Increasing civic engagement in infrastructure transparency, accountability and participation

Civil society, alongside the media and other stakeholders, play an important role in helping to communicate key messages from the independent review (assurance) process to the public and in building public demand for greater accountability from decision-makers.

We work with and train civil society organisations (CSOs), helping them to understand information about complex infrastructure projects. This allows them to provide critical oversight of public infrastructure projects and raise concerns in an appropriate way with contractors and public entities. 

Whilst broadly concerned with the correct use of public funds, the CSOs we work with cover a variety of focus areas including the social and environmental impacts of projects; value for money; professional and technical issues; and transparency and anti-corruption.

Civil society representatives hold positions on our multi-stakeholder groups (MSGs) which guide the work of CoST members. They ensure these groups are balanced and that the public’s voice is taken into account as decisions are made.

Across the MSGs, these different groups are brought together by a shared mission to enhance infrastructure transparency, accountability and participation.

Recognition at the international level

International CSOs have recognised the benefits that we provide, such as multi-stakeholder governance and the publication of key infrastructure information. We have been endorsed by the Civil Society 20 (C20) Infrastructure Working Group; the CoST Infrastructure Disclosure Standard was endorsed by Transparency International; we partnered with Open Contracting Partnership on the Open Contracting for Infrastructure Data Standard.

We have also worked with, or been endorsed by the Water Integrity Network, UNDP, Open Government Partnership and others. 

Useful links

More details on multi-stakeholder working can be found in the Establishing a CoST multi-stakeholder group Guidance Note, also available as Creación de un Grupo Multisectorial CoST (Spanish). 

Read about how we’ve worked with civil society in our partnerships page and impact stories