Horizontal accountability is a practice that has developed as a result of Almere’s innovative practice of Outcome Oriented Finance.
Parallel to the development of OOF a demand came about among the partners and in the city administration that partners are also accountable to eachother rather than only to the city. To implement this horizontal accountability would enhance cooperation between partners and would improve the social outcomes as a whole in the city. Partners would step out of their silo’s and be more aware of eachothers goals and activities. By doing so the risk of overlap of activities and of hiatuses would be deminished, again leading to more efficient and effective input and outcomes.
This best practice was first introduced in 2010. The organisation responsible for citizen well-being which at that time was the only organisation under the OOF regime, was asked to carry out a “story telling session” by the city to make their work better known among other partners and also within the city organisation. In the next year the tree largest organisations who were active in the social domain decided to join forces and organize the “strory telling sessien” together and show how their activities, output .
This practice relates to the TITTAN project in the sense that it is an example of how to involve end-users and (social) care providers in the policy making cycle. Not only are these organisations accountable to their funding authority (ie. Local Government/Municipality) but also directly to eachother and the public. This pushes an integral approach of societal challenges (ageing/digitalization)
N/A This is an innovation in the "going concern" of the city and it's partners. Did not require implementation funding. At the core of the development of this system are 1 fte policy advise and 1 fte support. However throughout the city within the partner organizations many are involved.
Evidence of success
HA in itself does not directly lead to new markets. It mainly improves the quality of accountability and it helps the city and her partners to realize better outcomes in the social domain. These outcomes are directly linked to innovation in care, prevention in an ageing society.
The main barrier is in the area of culture and fear of/adversity to change. The old Silo/output-thinking vs. The new Partnership/outcome-thinking.
Potential for learning or transfer
For all partners it has become clear that no single individual organisation can bring about social change by itself and that it is senseless to make organisations individualy accountable for social outcome. Only a joint effort and dedication will achieve change and will lead to a better practice and execution of social policy.
Partnership is stronger and leads to more sustainable results/outcome than hierachical relationships between investor/financier and suppliers.
The city of Almere can teach other municipalities or governmental bodies how to implement this system of horizontal accountability as it is doing within the Netherlands. It applies to both subsidized partners and public procurement. The central idea is to have a shared responsability for societal outcomes of public policy.