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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.

 

A meeting of the CGD working group on government contract transparency

From Open Oil to Open Everything? The 7 C’s of Using Open Models for Contract Negotiation

When companies and governments sit down to negotiate the terms for major deals with the private sector, workhorse spreadsheet models are what underpin projections of revenues, costs, and profits over time. Both companies and government agencies should have their own models. But in practice, on the government side, there is often no model at all. And even where there is, they are poorly understood, narrowly shared, and rarely if ever updated, leaving the public completely in the dark about how public assets and deals are managed.

It’s Time for a Code of Conduct on Transparency for Financiers Backing PPPs

Public-Private Partnership models continue to proliferate, backed by multilateral development banks old and new. But the volume of PPPs in developing countries has stagnated since the global financial crisis, and they won’t deliver unless they are designed and implemented well. Making more and better public-private investments will take a far greater commitment to transparency from participants in the deals. Financiers—MDBs in particular—should take the lead.

Why Do People Think Nigeria Might Be Losing $1 Trillion to Corporate Tax Evasion?

Misunderstandings about the scale of multinational tax avoidance are common. The origin story for an erroneous $1 trillion figure is a case of bad lip reading, but its proliferation reflects the belief that there are absolutely huge sums of money for development at stake from cracking down on multinational tax avoidance. The figure itself may be ridiculous but these myths are serious—they undermine both trust in revenue authorities and businesses, overheat disputes, and make it harder to judge practical progress on improving tax systems and compliance.

Asset Recovery = Development Issue

As attention shifts from traditional foreign aid to private and domestic sources of finance for development, recovering stolen assets is not only a matter of justice but increasingly a development issue in its own right. That’s why organizations like the StAR initiative (a joint effort of the World Bank and UNODC) and NGOs like Transparency International and Global Witness have been making these points and successfully pushing the agenda.