Accountability in Voluntary Partnerships: To Whom and for What?

This paper contributes to the understanding of accountability in collaborative governance by presenting views of practitioners from partnerships formed between K-12 public schools and private and nonprofit organizations in the United States. It focuses on two questions: what do partnership practitioners see the partnerships as being accountable for? And to whom do they see the partnerships as being accountable? The findings suggest that partnership participants reveal more of client-based and results-oriented views of accountability. They are more directly concerned about professional accountability and accountability to the partners. A concentric-circles model is then developed to illustrate the accountability relationships in partnerships.