David Melvin

Special Issue

Preparing Non-Profits For New Accountability Demands

Authors:
Pages:
93-112

While the role of non-profits in Canadian society has always been important, the sector now plays a greater role as more and more government services have been transferred to the sector as part of the move towards governance over government. Complementing this changing role is the need, within both government and the sector itself, to enhance accountability and transparency based on evidence. While program evaluation offers a viable tool to achieve these ends, there is a great deal of apprehension that must be overcome, as must the lack of a sound infrastructure of technical leadership capacity within the non-profits sector. This article examines these challenges within the context of non-profits in the social/health or human services areas. It suggests building evaluation capacity through a particular approach to evaluation courses. It examines the role of the non-profits, an approach to teaching, the role of funders and educational institutions in developing this capacity. The capacity to conduct evaluation has been ignored by funders who may mandate an evaluation with the unrealistic intent of it providing accountability.