Mutual Accountability and Adult Literacy: Research Brief (2009)

This research brief focuses on the mutual accountability between the funder and the provider of a literacy service. It is part of a two-year project examining the impact of accountability policies and practices on the field of adult literacy.

The author notes that generally, accountability is seen to have two aspects: financial and performance. Financial accountability usually means that money should be spent on the things funders intended. More challenging is the concept of “value for money” or “return on investment.”
The author says that mutual accountability is clearly a worthy goal, but if accountability is too one-sided, programs can be jeopardized by overly burdensome reporting requirements. At the same time, funders risk not achieving their goals if performance standards are unclear or if measurement tools are inadequate.

These concerns might be addressed by a full mutual accountability that leads to genuine agreement about goals, expectations, and outcomes, the author says. But that process brings with it the danger of becoming so engrossed in the process that accountability goals are not reached.

The author includes a list of references consulted while researching this brief.

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APA citation
Robin Houston-Knopff. Mutual Accountability and Adult Literacy: Research Brief 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2022 <>
Robin Houston-Knopff (2009). Mutual Accountability and Adult Literacy: Research Brief. Retrieved November 27, 2022, from
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