OSIWA, WB join to fight contract graft in West Africa
The Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and The World Bank (WB) have joined forces to help strengthen transparency and accountability in public procurement through collaboration among government, civil society and the private sector.
According to The World Bank, public procurement represents about 50% to 70% of total government spending in many developing countries. It is also a major source of revenue to the private sector.
On these bases, efficient public procurement (covering process and service delivery) can have major impact in the fight against corruption and welfare improvement. It can boost the role of the private sector as drivers of growth and economic development.
As part of efforts to address these issues, OSIWA and World Bank (WB) recently concluded a three-day conference in Dakar, Senegal under the theme “Can Contract Monitoring Improve Development Outcomes?”
It was attended by civil society members from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, D.R. Congo, Guinea, Niger, Senegal and Togo
“A new shift of focus, from ‘internal processes’ in public procurement, towards an approach that is based on risk, performance and outcomes provides important opportunities for more active citizens’ voice in public procurement”, Edward Olowo-Okere, World Bank Director of Core Operational Services for the Africa Region, told the participants .
Dayo Olaide, Economic Governance Officer at OSIWA, said making this shift requires vigilance and active citizens’ engagement to achieve effective and efficient procurement and improvement in service delivery.
“We are drawing from lessons-learned through multi-stakeholder interventions, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which have proved (after ten years in operation) that real change and accountability happens when an engaged citizenry, working closely with other key actors, holds its leaders to account,” explained Olaide.
At the end of the three-day forum, participants produced ‘Draft Country Action Plans’, which were intensely debated in the plenary session. In the next phase, each country plan will be subject of elaborate deliberation by a wider public who will then own and validate it. They will be considered for joint support by OSIWA and the World Bank.
The new WB Global Partnership for Enhanced Social Accountability (GPESA), endorsed in April 2012, signals a major shift in The World Bank’s support to civil society through dedicated funds. It is an important complementary resource and can boost current OSIWA interventions to promote equitable and efficient management of public and natural resource endowment in West Africa.
Coalitions from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Guinea, Niger, Senegal and Togo will benefit in this joint assistance.Tweet