Accounting, Transparency and “Translationâ€: The Case of HUMANITARIAN Cross Cultural Governance

Rémi Jardat


We have conducted a field research on philanthropic “tsunami†projects in South-eastern Indiathat are embedded in a quiet complex governance scheme (French Firm funding, execution bylocal NGOs, consolidated management by a French federation of NGOs), in which the classicalnotions of fraud and transparency prove to very ambiguous, so that accounting cannot be themain source of control. We show that the opacity of events at microscopic operational level is amandatory condition for institutionalization of accounted “factsâ€. Therefore, we establish theimportance of “translation†effects in the sense of Actor Network Theory (ANT). Beyond transparencythat translation institutionalizes trough accounts, we raise an irreducible part of ignoranceand incertitude that necessarily comes with every attempt to build knowledge for governance. Copyright ©

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Issues In Social and Environmental Accounting (ISEA) - ISSN: 1978-0591