I am currently working for ONE as their Senior Policy Manager on Governance, Transparency & Accountability. Click here for more information about me, my skills and experience. Drop me a line at email@example.com or follow me on twitter @alanhudson1 NB: This blog and my tweets reflect my views, not necessarily those of my employer.
Opening Governance to Accelerate Poverty Reduction
ONE’s new Transparency and Accountability Policy Team has a full agenda, spearheading the organisation’s efforts to push for more open, transparent and accountable governance in order to accelerate progress on poverty reduction. Ultimately, our aim is to drive progress towards open development, a world in which people in developing countries have the information and resources that they need to hold their governments accountable and to make well-informed decisions to improve their lives.
As a stepping stone towards that, we are pushing for more transparent and accountable financing for development, so that resources (including but not limited to aid) are spent effectively to deliver improved results in health, agriculture, infrastructure and other issues that are key to the fight against poverty and towards prosperity. Transparency can turbo-charge accountability, encouraging innovation, incentivizing behavior change, transforming political dynamics, and helping to ensure that resources are invested wisely to tackle poverty.
To do this, we’re working on a number of fronts, pushing for natural resource revenue transparency, budget transparency, and aid transparency and encouraging donors to invest more in building the capacity of civil society organisations and other oversight institutions such as parliaments so that they can make use of the information that transparency will unleash, in order to hold governments to account.
To drive progress on these various issues, we’re focused on the G8 in the US, the G20 in Mexico, and the Open Government Partnership. We’re also exploring the potential of new technologies as transparency and accountability game-changers. And, we’re thinking about how best to tackle illicit financial flows, how to boost domestic resource mobilisation in developing countries, and whether a set of post-2015 development goals might incorporate governance, transparency and accountability issues.
1) ONE’s Policy Pitch (contact me)
2) UK Aid Network HLF-IV update (October) available here
3) 3rd Draft of the Busan Outcome Document available here
4) ONE’s comments on the 3rd draft of the Busan Outcome Document (contact me)
5) ONE’s comments on the Building Blocks on “transparency” and on “results and accountability” (contact me)
6) The Gates G20 report
7) Addis Ababa statement on development effectiveness available here
8) Commonwealth Finance Ministers Statement available here
9) UK Aid Network – Shaping the future of aid available here
Other useful reading
10) Tunis consensus on development effectiveness available here
11) Action Aid – Real Aid 3 available here
12) David Booth – Aid effectiveness: Bringing country ownership and politics back in (exec sum in attached) available here
13) Jonathan Glennie / Andrew Rogerson – Global reach is the prize for Busan available here
14) CABRI Position Paper on aid transparency available here
15) Brian Atwood – The road to Busan: Pursuing a new consensus on development cooperation available here
Due to popular demand, I’m putting my Ph.D. on-line. It was about the relationship between globalization and sovereignty, using tax havens/offshore – a pivotal space in the process of globalization – as the lens to understand that relationship.
I completed it way back in 1996, when it was still possible to read everything that had been written on globalization!
Here it is. Enjoy?!
I’m not sure whether I’m happy or not about the fact that I’m still basically working on issues of globalization, governance and borders. At least I’m now more at the pushing for policy-change rather than “let’s conceptualise place” end of the spectrum.
Given the increased interested in tax havens and tax justice, I’ve decided to put the publications that came out of my Ph.D. on tax havens on-line. I wish now, as I wished then, that I’d taken more of a “what are the implications of tax havens and capital flight for developing countries?” line, but the attached may still be of interest both for the detail that they provide about the evolution of the Bahamas and Cayman, and for the way in which they conceptualise the relationship between globalisation and sovereignty and explain the role that tax havens play in that relationship. If you’re interested in seeing my Ph.D., drop me a line.
Reshaping the regulatory landscape: Border skirmishes around the Bahamas and Cayman offshore financial centres,Review of International Political Economy, Vol. 5, (1998).
Placing trust, trusting place: On the social construction of offshore financial centres, Political Geography, Vol. 17 (1998).
Beyond the border: Globalization, sovereignty and extra-territoriality, Geopolitics, Vol. 3 (1998).
Offshores onshore: New regulatory spaces and real historical places in the landscape of global money, pp.139-154 in Martin, R. (ed.) (1999), Money and the space economy, Wiley.
Offshoreness, globalisation and sovereignty: Post-modern geo-political economy?, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Vol. 25 (2000), No. 3, pp.269-283, Royal Geographical Society.
At 7.00 New York time, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, the UK and the USA – the countries on the steering committee of the Open Government Partnership – published their Action Plans. They contain a wide range of exciting measures to enhance transparency and accountability and to make governments more open and responsive to their citizens. Efforts to tackle corruption feature heavily in many of the plans, including those of Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa. Initiatives to enhance budget transparency and to improve the delivery of public services feature in the plans of Brazil, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Africa. And welcome moves to enhance aid transparency feature in the plans of the UK and the USA. On transparency about natural resource revenues, Norway has signalled a commitment to consider passing legislation that would require multinationals to publish tax information on a country by country basis. And by signing up to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the USA has continued the leadership it showed last year in passing legislation on extractives transparency.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) looks set to be an important forum for sharing experience, encouraging and assisting governments to become more open. Africa’s involvement is currently limited with just three African countries – Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania – joining South Africa within the OGP. However, the partnership has great relevance for Africa and for ONE: the ability of African citizens to hold their governments to account is shaped by the actions of the USA, the EU and other countries that provide aid to Africa and whose companies operate in Africa; African governments can share experience with other emerging economies as regards transparency and accountability; and, over time, we hope that many more African countries will choose to take the path towards more open, transparent and accountable government.
We know that in 2012, Brazil will continue to lead the way on the open government agenda, hosting meetings of the Open Government Partnership, the Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency and the International Anti-Corruption Conference, and perhaps joining with the USA in requiring its oil companies to publish what they pay to the governments of the countries where they operate. And we trust that Mexico will pick up the baton of transparency and accountability as it takes over the leadership of the G20 from France.
For ONE’s introduction to OGP and a link to our policy pitch see here. For ONE’s full analysis of the Country Action Plans from a development perspective keep reading …
And another blog for ONE, on Hilary Clinton’s recent visit to Africa.
Will come up with a better way of meshing my personal and ONE blogs at some point. Apologies for duplication.
Review for ONE of two important books on aid – “Poor economics” and “More than good intentions” – and thoughts about their implications for ONE’s evolving work on governance.