Numerous attempts have been made to remedy the accountability deficits of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs). The ‘first wave’ of accountability reforms was largely driven by powerful stakeholders such as donors and governments. An accountability culture subsequently emerged that reflected the preferences of these agents, rather than the responsibility of the INGO to abide by its mission. The ‘second wave’ of reforms acknowledged that INGOs incur a broad range of accountability responsibilities to beneficiaries, members, staff, and peer organisations. These measures have not been sufficient to promote reflective practice driven by discourse with those closest to the mission. It is argued that there is a need for a ‘third wave’ of accountability reforms, which reinforces the responsibilities of INGOs towards the communities that they purport to serve. INGOs should embrace a critically reflective accountability culture that addresses ways in which communication with their so-called ‘beneficiaries’ is distorted by unequal power relations.