Accountability Self-Check (ASC) 2012

Accountability Self-Check (ASC) is a tool for regularly assessing NGO accountability, and is also a system for NGOs to disclose their organizational structure and improvement efforts. It is set up so that by providing a clear account of these efforts to improve, the tool can be used by those engaged in the management of the organization to help people understand its work.

Organization
JapanJapan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC)
Background

The ASC was created for use as a self-assessment tool by NGOs for capacity building, enabling that NGOs in Japan to earn the public’s trust. The tool was developed through long consultations with various NGOs to incorporate their opinions. It is composed of 41 items in four different fields that were created in consideration of the situation and laws of Japan while also taking international standards into account.

Target / Intended users

NGOs in the field of international cooperation are the target for this tool, which allows organizations, big or small, and regardless of location or legal status, to promote accountability by assessing their activities.

Sections / components

Organizational Management Standards

  1. Aim
  2. Organization and Management
  3. Finances
  4. Staff Development
  5. Protection and Sharing of Information

Project Implementation Standards

  1. General
  2. Planning
  3. Implementation and Monitoring
  4. Reporting and Evaluation

Accounting Standards

  1. Basic Rules
  2. Daily Accounts Processing
  3. Budget and Settlement of Accounts

Information Disclosure Standards

  1. General
Check sheet availability

Yes

Accountability Self-Check (ASC) : PDF

Issue certification?

Yes

This is not, however, a conventional certification system in which the organization is evaluated by a third party. It uses the self-assessment method, based on the idea that the key to continued engagement in accountability efforts is for those involved to actively participate in the process and gain awareness. Organizations that follow the designated process and complete the procedure receive the ASC Mark, which they can use in their publicity materials (e.g. annual report).

Time required

Around 2 hours

Evaluation method

Yes or No regarding 41 items in four fields.
Takes place with documents prepared in advance and the presence of three or more staff members and an observer.

Note: From the perspective that the key to accountability is for all those involved in the organization to join together in the effort, a self-assessment is required of people from three different standpoints within the organization:

  1. Representative or board member
  2. Managing director or office general manager
  3. Office staff (in principle with over two years of experience at the organization)

In addition to the three people above, it is required that an NGO-related personnel or JANIC staff member appointed by JANIC’s Chairperson be present as an observer to ensure objectivity, so that the ASC indicators are checked with the correct understanding.

Preparation of the following is also required: 1) 16 organizational documents (e.g. annual report, accounts); 2) recommended documents (where possible) (e.g. medium to long-term plan, privacy policy); and 3) computer or like through which the orgtion’s website and shared folders can be accessed.

Tool creation date

2012 (revised version of ASC2008, published in 2008)

Prevalence

Used by 61 NGOs in Japan


Invitation

We are on a lookout to find good accountability practices in Asia-Pacific. If you feel that your organization provides a good example, use the following form to send us the information! If you have a question, please contact us.