Throughout 2018 and 2019 CoST impact has risen to an unprecedented level. Several factors have contributed to this growing trend, stemming from the unique nature of the CoST approach and the four core features of disclosure, assurance, multi-stakeholder working and social accountability. Click on the images below to explore the ever-growing impact we’re seeing around the world.
CoST country stories:
Wakiso District is a rapidly expanding urban area outside Uganda’s bustling capital city, Kampala. In recent years, it has suffered from many of the problems which can occur when infrastructure provision fails to keep pace with population growth, such as poor sanitation and overcrowding. Historically, the local council has lacked the capacity to manage these growing demands. However, since 2017 the four features of the CoST approach – disclosure, assurance, multi-stakeholder working and social accountability – have helped to transform infrastructure delivery in Wakiso District.
Since 2015, procuring entities in Honduras have been disclosing infrastructure data on the online platform SISOCS. The Road Fund (Fondo Vial), the public body responsible for maintaining Honduras’s 14,000 km network of roads, was one such entity. However, alarm bells were raised when the Road Fund failed to disclose key data in accordance with the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard (CoST IDS). The gaps in disclosed data – around 40% required by the CoST IDS – gave CoST Honduras an indication of where to look for the problems impacting the body. Thanks to the work of CoST Honduras the Road Fund was dismantled, and in 2018 the new, transparent Directorate of Road Heritage Conservation was built in its place.
Our work in Malawi demonstrates how resilient, multi-stakeholder working with strong citizen participation advances infrastructure transparency and accountability in challenging environments. The CoST Malawi story shows the importance of persistence in the fight for transparency and accountability in public infrastructure. Through extraordinary personal commitment, CoST Malawi has been able to take action on a desire for change among key stakeholders and an opportune political climate to overcome challenges. This case study shines light on some of the success factors and lessons learned.
This impact story outlines CoST Honduras’s achievements through working with government, industry and civil society to advance transparency and accountability in public infrastructure. Between 2014 and 2016, transparency in the road sector increased substantially because of these efforts and disclosure rose from 27% to 82% of that required by the CoST IDS. Citizens have also become empowered to hold decision makers to account with regards to quality, efficiency and ensuring environmental standards are met.
CoST Ukraine was launched in 2013, a time when the country was facing many political, social and economic challenges. This case study explores the factors which have contributed to the strength of the CoST Ukraine programme in the face of this upheaval, such as the public appetite for reform and accountability. The emerging lessons from Ukraine are especially relevant for the implementation of transparency and accountability initiatives in countries affected by political instability, poor governance and a lack of public trust.
Like many other countries, Uganda’s public infrastructure expenditure is significant. On a yearly basis, Uganda spends approximately 17% of its Gross Domestic Product (US$1 billion) on the sector. It is therefore vital to ensure that this output results in quality projects, delivered on time. This case study outlines CoST Uganda’s achievements since joining CoST in 2014, during which time it has continually embraced the CoST principles of disclosure, assurance and multi-stakeholder working.
This case study explores achievements from a range of CoST programmes including Ethiopia, Guatemala and Honduras. After the disclosure of information on a rural road project in Ethiopia, a six month reduction in construction time was reported and, since the first section of the road opened in 2011, the income of local farmers has more than doubled. In Guatemala, the CoST Assurance Team highlighted that the use of emergency procedures for awarding the Belize Bridge contract in Guatemala City was inappropriate, leading to a contract annulment and saving of US$5 million.
This Factsheet introduces CoST, explaining the need to spearhead change in the delivery of public infrastructure by strengthening transparency and accountability. It provides an overview of how CoST works, its governance structure and the CoST core features of disclosure, assurance, multi-stakeholder working and social accountability.