Covid-19 response: NGOs unite in call for continued support for transparency and accountability

Last month Accountability Lab, CoST and Hivos convened an open call to international development funders to continue support to transparency and accountability initiatives, with a message of how crucial T&A is to effective Covid-19 response.  Over 80 representatives from international and national NGOs have joined the call outlined below. 

NGOs call for continued support for transparency and accountability

We, the undersigned national and international NGOs, call on providers of development assistance to maintain support for transparency, accountability and open government initiatives in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis.

Multilateral and bilateral agencies, foundations and other funders are reviewing their priorities in response to the pandemic. We support these efforts: it is essential that assistance is provided to those suffering the immediate effects of the crisis and that in the medium to long-term, systems and procedures are made more resilient in preparation for managing future crises.

Disclosing data on all current and new investments will further accountability and enable cost savings of magnitude. Even before the pandemic it was estimated that $455 billion of the $7.35 trillion spent on health care worldwide on an annual basis was lost to corruption. Researchers also suggested that 1.6 percent of annual deaths in children under 5, more than 140,000, could be explained in part by corruption.

Experience of managing previous pandemics, such as SARS and Ebola, show that such losses are likely to increase in times of crisis. Numerous examples are already emerging of widespread corruption occurring as part of the response to the novel coronavirus.

Progress has been made in recent years to improve transparency and accountability and reduce losses through corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency. In infrastructure investment for example, financial costs savings of up to 25 per cent have been achieved. Openness in public health has been shown to extend life expectancy and reduce infant mortality. And a study of G20 countries found that open data added US$2.6 trillion of economic value on average. This progress would have been impossible without the support of bilateral and multilateral agencies, foundations and other funders.

Now is not the time to reduce this support. To do so would risk reversing the significant progress made in recent years and reducing the impact of expenditure aimed at tackling the pandemic and the economic crisis.

We call on all providers of development assistance to continue and extend support for transparency, accountability and open government. In an increasingly uncertain world, these measures help to safeguard public expenditure, build trust, accelerate delivery and save lives.


Blair Glencorse, Accountability Lab
Petter Matthews, CoST – Infrastructure Transparency Initiative
Daniel Dietrich, Hivos
Elisa Peter, Publish What You Pay
Barbara Schreiner, Water Integrity Network
Quinn McKew, Article 19
Jasmina Haynes, Integrity Action
Jeni Tennison, Open Data Institute
Sarah Steingrüber, CurbingCorruption
Andrew Feinstein, Shadow World Investigations (formerly Corruption Watch UK)
Eva van der Merwe, International Senior Lawyers Project-UK
Shruti Shah, Coalition for Integrity
Frank Vogl Chair, Partnership for Transparency Fund
Mamadou Barry, Action Solidaire International
Ania Calderon, Open Data Charter
Stacey Cram, Justice For All Campaign
Joseph Kraus, The ONE Campaign
Gavin Hayman Open Contracting Partnership
Helen Darbishire Access Info Europe
Rocio Moreno Lopez, Accountable Now
Jillian Clare, Kohler
WHO Collaborating Center for Governance, Accountability and Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Sector
Narayan Adhikari, Accountability Lab
G. Bobson Bleh, Wisconsin International University, Liberia
Paul-Joel Kamtchang, ADISI-Cameroun
Abdoul Aziz Traore, Association Suudu Andal
Dumiso Gatsha, Success Capital Organisation
Asma Cherifi, Tacid Network
Gilbert Sendugwa, Africa Freedom of Information Centre
Malick Lingani, Beog Neere
Zoran Ivancic, Public Interest Advocacy Center, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Charles Wanguhu, Kenya Platform on Oil and Gas Platform
Dixoni Emmanuel, Peace and Hope for Youth Development
Paulina Ibarra Chair, International Steering Committee, Community of Democracies
Mauricio Alarcón, Salvador Fundación Ciudadanía y Desarrollo, Ecuador
Taranath Dahal, Freedom Forum
Raquel Aguilera Jade, Propuestas Sociales y Alternativas al Desarrollo
Routouang Mohamed Ndonga Christian, Réseau des Jeunes pour le Développement et le Leadership au Tchad
Balqiaz khan Marwat Rural, Infrastructure and Human Resource Development Organization, Pakistan
Anabel Cruz, Iniciativa Regional Rendir Cuentas, Latin America and the Caribbean
Anca Matioc,
Analia Bettoni, Instituto de Comunicacion y Desarrollo, Uruguay
Arjun Bhattarai, Nepal Development Initiative
Oluseun Onigbinde, BudgIT
Nikesh Balami, Open Knowledge, Nepal
Saied Tafida, FollowTaxes
James Cohen, Transparency International, Canada
Olugbenga Elemo Clearpath, Leadership Awareness Network
Álvaro V. Ramírez-Alujas, Gigapp and Universidad de Chile
W. Lawrence Yealue, II, Accountability Lab
Giorgi Kldiashvili, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information
Taher Alhatef, AWTAD anti-corruption organization
Daniel Valdes-Amaro, Red Social Contraloria Ciudadana Puebla AC
Gabriela Ayerdi Acción, Ciudadana, capítulo guatemalteco de Transparencia Internacional
Aniceta C. Baltar, Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Government
Aidan Eyakuze, Twaweza East Africa
Bishop Victor Bassey, Environemental Development Initiative
Menue Bainda, Volunteers Hub Liberia
Swaliho M., Fofana Intlebto
Veronica Portugal, Paideia Civica, Mexico
Joseph Gimba, Center for Peace Education & Community Development, Nigeria
Florin Badita, Corruption Kills, Romania
Ibrahim Ali, Libyan Transparency Association, Libya
Andrea Nelson Mauro, OnData
Stefanos Loukopoulos, Vouliwatch
Sandor Lederer, K-Monitor
Alberto Alemanno, The Good Lobby
Shushan Doydoyan, Freedom of Information Center of Armenia
Andrea Menapace, Diritto Di Sapere
Derek Manson-Smith, Campaign for Freedom of Information, Scotland
Martin Stoll Ö, Swiss Foia
Louis Clark Government, Accountability Project
Katarzyna Batko-Tołuć, Citizens Network Watchdog Poland
Fernanda Galicia, Mexiro AC
Andrés Araya Montezuma, Asociación Costa Rica Íntregra
Beauty Emefa Narteh, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition
Maryati Abdullah, Publish What You Pay, Indonesia
Abdulqadir Muhammad, Transparency and Development Information Initiative
Mukisa Davis, African Center For Refugees In Ontario
Mahmood Bill N. L, Ghana Muslim Mission
Charlie Martial Ngounou, AfroLeadership
Daya Sagar Shrestha, National Campaign for Sustainable Development, Nepal
Eugenia Salas, Colectivo Profesionales para la Ciudadanía