Connecting the Dots: Improving Accountability in the Adult Literacy Field in Canada

Connecting the Dots: Improving Accountability in the Adult Literacy Field in Canada was a project that provided an opportunity for funders and practitioners to examine the impact of accountability on the adult literacy field across the country and explore new ways of approaching it.

The Centre for Literacy of Quebec, Movement for Canadian Literacy, Literacy BC and Research in Practice for Adult Literacy – BC co-sponsored this project, which was managed by The Centre.

Practicing Shared Accountability Tool from Literacy Newfoundland and Labrador

This tool is an output of the action research project conducted by Literacy Newfoundland and Labrador. The poster offers a 6-point process for practicing shared accountability and improve partnerships among funders and providers. Be sure to print it in color on legal-sized paper (8 and 1/2 by 14 inch). Download tool.

See also other Connecting the Dots publications

Final Symposium - Charting the Way: Identifying Common Values for Accountability in Adult Literacy

Connecting the Dots engaged 42 participants on October 20-21, 2009 in Ottawa in reviewing project findings, including the work of the five action research teams and a report "connecting the dots" among project findings. A primary finding of the project is that both government funders and literacy providers agree that accountability is necessary and, overall, a good thing. Where providers and funders appear to differ is on the focus of accountability processes, what is measured, and the manner in which those processes are planned, conducted, and reported on.

One output of the symposium was the review and reworking of five underlying principles that support good accountability practices that were identified from project findings.

  1. Accountability is necessary because it builds public trust and goodwill and demonstrates program effectiveness.
  2. Accountability exists in multiple contexts resulting in a variety of measurements that define success.
  3. Understanding the needs and realities that drive both sides of the accountability equation is critical.
  4. Relationships between parties are reciprocal and based on respect, transparency, good communication and understanding of the agreed objectives.
  5. A common understanding of the basic meaning of accountability is essential for effective dialogue.

The proceedings report from the symposium is now available for download.

Linkage Report and Action Research Term Reports

The Linkage Report weaves together the research and other findings that emerged from the Connecting the Dots project. Download the report here.

Print copies are available on request. Postage and handling costs: $10.00. Order forms are available from

Reports are also available from the action research teams. You can download summaries or full reports.

Alberta [Summary] [Full Report]
British Columbia [Summary] [Full Report]
Newfoundland and Labrador [Summary] [Full Report]
Peterbourough, Ontario [Summary] [Full Report]
Quinte, Ontario [Summary] [Full Report]

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