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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

The Lesson of London’s Sewers for Clean Government

This week, we’ll launch a CGD Working Group report on Publishing Government Contracts at the Open Up? conference in London.  That’s an appropriate location not just because the UK is a leader in government contract publication, but also because London is a city that was made considerably safer and more pleasant by an early example of open contracting –involving the construction of the main drainage system by Joseph Bazalgette 150 years ago.

Not a Treat: The UK Aid Impact Commission’s Report on DFID’s Anticorruption Activities

Yesterday I was excited to see that the UK Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) had a report out on UK Department for International Development’s (DFID’s) anticorruption activities. It was a great topic for independent analysis by a group that didn’t need to worry about the politically correct thing to say, and could get beyond sloganeering (‘zero tolerance for corruption’) to a careful, evidence-based analysis of how corruption impacts development, what the role is for donors, and how DFID’s existing portfolio stacks up. My excitement didn’t last long—this report is not that analysis. I feel like a kid who got empty wrappers in his trick or treat bag.

World Bank’s Flagging Leadership on Contract Transparency

Over the last few years, the World Bank has put a lot of thought and resources behind making contracting more transparent and to build up the capacity of citizens to get what they are paying for through government procurement.  The bank has designed and financed innovative community-driven projects that publish contracts, it has backed programs like the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative alongside Open Contracting, it has put together a powerful database of road costs based on World Bank contracts, and it has put out a lot more data on bank-financed contracts themselves.