A partnership of NGOs improved accountability in REDD+ programs through policy advocacy and research in Brazil, Cameroon and Indonesia

The World Resources Institute (WRI), through NGO partnerships within the Governance of Forest Initiative (GFI), has contributed to improved accountability for REDD+ programs in Brazil, Cameroon and Indonesia by advocating policy-makers at national and sub-national levels.


World Resources Institute, global research organization

WRI and its partners have also generated new knowledge on how to institutionalize accountability in REDD+ programs at an overall level.

The purpose of the project was to help ensure that decision-makers planning and implementing REDD+ programs are accountable to the needs of rural people.

Why did Norway decide to support this project?

The justification of the project was that weak accountability is posing a threat to REDD+ programs by breeding mistrust among stakeholders working with forest governance.

WRI stated that weak accountability in REDD+ would especially lead stakeholders to doubt whether REDD+ programs will deliver on social outcomes for rural people, indigenous groups and women.

Weak accountability may also exacerbate existing conflicts over land, forest resources and related economic benefits. According to WRI accountability in the context of REDD+ involves not only governments but also international donors, private investors and project developers.

WRI has worked with REDD+ since 2006 as a highly recognized source of analysis and innovation, and has worked with governance matters in REDD+ in two previous Norad funded projects. Norad assessed the organization of being highly competent and the project to be relevant to the goals of the Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative for each of the targeted countries.

The project focused on the following two outcomes

Outcome 1: The REDD+ Accountability Project will generate new knowledge (e.g., innovative approaches, best practices, lessons) on how to institutionalize accountability in emerging international, national, and sub-national REDD+ programs and frameworks. This knowledge will inform policy decisions and actions of REDD+ funders, policy-makers, and practitioners globally.

Outcome 2: In Brazil, Indonesia, and Cameroon, the REDD+ Accountability Project will stimulate governments to establish accountability mechanisms that will make REDD+ programs more responsive to the needs of rural people, including forest-dependent communities, indigenous peoples, and women. 


Regarding outcome 1, WRI and its partners have generated new knowledge on how to institutionalize accountability in REDD+ by targeting the international arena and major REDD funders. The organization reports on a number of positive references to accountability mechanisms produced in official documents, such as in the The Carbon Fund Methodological Framework and for the UNFCC Warsaw. Norad finds it however difficult to assess whether changes in provisions for REDD+ accountability mechanisms can be attributed to the knowledge produced by this project alone.

Regarding outcome 2, WRI and its partners have been able to improve accountability in REDD+ programs by focusing on transparency, access to information, participatory processes and the implementation of safeguards. These efforts contributed to a ruling in Indonesia that holds the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to their obligation to release forest information, and a strengthened mandate of federal prosecutors to assure release of environmental information in the Amazon states. Efforts also contributed to include matters of governance and accountability in the readiness preparation proposal (R-PP) in Cameroon.

The full goal achievements have been restricted by factors external to the sphere of control of the project. Progress on national REDD+ programs was in general slower than expected and uneven across countries. Nonetheless, WRI states that the project has laid foundations for stronger accountability mechanisms in REDD+ that may continue to have impact over time, and has contributed to strengthen accountability tools that have value beyond REDD+ programs.

Lessons learned

WRI states that a key lesson learned is to apply accountability in a flexible way, taking the local context and circumstances into account and use an accessible language. WRI acknowledges that constant changes in political situations or opportunities require  an adaptive management approach.


The result descriptions are based on the information provided by the organisations. Their presentations and conclusions do not necessarily reflect the views of Norad. Norad has not verified all results reported.

Published 22.10.2013
Last updated 26.06.2018