This design and methods paper sets out how the authors will explore the
conditions under which legislative bodies succeed or fail in holding
accountable public agencies of the executive as well as the executive’s
own capacity for being accountable. Argentina and Kenya are used as case
studies to generate evidence for lessons that may be applicable for
Africa and Latin America more generally.
Accountability expresses the concern for checks and oversight, for
surveillance and institutional constraints on the exercise of power. In
democracies, Congress (Latin America) or Parliament (Africa) is expected
to exercise the role of monitoring and providing control on the
Executive branch. By taking into account the opacity of power, it seeks
to reduce uncertainties that come from it, limit arbitrariness and
prevent or even remedy abuses, maintaining power within certain
predetermined rules. However, in both Latin America and Africa, there
seems to be gaps in accountability mechanisms. Both the ill development
of relevant norms regarding sanctions and the distance between formal
institutions and actual practices of accountability are some of the main
deficits of democracies in many developing countries.
Mihyo, P.; Musahara, H.; Mukuna, T.E.; Aquilino, N.; Pomares, J. Determinants of Gaps in Horizontal Accountability of Executive to Legislative Bodies in Latin America and Africa. Practical Action, Lima, Peru (2015) 23 pp.