The Pledge for Change Accountability and Learning Mechanism (PALM) was developed by the Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Accountability Working group in 2023 and finalized in early 2024. The PALM was developed in collaboration with RINGO as one of the change prototypes, and aims to hold international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) to the three Pledges they have made: Equitable Partnerships, Authentic Storytelling and Influencing Wider Change. The PALM aspires to provide a new paradigm for mutual accountability and collaborative learning in the sector by shifting the accountability equation towards the needs of local and national CSOs, rather than INGOs and donors. The diagramme highlights the main components and how partner feedback, self-reported data, and Southern-led assessment triangulate to support learning and accountability.
The PALM allows Pledge for Change to ensure accountability via three main data collection processes: Partner and local feedback, INGO self-reporting and reflection, and southern led assessments.
Data gathered through the data collection methods will be used for the following three purposes: Dialogue and peer learning, decision making for improvement and influencing wider change.


The Pledge for Change includes measures that reflect what local partners feel are important ways to determine the degree to which INGO signatories are living up to the Pledge, as well as self-reported measures from INGO signatories themselves.

The metrics are not universally defined, and a degree of interpretation remains on key concepts, such as what makes a partnership “equitable” or what is a “fair share” of administrative costs. As we progress along the Pledge journey, the metrics will be refined, involving not only Pledge signatories and supporters, but also Global South partners. Where possible, these measures and definitions will also be aligned with those under the Grand Bargain, Charter for Change and other external shared commitments that Signatories have also signed up to. 

1.1 Partner perceptions of partnership: % of local partners surveyed who consider their partnerships with Pledge for Change signatories to be equitable

1.2 Level of partnership: % of projects where the majority of funding is managed by one or more local partner(s)

1.3 Diversity of partnerships: % and # of local partners that are representative of affected communities, such as women’s rights organizations (WRO) or women-led organizations (WLO), or social movements, refugee-led organizations, women and LGBTQI -led, or organizations of people with disabilities

1.4 Level of funding for partnerships: % of global funding shared with local partners (disaggregated by types of partner)

1.5 Fair share of administrative costs: % of formal partnership agreements providing a fair share of ICR or administrative costs (at least the minimum allowed by the donor, and ideally an amount considered fair by the partner)

1.6 Support for organizational development: % of partnership or funding agreements that incorporate core and/or flexible funding

1.7 Decision-making: % of projects or initiatives where the design is partner-led or co-created

2.1 Partner perceptions of communications: % of local partners surveyed satisfied with INGO communication materials and feeling they are given rightful credit for their work

2.2 Ethical communication: Proportion of INGO written and visual communications which are considered ethical, inclusive, mention local partner contribution, and avoid reinforcing harmful stereotypes based on agreed standards

2.3 Creating space for local voices: % of speaking opportunities, and media, social and fundraising communications that facilitate direct engagement of local partners from global South

2.4 Engaging talent for content production: Proportion of communications content developed, led or produced by local talent

2.5 Visibility and recognition to local partners: Evidence of cases of public communications on programs that showcase/acknowledge local partners’ work 

3.1 Partner perceptions of communications: % of local partners surveyed reporting positive shifts in NGO commitment to shift power to local actors

3.2 Collective advocacy for equitable, locally led and anti-racist approaches to aid and development: Measurable outcomes from collective advocacy for equitable, locally led and anti-racist approaches to aid and development and other interrelated government policies (eg. trade, foreign policy)

3.3 Influencing donors and philanthropic community: Evidence of cases where INGOs and partners have contributed to influencing policies/mechanisms/budgets/ etc. that enable equality in resource allocation to local partner organizations

3.4 Elevating local leadership: Evidence of local/national/regional actors leading advocacy initiatives, with INGO Pledge Signatories playing facilitating, convening or supporting roles

3.5 Pledge signatories’ accountability: # of Pledge for Change signatory INGOs participating in joint annual reporting, learning and accountability processes, with peers and with partners