What is Accountable Autonomy?

Legal Definition
Accountable autonomy is an institutional design of administrative and democratic organization which tries to get the most out of civic participation and deliberation. The term was coined by political scientist Archon Fung. Accountable autonomy addresses the defects of decentralization and localism, such as group-think, inequality and parochialism, through hybrid arrangements that allocate political power, function and responsibility between central authorities and local bodies. The terms accountable and autonomy might seem at odds with each other. Autonomy means both independence from central power, as the capacity to accomplish own ends. The second sense is what Fung stresses upon: ‘a conception of centralized action that counter-intuitively bolsters local capability without improperly and destructively encroaching upon it.’

Two examples of this agency structure are Chicago's Alternative Policing Strategy and Local School Councils.
-- Wikipedia