Our top features of 2021

In 2021, we pushed out new technology, guidance, publications and showcased the work of our members in achieving change. Below some of these achievements are summarised in a collection of our top-read news items.

1. City of Bogotá kicks off CoST membership with public commitment to open government

In March the City of Bogotá joined CoST and this feature outlines the public announcement of the programme, hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá. During the launch the city committed to publishing information on eight major projects including Bogotá’s first metro line, a long-delayed project which will transport up to 72,000 passengers per hour.

2. CoST Annual Report 2020: Delivering impact in ever-changing realities

As Covid-19 took the world by storm in 2020, CoST members across 19 countries were forced to think creatively about how to deliver the initiative. This article summarised our Annual Report 2020, showing the diverse ways programmes adapted and delivered impact – from increased monitoring of Covid-19 healthcare facilities to reconstruction projects built after natural disasters.

3. The results of our flagship tool, the Infrastructure Transparency Index

A year after we launched our Infrastructure Transparency Index in 2020, five CoST countries have implemented the tool and published very different results. Our third top-read page in 2021 summarises the results from those countries. Ukraine and Honduras produced higher national scores in the 60s (out of 100) whilst Uganda and Sekondi-Takoradi produced scores in the 20s. When drilling further down across the ‘four dimensions’ of the index, some countries saw wide differences in their scores, such as Costa Rica who scored 30.40 in the enabling environment for transparency dimension against 67.2 in the information disclosure dimension.

4. Our continued commitment to gender equality

In September we published guidance on mainstreaming gender equality in infrastructure. Being a top read post during the year gives a sturdy indication of the interest in the guidance not only for CoST members but for other similar initiatives. Accompanying the piece, we spoke with CoST Board Observer, Manuela Di Mauro on her experience and challenges faced as a female entering the profession.

5. Lessons shared from heightening PPP transparency in Honduras

A final piece of note here is our post summarising the lessons learnt from monitoring Public-Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure contracts in Honduras. Our experience in Honduras led to institutional reform and the end of a poor-quality project which would have cost the government US$517 million. The lessons are particularly pertinent as countries build back from the economic crisis and may see PPP projects as an alluring offer. Without transparency and scrutiny they can come with massive risk.