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Greater transparency in the actions of public and private entities can  reduce corruption and waste, increase accountability, accelerate the evolution of more effective institutions, and provide valuable information that can be used by both the public and private sectors. 

There is now a wide variety of initiatives to promote transparency as a tool for development. These include the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the International Aid Transparency Initiative, and the implementation of new reporting requirements for companies in the US (Dodd-Frank Section 1504) and the European Union.  The Open Government Partnership of more than 50 nations is giving momentum to these and other processes of opening up governments and international organisations.

CGD's work on transparency and anti-corruption is a part of this broader movement and focuses in particular on how greater transparency in the actions of the rich and powerful—governments in both high-income and developing countries and large private firms around the world—can help to foster better development outcomes.

CGD Senior Fellow and Europe Director Owen Barder has been an international thought leader on transparency and accountability, and on the technical aspects of information standards. Barder was one of the driving forces behind the International Aid Transparency Initiative and was a civil society representative at the founding meeting of the Open Government Partnership.

Several other CGD fellows are working to improve transparency: