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What are the Incentives for Transparency in Developing Country Governments?


January 15, 2013

Doug Hadden, VP Products

Should it be surprising that governments in developing countries are adopting transparency measures? Many are surprised that developing country governments adopt transparency portals and open data mechanisms. Yet, we see great interest in leapfrog transparency among our customers. It has been a major theme for discussion in the last 5 FreeBalance International Steering Committee (FISC) conferences. There are important incentives. We hope to document some of these over the next few weeks, first by reaching out to experts on Twitter. Then through discussions with Public Financial Management (PFM) professionals attending FISC in Ottawa.

We’ll be collecting comments here. And, we’ve “storified” the tweet stream on the subject

Incentives for Transparency in Developing Countries

Transparency seems to be becoming a competitive sport among developing countries. We looks to see what transparency incentives there were for developing countries.

Storified by · Wed, Jan 30 2013 10:56:04

RT @freebalance: Lesson 2 from #FISC7: government #transparency has become a competitive sport #opendata #opengovDennis D. McDonald
Official #FISC7 logo
#PFM impacts, #PEFA assessment to other benchmarks such as @openbudgets #transparency
The big debate: open data | via @zunianews #opendataSteve Davenport
#PEFA assessments drive #PFM reform in countries, gains political and donor support #FISC7FreeBalance
#FISC7 #PFM survey: FreeBalance customers are recognized by the international community for reform achievement
#FISC7 #PFM survey: Top 2 reasons for reform are increase #transparency & improve budget effectiveness
#FISC7 FreeBalance survey finds majority of government customers see budget #transparency as biggest impact
#FISC7 survey finds #PFM reform priorities. Top 3: public sector, financial mgmt, #anticorruption
Definitions of transparency were provided by some external sources. Tim Davies wrote a thoughtful blog entry that provides us with a better idea of the different types of transparency – hence – different incentives are likely.
.@bill_easterly on incentives strip away the encrusted layers of vested interests
Just blogged reflections in response to @freebalance Q on incentives for transparency/#opendata in dev countries here Davies
comment added to excellent @timdavies #transparency in developing countries post
We’re moving from a world based on states to one based on networks (paraphrase). @AlecJRoss #DLD13. Live Tapscott
Secrecy, transparency & political affiliation plays a role in transparency incentives.
In US #politics, #transparency is the one thing both sides can agree to via @meowtreeFreeBalance
the justification for #secrecy & openness debate depends on political affiliation via @meowtreeFreeBalance
General concern about transparency and opendata in government remain.
University of Leeds #opengov Survey Looking for Participants on realizing value
BBC News – Governments will start ‘lashing back’ as internet grows fears of #transparencyFreeBalance
Transparency is yet another element to cause us to rethink governance.
Do poor country governments really manage their debt better than wealthier countries like the USA? Andrews
Compelling: @governwell: Rich Countries Now Lag Poorer Countries in debt to GDP, #governance outcome?
Risk and innovation play a significant role. In some circumstances, the lack of openness represents risk to the business community. Transparency can be seen as a mechanism to spurn innovation and improve development results.
government #transparency, #governance and risk related
is government #transparency an #innovation driver? #globalization creating expectations
Reduced costs and increased revenues are important transparency incentives.
towards calculating the effective #ROI for government #opendata
New blog post: Resource Revenue Management 101 via @ONECampaign #NoSecretDeals #OilThe Task Force
.@participatory: citizen engagement and participation can increase tax revenue (1 of 3)FreeBalance
#mobile participatory budgeting helps raise tax revenues in #Congo: #opengov #ROI via @digiphileFreeBalance
Social cohesion is enabled by transparency. Without openness there seems to be a general distrust of governments. Transparency fosters cohesion.
developing nations try to leverage #transparency to achieve social cohesion, citizen confidence
.@participatory: citizen engagement can increase trust in government institutions (3 of 3)
#transparency can lead to “increased public support" (4of4)FreeBalance
government communications & #transparency leads to increased #citizen #trust
Low #citizen trust in politicians is global
as work on political #transparency incentives, reminded of exopolitics from @nigelcameron
#opendata incentive in developing countries? Tap into civil society for #audit
From @zunianews: Open Government Data for Tackling Corruption : A Perspective #opendataDevelopment Gateway
From @zunianews: Deepening Participation and Improving Aid Effectiveness through Media and ICTs #aidtransparencyDevelopment Gateway
Political parties leverage transparency as an election platform. Many observers find that there can be little back-sliding on transparency initiatives. The transparency toothpaste is hard to put back in the tube. 
#IATI #transparency incentive (4 of 4) Political pressures
#government #transparency incentive: citizens are watching anyway
incentive for government #transparency via @dtapscott is that governments are already "naked"
#transparency incentive in developing countries (2 of 4) Improved social cohesion
Heather Brooke: My battle to expose government corruption
PFM Blog: Through Social Media China Gives Public Access to Government Financial Information
#citizen #mobile empowerment – fight it or leverage it thru #transparency?
#ArabSpring an example: either #crowdsource or be crowdsourcedFreeBalance
from a few years ago: government challenges with increasing #transparency
#transparency, #ruleoflaw key drivers in increasing business investment in developing countries
#transparency incentive in developing countries (3 of 4) increased business investment +#FDI :
extractive industries #transparency in developing countries results in increased investment
#OECD linked #transparency to attracting business investment #FDI in 2000
#OECD: #transparency limit risk of illicit practices developing in connection with investor attraction strategies
#transparency in investment incentives recommended in this checklist:
government #procurement #transparency & #opendata can lead to better value for money #v4m
example of #PEFA assessment work: improved cash management, #EITI support in FreeBalance country #FISC7FreeBalance
Transparency seems to be a contributor to improving government performance through increased citizen and business engagement.
#transparency & engaging citizens (i.e. participatory budgeting) can lead to improved government performance
.@participatory: citizen engagement can increase government efficiency, better resource allocation (2 of 3)
#transparency helps assess organizational #performance (& trust) (2of4)FreeBalance
Citizen budget monitoring: Under cover agents for sustainable budgets | | Open Budgets BlogOpen Budgets Blog Monitoring
.@AndreaDiMaio on technology for #policy: governments should listen to citizens thru traditional means
#IATI #transparency incentive (2 of 4) Improving organisational processes and systems
#IATI #transparency incentive (3 of 4) Publishing better data to improve planning processes
Forget Big Government, We Need Big Data Government Barter
#IATI #transparency incentive (4 of 4) Political pressures
@barterpaul #bigdata for government decision-making could solve labour impasses
#transparency incentive in developing countries (1 of 4) improved development results
In addition to social cohesion, transparency can build country stability. Governments can become more trusted.
social cohesion, good government fiscal management, business confidence improves stability in developing countries
#transparency can be important for #disaster preparedness (3of4)FreeBalance
#transparency incentive in developing countries (4 of 4) Increased country stability:
How can transparency change behaviour? Transparency exposes activities, makes citizen audit more likely. The corrupt find it far more difficult to hide.
#FISC7 shared lesson control of #corruption is linked to prosperity
#opendata attacks #corruption, secrecy, #nepotism and is a difficult challenge to implement in developing countries
#transparency may bring lower rates of political #corruption via legal, administrative, electoral mechanisms (1of4)FreeBalance
another example of the cascading effect on #corruption perception thru improved public financial management #pfm #fisc7
Culture Hacking: How One Project is Changing #Transparency in Chile via @techpresidentAidData
Just uploaded Public Financial Management Good Practice #anticorruption using Financial Systems #PFM via @ScribdFreeBalance
(1 of 2) Good governance = #transparency = less #corruption, should aim be combat problems or institutionalize change?
(2 of 2) #corruption: Is it more politically correct these days to talk about integrity?
Transparency can be leveraged to create dialog with civil society and help improve government effectiveness.
#education was top sector for #OGP commitments at the 2012 meeting followed by: #naturalresources #health #environment
Taking open data offline (and back again) #IOGDC #opendata #C4DLinda Raftree
.@AndreaDiMaio on technology for #policy: governments should listen to citizens thru traditional means
What Gov 2.0 Can Learn from Participatory Budgeting: cc @ianbradshaw @indy_johar @laurabillingsTessyBritton

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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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