Despite progress in opening data and making it more accessible, in many cases governments and civil society organizations are failing to take the opportunity to use data more effectively to inform decisions and improve policy, including in relation to the use of public resources.
Aim and Approach
All of our work involves data, in one way or another. Our aim in this specifically data-focused area of work is to support partner organizations and communities to open data, improve its quality and use it effectively to address challenges relating to corruption and the use of public resources. Through our support for our partners’ efforts in this area, we are learning about what is needed to harness the power of data to address governance and corruption challenges.
Our collaborative projects focus on problems that are priorities for our partners, with our role being to support our partners as they test and refine data-informed approaches to inform policy making, engage citizens, activate accountability mechanisms, and engage in collective action to improve peoples’ lives.
Working across a range of countries, we distill lessons that are applicable beyond specific countries and sectors, and produce resources that can help inform efforts to enhance the effective use of data to improve the use of public resources and enhance service delivery outcomes.
We are currently working with the Transparency and Accountability Initiative and local partners in Colombia and Nigeria to explore how best donors and country-level organizations can support efforts to use data to enhance accountability.
We are also working with international organizations - the Open Data Charter, the African Open Data Network, the Latin American Open Data Initiative (ILDA) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) - to leverage the power of open data to address corruption-related challenges in the design and implementation of Open Government Partnership commitments.
We have also responded to the pandemic by establishing a regularly updated database of resources on COVID-19, fiscal governance and anti-corruption, which is intended to inform efforts to enhance transparency and accountability for resources provided to address COVID-19 related challenges.
Open Data for Anti-Corruption
Working with the Open Data Charter, the African Open Data Network, the Latin American Open Data Initiative, and the International Development Research Centre this project builds on the experience of country-level reformers from Chile, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and other countries who have sought to design and implement policy commitments within the Open Government Partnership. Our aim is to support country-level efforts to leverage the power of open data to address corruption-related challenges, and through the process generate and share learnings about the design and implementation of policies to address corruption.
Data for Accountability
We are working with partners in Colombia and Nigeria and the Transparency and Accountability Initiative to generate evidence about the effectiveness of different approaches to using data to address governance challenges. In Nigeria our partners are the Public and Private Development Centre, which focuses on procurement, and the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, which focuses on illicit assets. In Colombia, our partners are Transparencia por Colombia and Akubadaura, which focus on extractives. We are learning about how political dynamics enable or hinder the use of data to address local accountability gaps, and using these lessons to inform grant making and the design and implementation of projects that aim to use data to fight corruption and demand accountability.
COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP)
Launched in the wake of COVID-19 to track public expenditure and government’s response and accountability measures in African countries, our #Account4COVID partner initiative has evolved into the COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP). This project is a collaboration with BudgIT Foundation and Connected Development (CODE), two prominent civic-tech non-governmental organizations spearheading advocacy for openness, transparency and accountability in public finance in Africa. As the learning partner, we plan to support our partners in shaping transparency and accountability frameworks in focus countries to devise strategies that combine citizen tracking and advocacy for reforms.