We’ve been actively supporting the work of partners who are addressing governance-related challenges in Colombia, Kenya, Mexico, and Nigeria (see below for more). We’ve encouraged champions of transparency and openness to consider more explicitly whether and how the corruption and misuse of public resources – and the power dynamics and incentives that drive those problems – can be addressed through data-driven cycles of action and learning (see our blog posts on Transparency: From revolution to evolution and Information, accountability, and impact). And we helped develop a series of podcasts on Open Gov Stories.
Dig into the details below. Let us know what you think. And if you’d like to discuss how we might support your efforts to address challenges around corruption and the use of public resources, just give us a shout!
Development Alternative Inc. Institutional Architecture
We worked with Development Alternative Inc.’s (DAI) Africa Lead team to explore the links between institutional architecture and food security in Africa, and to work out how Africa Lead, and their partners at USAID, the African Union, and in African countries, might integrate more problem-driven, learning-centered, and adaptive methods into their ways of working.
Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence
Project leaders from the Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence (GI-ACE) research programme came together in May (London) and June (Denver) workshops focused on stakeholder engagement. The 14 projects funded under GI-ACE have been conducting field work, training sessions, desk work, randomized controlled trials, and other research activities. Amongst early outputs are several blogs posted to the Global Integrity website, as well as high-profile engagements such as presenting at the OECD Integrity Forum and providing evidence before the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
National Endowment for Democracy Kleptocracy Coalition
We just kicked off a new project funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Over the next year, we will be supporting a multistakeholder coalition of anticorruption activists in central African countries, working with them individually and collectively to identify how to more effectively tackle kleptocracy.
We continue to implement the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI) Learning Partner project in Nigeria and Colombia, in which we’re working with TAI and their members and grantees to generate evidence and facilitate learning around how to more effectively use open data to tackle corruption challenges, from illicit financial flows to misappropriation of government contracts and extractives royalties. In Colombia, this has included helping to assess the availability and usability of data in the extractives sector, and helping to identify investment opportunities for TAI members.
Learning Collaborative Initiatives – Continuing to Follow the Money in Mexico and Colombia
In Colombia, we’ve launched a new collaboration with Burocratas, a local civil society organization (CSO) working to help citizens access and use data to shape the flow of public resources. We will be supporting their efforts to identify and engage different stakeholders in the use of budget and procurement data, and to develop and use measurement, evaluation, and learning (MEL) frameworks to reflect, learn, and improve their effectiveness over time.
In June, we – along with the Open Data Charter, Latin American Open Data Initiative, Africa Open Data Network and Open Data for Development – were awarded a grant from the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Multi-Donor Trust Fund. Over the next two years, we will be working together, and with OGP stakeholders in several countries in Latin America and Africa, to support the design of National Action Plan (NAP) commitments that leverage open data to tackle corruption. At the same time, we will facilitate peer learning and generate evidence and insights relevant to the global community of Open Data for Anti-Corruption Commitment (OD4AC) practitioners.
We’ve also begun working with partners at ACESSA, part of the OGP Steering Committee in Costa Rica, to support the design of the new Costa Rica OGP NAP.
Strategy Revisions in Kenya
We received additional resources from the transparency, accountability, and participation (TAP) Learning Collaborative that will enable us to facilitate a strategy refresh for the Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRECO), a longstanding partner, and key OGP stakeholder in Kenya. We’re working with CRECO to refine the design and implementation of their three-year strategy and approach to monitoring, evaluation, and learning.
This quarter, the Open Gov Hub team began regularly interacting with and supporting six global affiliate hubs, including a peer mentorship program and a week-long training visit to two of the affiliate hubs (Civic Hive and eCove) in Nigeria.
At the Hub in DC, regular programming continued, including “Introduction to Open Government” trainings for visiting international government delegations and a series of productivity workshops for members. A research and writing consultant was hired for the Defending Democracy program to help produce a library of brief international case studies reflecting on key challenges to American democracy to be published this fall.
The Hub team also worked closely with the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI) to launch “Open Gov Stories,” a new global podcast series announced at the OGP Summit in Ottawa. This is a collection of 21 personal conversations (and more to come) between leaders in our field about why they really do their work.
Global development’s past, present and future, by Ruth Levine (10-minute read)
“As a human race and a planet, we cannot afford to ignore our global interconnectedness or pretend that social and economic development follows a straight line. In our language, concepts, and actions we have to reimagine “global development” so that we can tackle the profound, and even existential, problems of today and tomorrow.”
How 4 shifts in thinking could transform the battle against corruption, by Phil Mason (5-minute read)
“We need a transformation in our conceptualisation of corruption. …corruption is not an anomaly biting away at the system. It is the system…. It follows, therefore, that to conceptualise corruption as a phenomenon that will dissolve with better knowledge or capacity looks deeply misguided.”
Top three challenges and good practices in anti-corruption, by Dianna Chigas and Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church (3-minute read)
“[Often framed as a moral issue, corruption] is also a complex system that persists because it serves social, political and economic functions, both for “perpetrators” and “victims” who need to survive in the context of weak state institutions and insecurity. These need to be understood and addressed if efforts are to be effective.”
These pieces and more are collated in our 1,000-strong library of articles on adaptive development, open government, systems, complexity, and learning. If you’d like access to this Evernote collection, please email Alan directly.
Our work aims to shape thinking, policy, and practice on governance and development so that locally led innovation, learning, and adaptation is center-stage. To do this, we work through cycles of action, learning, and adaptation with partners so that they can address challenges and strengthen capacity for solving future problems. We then use the insights and evidence from our work with partners to inform and influence agenda-setters, donors, and other global actors so local action is supported more effectively.