Making Accountability and Transparency “Real”

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

By Christina Crawley

Last week, we had the pleasure of welcoming Joseph Kraus and Lauren Pheifer from ONE to the OpenGov Hub for a special Brown-Bag Lunch (BBL) session. A major element of ONE’s new-ish transparency efforts is to make them something that the average person can relate to. A farmer in a small community in Nepal may not be relate to the term “fiscal transparency” but she does relate to her water supply being cut off because of x or y.

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Traditionally, ONE’s main focus areas have been its campaign work against extreme poverty; however, as Joseph rightly pointed out during the session, “you can’t affect poverty if you don’t address government accountability.” ONE has been therefore working on accountability and transparency issues over the last two years, primarily around:

  1. Extractives transparency, e.g., to require large or oil & gas companies to publicly disclose payments.
  2. Budget transparency, e.g., to identify mechanisms to encourage/pressure governments to publish budgetary documents.
  3. Beneficial ownership, e.g., to identify the owners of corporations that “require less information to establish than a bank account requires to open.”
  4. Aid transparency and Millennium Development Goals, e.g., to encourage citizen engagement in its agenda, such as the “You Choose” SMS campaign.

To respond in part to the need to speak directly to those they affected by corruption and a lack of accountability, ONE is collecting and publishing stories to their over 3 million members - similar to OpenGov Hub’s Accountability Lab’s “Accountability Innovations We Love” series by Blair Glencourse.

We look forward to working with ONE further as it moves forward in the transparency and accountability space and how it strives through its stories to "make it real."

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