Hivos International

Transparency & Accountability

By The #OCGlobal17 conveners: Open Contracting Partnership, Hivos, The B Team, the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST), and Article 19

What a ride! We’re still on a high from #OCGlobal17, our global gathering of open contracting innovators and champions. For the 200 people from over 37 countries who were with us in Amsterdam last week, we hope the two days left you inspired, energized and empowered.

Co-authored by Andrew Mandelbaum (Development Gateway)

The recent historic ruling by Kenya’s Supreme Court judge: Justice David Maraga on the hotly contested elections spurred the country on a new level of ‘a redeemed democracy’. A definition of democracy that I have questioned now that the country is on the ‘global limelight’. Unknown to many, beyond irregularities that marred elections was also an increase of elected leaders with a questionable track record who were seemingly voted in by a majority of the masses.

Over these last couple of months, Latin America has been vibrating and changing: we’ve gone from celebration to mourning, from anger to relief in a matter of days. Just one month ago, we awoke to the news of a murder attempt against our friend David Valle, LGBTI community leader in Honduras and member of Somos CDC, a partner organization of Hivos.

At the end of April, Moore Stephens submitted the final version of Malawi’s first Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative report to the Multi-Stakeholder Group. Over the last two months I have shared the top ten insights I gleaned from the report and 10 questions I have after reading the report.

The High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals was held from 10-19 July 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  43 countries submitted voluntary national reviews and over 2458 stakeholders reportedly attended.

Five years ago to the day, I started working for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) as “independent civil society coordinator.” It has been an incredible privilege to help shape OGP into a platform that really brings civil society to the heart of government. Through my work, I’ve had a front row seat to see civil society reality up close at the country level and - zooming out - to have a global snapshot of how OGP and civil society are doing. I’ve seen daily the innovations, the challenges, the steps forward and steps back, and now is a good moment to reflect on the journey so far.

Elections are key milestones for democratic engagement, and referendums such as the UK’s Brexit poll are innovative ways for citizens to be more directly involved in the decision-making process.

For El Salvador it was not easy. In the process, five people were killed and one of them tortured. Community leaders lived under threat for years. However, a few weeks ago, our country became the first in Latin America to put a ban on metal mining in all its forms. For a nation as small and impoverished as ours, to make this sovereign decision against the interests of a powerful transnational company is an unprecedented event that we consider a triumph of community work.

Malawi’s new Access to Information Bill signifies a new dawn particularly on the road to enabling increased disclosure in public contracts. 

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