable notion.