The Governance of Non-Legal Entities: An exploration into the challenges facing collaborative, multistakeholder enterprises that are hosted by institutions
In 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, "Type 2 Partnerships" emerged as a key international mechanism for moving towards sustainable development. At the time, a coalition of Southern civil society organizations (CSOs) took the position that a strong follow-up mechanism must be put in place, including areas of monitoring, reporting, accountability and external evaluation for the implementation of these partnerships. To date, little has emerged to address the concerns of southern CSOs, specifically with reference to decision-making and accountability mechanisms for these partnerships. One might argue that, in practice, Type 2 partnerships and other large networks are less transparent than the institutions hosting and funding them. Annual reports and audited financial statements, which are the generally accepted accountability mechanisms for the not-for-profit sector, are not required of these non-legal entities. This paper is an exploration into these issues, based on IISD's consulting work with networks and partnerships, and three case studies.