Added value

The Accountability Maturity Assessment Model (AMAM) proposes an innovative approach to increase system-wide accountability. AMAM uses relational accountability to recognize the distinctive characteristics of different United Nations entities while highlighting gaps, inter-dependencies and solutions for intra-organizational learning, and uses these to map paths to reduce redundancy and increase efficiency. AMAM is a user-centered tool that gives stakeholders quantitative and qualitative analyses, as well as clear visuals, to:


Assess relational accountability in a specific organizational context: the actions that create the premise or structure for stakeholders’ interactions, or that rely on the established process of stakeholders’ interactions. These interactions may be among members of the same stakeholder group (e.g., Member State negotiations or inter-agency platforms) or in between organized groups of stakeholders (e.g., between Member States, Observers and the Administration at a Governing Bodies meeting).


Evaluate process-dependent as well as outcome-oriented measurements, focusing on results without neglecting United Nations’ distinctive feature as a deliberative and consensus-building forum, but highlighting gaps in much-needed corrective measures or structural disincentives.


Analyze comprehensively and discuss issues on their merits: structural trade-offs, inter-dependencies, limiting factors and organizational incentives in between the dimensions.

Example: There is a general inverse relationship between procedural burden, and procedural regularity, on the one hand, and implementation and agility on the other: the more one increases the former, the more one creates obstacles for the latter; likewise, innovation and/or agility cannot increase without addressing administrative and procedural impediments. Furthermore, procedural burden can undermine procedural regularity by creating informal incentives to circumvent regularity, undermining effective implementation and generating systemic risks.


Contextualize recommendations according to desired organizational environment.

Example: Comparatively high procedural burden may be constructive in a headquarters-intensive, normative agency, with little knock-on effects if there is no organizational mandate for high-tempo field operations. This trade-off would, however, be counterproductive for an organization with a humanitarian field implementation, in which speed and agility are paramount for effectiveness.


Identify opportunities for system-wide improved cost efficiencies and effectiveness.

Relational accountability is the key to understanding how these trade-offs are created and how they can be brought into equilibrium, for efficiency and effectiveness.