Questions to Evaluate Accountability Process and Impact

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Intro and Sources

Below is a collection of evaluative questions for processes based on our group discussions, the Creative Interventions Toolkit, Kay Pranis’ community strengthening questions posed during her webinar titled “Individual and Collective Accountability in a Restorative Framework,” and the other background knowledge of our accountability process consultant, Aida. We are posting these so the public can see what are some of the questions we’re asking ourselves through this process. Part of our work is to be reflective and responsive to changing circumstances, as well as transparent as we can to those following along.

We will be posting a snapshot of our answers to these later on as well.

Where are we along the staircase of accountability?

Based on the Creative Interventions toolkit:

In this Toolkit, we talk about accountability as a staircase. You can start one step at a time, and you can measure progress each step of the way. Although we use this staircase to show steps towards accountability and a vision of positive and transformative change, an intervention may never reach any of these steps. Intervention goals may only anticipate reaching Step 1 as a measure of success. And, rather than walking up the staircase one step at a time, one might consider the progression as more of a dance — one may be dealing with more than one step at a time and at times may move from one step to another and back again. (source)

Image from Creative Interventions Toolkit displaying the steps on the staircase of accountability, as listed in text above

Here are the questions that we are asking ourselves as we move through this process:

What are emotional and/or material improvements to the harmed parties that have already occurred or might occur soon as a result of our work?

Did these interventions create new healthy relationships or strengthen positive pre-existing ones? If so, how? If not, how could this be addressed?

Did these interventions increase empathy and increase the ability of understanding the impact of our behavior on others? If so, how? If not, how could this be addressed?

Did these interventions increase the skills for conflict resolution or problem-solving by ordinary citizens? If so, how? If not, how could this be addressed?

Did these interventions increase the commitment to the common good of the community? If so, how? If not, how could this be addressed?

Did these interventions increase the capacity to envision and work toward a positive future for both individuals and the community as a whole? If so, how? If not, how could this be addressed?

Did these interventions increase the community capacity to create reflective spaces for community dialogue? If so, how? If not, how could this be addressed?