CoST Managers drive change in infrastructure transparency in workshop

Managers from our 20 member programmes including affiliates gathered in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to share their successes, challenges and lessons for increasing transparency, participation and accountability in public infrastructure. This was the first workshop to be held face to face in five years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impacts, with some colleagues joining online.

The international workshop took place between March 18th and 21st, with the participation of more than 30 CoST representatives from over 20 countries around the world, including members of the CoST International Secretariat.

The main goal of the workshop was to encourage mutual learning with the skills and knowledge. For managers, this was to support them further with skills to effectively plan, manage, and deliver strong and sustainable infrastructure transparency, accountability and participation programmes. The workshop sessions created a great space for managers to interact and share experiences and knowledge they needed. The sessions included focus on our tools and  standards   and the four pronged approach in transforming transparency and influencing delivery of sustainable infrastructure.

Bringing together so many CoST programmes, from the oldest and newest, allowed the team to appreciate the contextualization of the CoST approach in different regions, and its uniqueness in implementation, or shared challenges in promoting transparency. Reflecting on this, Isaac Aidoo, CoST Sekondi Takoradi Manager, said “This demonstrates that we must be very creative to reach our goal of enabling citizens access quality infrastructure that helps improve their lives.”

The week provided CoST Managers an opportunity to reinforce their knowledge and skills in including proactive and reactive disclosure sustainable infrastructure data points; the assurance process, social accountability and inclusion tools, including CoST’s gender equality guidance.  Methods and techniques used during the workshop included role play; conversations and Q&As; group practice activities; live demonstrations; games such as bingo and more. Gentle movement exercises were incorporated in some of the days.


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In the opening ceremony, Juan Francisco Ramírez, Interim mayor of Guadalajara, said “This global workshop is ideal to continue implementing transparency and accountability. We are committed and will continue to be committed in favour of transparency and accountability”.

During this ceremony, Hawkins expressed appreciation towards CoST Jalisco for its support and work during the week and expressed gratitude to the program and government authorities of the Jalisco City for supporting the development and hosting of the managers’ workshop.

During the week, managers also had an opportunity to provide input into the new upcoming business plan, following recent consultations with multi-stakeholder group members across the CoST global family.

Hawkins recognized CoST Jalisco for its support and work during the week and expressed gratitude to the program and government authorities of the Jalisco City for supporting the development and hosting of the managers’ workshop.

Impact of CoST in Jalisco

Karina Hermosillo, trustee of the municipality of Guadalajara, in Jalisco; said “We feel motivated by the exchange of ideas. We feel accompanied by the common strength of good practices. Undoubtedly, all the people who work in this municipality feel committed to transparency and accountability in infrastructure projects and public works”.

David Gómez Álvarez, president of the Council of Social Participation of Jalisco, stated that data on infrastructure projects worth 40 million   of public funds have been disclosed through the CoST Jalisco Platform implementation.

He also underlined the necessity for a road map for the institutionalization and mandatory disclosure of infrastructure projects on the CoST Jalisco Platform for works implemented, to promote a cultural change so the government can have open information and citizens can investigate every matter.

During the closing ceremony of the workshop, CoST International held the second edition of the Alfredo Cantero CoST Award following the first edition in 2022. The 2nd Alfredo Cantero award was delivered to CoST Panama as the overall winner, and  CoST Thailand secured the 2nd position and won an Honourable mention award. The 2023 CoST award criterion was developed on three core aspects of our work: data disclosure, data use, and multi-stakeholder working.

The five-day event was attended by CoST representatives from Sekondi Takoradi (Ghana), Jalisco (Mexico), Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Bogota (Colombia), Thailand, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Panama, Kaduna State (Nigeria), Honduras, Ecuador and Guatemala, Mozambique whereas our managers from Uganda, Ethiopia and West Lombok (Indonesia) joined virtually.