Les 6 et 7 mai 2014, l'Indonésie a accueilli la conférence régionale du Partenariat pour un gouvernement ouvert (OGP) à Bali, une étape importante dans sa présidence de l'OGP. Autour des thèmes mobilisateurs de l'innovation, de l'ouverture et de la participation citoyenne, la transparence budgétaire, et notamment sa mise en œuvre par le biais de la technologie, est l'un des sujets dont les représentants des pouvoirs publics, de la société civile, des entreprises, des universités et des médias ont discuté.
Participating in a multi-stakeholder initiative (MSI) sometimes feels rather more like duty than pleasure. As my eye travels around the room, it takes in the occasional snoozing civil society representative, the conspicuously empty chairs, and the combative government official languidly tapping on his blackberry. The meeting began an hour late after a straggler finally brought us to the necessary minimum number for a quorum. I find myself pondering, “Is this really working?” “Is this room of disparate stakeholders, with varying commitment and sundry objectives really going to solve one of Zambia’s most complex development challenges?”
"Multi-stakeholder" has become an established term in the international development lexicon. It is often inserted reflexively in proposals and reports, for example in association to broadening consultation, securing buy in, or strengthening oversight. The assumption is that being multi-stakeholder is a good thing. Fueling or at least reinforcing this trend has been the proliferation of formalized multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) bringing together diverse actors from the public, private, and civil society sectors. This has certainly been true in the governance space over the past decade. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative, the Open Government Partnership, and the Open Contracting Partnership are just a few examples of MSIs that aim to solve governance problems through collective action. They build on a longer history of initiatives focused on particular social and environmental concerns, ranging from fair trade to sustainable sourcing of products.
Almost two years ago Program for Results (PforR), the newest financing instrument for World Bank operations, was introduced to great expectations within the Bank and the international development community.
Introduction: from compression ratios to pay differentials
In an earlier post we argued that, as a summary statistic, the compression ratio can direct us to aspects of public service pay and grading that we need to understand. That is, the target we have been shooting at with compression ratios is still worth hitting, even if our habitual prescriptions of decompression have fallen wide of the mark.
Introduction: decompression in the development discourse
The US Securities and Exchange Commission is consulting on a proposal to require public companies to report the ratio of top executive compensation to the median compensation of their employees. ‘The gap in pay between chief executives and rank-and-file employees has been growing steadily, and now regulators want companies to tell investors just how wide it is,’ said the New York Times in its recent report.
Yet the essence of the SEC proposal is at odds with the way we have approached public sector pay reform in developing countries over the last twenty years or so. During that time, Bank and Fund reports have routinely focused on the ‘compression ratio’ – that is, the differential between the highest and lowest paid employees – and habitually recommended decompression. See, for instance, this IMF Technical Note which includes the compression ratio among the indicators to be used for evaluating government employment and compensation. Altering the ratio in favour of the highest earners would boost performance incentives for all, it was thought. A World Bank report for Timor Leste from 2011 is a typical example:
Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of indicators that measure governance and public sector performance and processes. Today, there are over 1000 different measures that have been tested across a variety of countries at some point in time. The World Bank Group alone has developed about 20 datasets that include some indicators that touch on various public management topics, from tax administration to public financial management, procurement, and the civil service.
We are curating a monthly series on Digital Gov. in developing countries. The series seeks fresh perspectives and insights into the policy, institutional and technical dimensions of technology and public management, in understanding how public services are modernized, organized and delivered to citizens and, in supporting openness and public accountability. In the fourth post of the series, we reflect on Fiscal Transparency and Openness in light of the upcoming Asia-Pacific Regional Open Government Partnership Conference, focusing on developments in major middle income countries in East Asia and North Africa.
What do Simeon Marcelo of the Philippines, Santosh Hegde of India, KPK of Indonesia. ACC of Bhutan and ACRC of South Korea have in common? All of them are anti-corruption super heroes (click on the hyperlinks to read their stories) and beacons of hope for all people against corruption. Corrupt officials are terrified of them and they all have served independent ombudsman/anti-corruption agency functions in their country. Over the years I have admired the courageous, professional and dedicated work of these individuals and organizations and had first hand experience of visiting and working with some of them. Based on this I can confidently say that Ombudsman can and do fight corruption successfully when they have the enabling environment and leadership (later I comment on what the success factors are in my view).