Dynamics of counter accounts and accountability in the advancement of human rights and sustainable development in an arena
Denedo, Mercy Ejaita
MetadataShow full item record
This study connected counter accounting and dialogic accountability approach and extended dialogic accountability and engagement theories to the dynamic inverted conflict arena framework and linked these to the lifecycle and pathways to conflict resolution. The historical use of diverse typologies of counter accounts in the Niger Delta conflict arenas in bridging, building and driving effective dialogic actions, accountability and governance reforms were explored. This study was able to understand the lifecycle of the conflicts in the Niger Delta, and how the engagements of radical and reforming stakeholders across different arenas adopted diverse campaigning strategies to initiate diverse practice of freedom in order to resolve these conflicts. Qualitative methods comprising a mix of documentary analysis from different sources of information, 57 semi-structured interviews and field visits were adopted. The 57 semistructured interviews adopted a mix of face-to-face, focus groups, telephone and skype interviews with the corporation, international advocacy NGOs, local advocacy NGOs, developmental NGOs, the regulators and the community stakeholders. This study mapped out the history of the use of counter accounts through a documentary qualitative analysis in problematizing the conflicts in the Niger Delta in order to locate and make sense of these interviews. This study revealed that counter accounts were used to speak truth to power and to conscientized the marginalised groups to demand accounts and inclusive engagements. Counter accounts, its technologies and activism were used to perpetuate, escalate, confront the powerful arena participants, counter-act and cooperate with other arena participants at the regional, national and international arenas to bring about transformative reforms in the local arenas. This study revealed that accountability by the powerful stakeholders should not be through discourses for wealth maximisation but through inclusive stakeholders’ engagement and moral actions towards advancing human rights and sustainable environment. Thus, understanding the motivations, desired outcomes and limitations of advocacy NGOs’ use of counter accounts reinforces the need for policymakers, corporations and public-sector organisations to ensure political and power dynamics are inclusive to protect human rights and sustainable development especially in an arena prone to conflicts.