Over recent years 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.
Back in December 2019, CoST Uganda was awarded funding through the UK Government’s Business Integrity Initiative (BII) and launched the programme Promoting fair business practices in Uganda. The BII sought to strengthen emerging markets by combatting issues such as corruption and low competition which can otherwise impede private sector participation. Through Promoting fair business practices in Uganda, a number of improvements were made to Uganda’s business environment including increased transparency, competition and local content provisions. Read more.
It is estimated that between 10% and 30% of investment in infrastructure is lost due to corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency. CoST experience shows that increasing infrastructure transparency, participation, and accountability helps to drive reforms that reduce these features of infrastructure investment. Applying this approach results in cost savings of magnitude, helping to deliver better-quality and more efficient infrastructure for millions. This factsheet explores the need for CoST and the myriad ways the CoST approach has been felt at local and national levels. Read more.
CoST Thailand: Saving millions, enabling participation and shifting mindsets
In Thailand, the CoST approach prompted behavioural change from the private sector, community and government and led to cost savings of THB 11.5 billion (US $360 million). Since 2015 CoST Thailand has been working to increase the level of infrastructure data in the public domain using the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard. This increase in transparency sent a strong message to procuring entities, encouraging competitive bidding, lower contract prices and a more efficient use of public budget. Furthermore, through its innovative approach to public engagement, CoST Thailand raised the voice of local communities during project delivery, resulting in tangible positive impact on project quality. Read more.
CoST approach saves millions: Paving the way to a strong economy in Afghanistan
Over the past decade, infrastructure investment in Afghanistan has prioritised the construction and maintenance of its road network – a key prerequisite to economic development with the potential to transform civilian lives. However, CoST Afghanistan’s First Assurance Report in 2018 identified major problems in the preparation stage of the project cycle, with inaccurate survey and design leading to significant time and cost overruns. After these issues were raised by CoST, the National Road Authority created the Design Review Unit, an independent, pre-contract oversight body. After reviewing the contracts of over 100 infrastructure projects and recalculating quantities and costs, the Unit saved US$8.3 million between 2018–2019 alone. Read more.
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. Read more.
Overhauling the Honduras Road Fund
Since 2015, procuring entities in Honduras have been disclosing infrastructure data on the online platform SISOCS, including the Road Fund (Fondo Vial), the public body responsible for maintaining Honduras’s road network. 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. Read more.
Engaging citizens in Malawi
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.
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. Read more.