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Welcome Costa Rica, the newest member of the CoST family!

On 27 March, Costa Rica became the fifth country in Central America to join CoST. Committing to strengthening transparency and accountability in public infrastructure, Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría, Vice President of Costa Rica, officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CoST on behalf of Costa Rica. Their membership to CoST forms part of a wider open government strategy, in support of the country's plans for OECD ascension. Costa Rica's application is a direct result of its participation in the 2015 CoST Latin America regional infrastructure workshop. Read more here.  


CoST Afghanistan: Opportunities and challenges for infrastructure transparency

CoST Afghanistan launched its Scoping Study on 16 March, exploring the opportunities and challenges to infrastructure transparency. The Scoping Study identified that the most significant challenges to public infrastructure procurement remain around project delivery and completion including political influence on contract awards, beneficial ownership of contracting firms and insufficient or overlapping monitoring. Read more here. 


CoST Ukraine: Unlocking new information on public infrastructure

CoST Ukraine has made a major breakthrough in infrastructure transparency by ensuring that all resolutions and minutes from the Technical Committee of the state road agency, Ukravtodor, will be publicly available. The Technical Committee is the advisory body responsible for considering and approving all technical resolutions on roads and artificial structures and its decisions therefore impact upon the cost, timeframe and quality of public road works. Read more here.  


CoST Uganda: New CoST Champion announced to advance the infrastructure transparency agenda

The Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Monica Ntege Azuba, has committed to supporting infrastructure transparency and accountability as the CoST Uganda Champion. The announcement came as part of CoST Uganda’s Strategic Engagement Meeting which brought together high-level multi-stakeholder representatives to raise demand for good governance in public infrastructure and present preliminary findings from its Scoping Study. Read more here. 


CoST Ethiopia: From technical data to actionable information, new Aggregation Study launched

To date, CoST Ethiopia has applied the principles of disclosure and assurance to over 50 infrastructure projects representing US$3.27 billion of investment. This new Aggregation Study analyses and synthesises the project information disclosed to provide a comprehensive overview of the state of Ethiopian infrastructure. Through the Study, CoST Ethiopia seeks to facilitate a transition from disclosure driven by the CoST Assurance process to greater integration of disclosure into government systems. Read more here.  


CoST Board in Honduras: Supporting national programmes on the ground

CoST Honduras welcomed the CoST Board for a jam-packed week to showcase the successes and learnings from their national programme and hold the 21st CoST Board meeting. From roundtables with the President of the Republic of Honduras and regional donors to project site visits and citizen forums, CoST Honduras displayed the breadth and depth of its programme. CoST is proud to be a flexible standard, both adapting to the local context but also drawing insights from national experiences to inform its international principles and guidelines. Read more here. 


CoST in Southeast Asia: New research highlights baseline for infrastructure transparency

CoST, in partnership with the UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), has undertaken ground-breaking research into the infrastructure investment environment across Southeast Asia. Four country studies, covering Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, identify both the challenges and opportunities for strengthening public infrastructure investment in the region. The reports were launched at a regional workshop in Bangkok, Thailand, in which leading high-level stakeholders came together to explore how best to strengthen and expand existing transparency and accountability efforts. Read more here.  


Public Procurement in Africa: Harnessing its potential for socio-economic growth

CoST International and CoST Malawi joined other leading experts for a high-level conference on public procurement, organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank. Addressing both the opportunities and challenges in the region, the Forum focused on the issue of harnessing public procurement for socio-economic growth and ensuring equity of public investments. Joe Ching’ani, CoST Malawi Chairperson, said: “African countries should embrace and adopt transparent governance tools, such as CoST, in order to take the continent’s social and economic transformation agenda further and higher.” Read more here. 


CoST Honduras and CoST Malawi: A win for transparency and citizen engagement at the OGP Summit

CoST Honduras and CoST Malawi were both winners at the Open Government Awards. Celebrating civil society initiatives that use government data to bring concrete benefits, CoST Honduras was awarded third prize and CoST Malawi received an Honourable Mention at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit 2016 in Paris, France. Both CoST countries were recognised by the Awards for their contributions to improving civic participation in public life, improving the functioning of government and creating new services. Read more here. 



CoST Ukraine: First assurance report endorsed by President and Minister

CoST Ukraine has launched its first assurance report, analysing over 120 public road reparation contracts across 17 regions. Representing more than UAH 3,399 billion (GBP£90 million), it is a huge step forwards for transparency and accountability. Widely praised, including by the President and Minister of Infrastructure, CoST Ukraine is already working closely with stakeholders to take the report’s recommendations forward. Read more here.



Enshrined in law: CoST Guatemala endorsed by Congress

The Guatemalan Congress of the Republic, the country’s unicameral legislature, has ratified a law which mandates that public infrastructure procurement must comply with all CoST disclosure indicators and use Guatecompras, the national e-procurement portal. In all cases, for all projects, across all Procuring Entities (PEs), this is a tremendous achievement which will only strengthen transparency and accountability in public infrastructure for Guatemala. Read more here.  



CoST Malawi: Strengthening public infrastructure in policy and in practice

CoST Malawi launched its latest assurance report, featuring in-depth analysis on the transparency levels of 26 sample public infrastructure projects. The report revealed that almost all publicly-funded projects (where donors were not responsible for direct disbursement of project funds) suffered from non-payment, delayed payments and cost overruns. With the report covering a variety of sectors including education, health and water, these projects represent life-changing infrastructure for citizens. Read more here.  



Joining forces for integrity: Partnering with industry and civil society across Europe and beyond

CoST is working with European partners to strengthen good governance in public infrastructure at a global level. From raising demand to product development, CoST supported the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) and the European International Contractors (EIC) to create a new world-wide standard on "anti-bribery management systems". We have also partnered with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to strengthen multi-stakeholder in international public infrastructure, sharing our experiences from local implementation. Read more here.



CoST at IACC: Tackling corruption in public infrastructure

CoST joined more than 1,600 delegates from 130 countries at the 17th International Anti-Corruption Conference (17IACC) in Panama City, Panama, with one common call: the time for Justice, Equity, Security, and Trust is now. From the launch of the new CoST Panama programme to CoST panel discussions and a CoST evening reception, we ensured that infrastructure was at the forefront of the anti-corruption agenda. CoST is committed to the Panama Declaration and will continue to strive to deliver justice in public infrastructure investment worldwide. Read more here. 



National institutions in Ethiopia commit to raising transparency standards

CoST Ethiopia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three Government Institutions as part of a commitment to institutionalising disclosure within Procuring Entities (PEs). Bringing together three major national transparency institutions – Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC), the Office of the Federal Auditor General (OFAG), and the Federal Public Procurement and Property Administration Agency (FPPA) – the MoU marks a major step forward in creating a culture of transparency at national level. Read more  



CoST El Salvador: Bringing ethics into infrastructure

CoST El Salvador has launched a brand new free training programme to support stakeholders in delivering better value public infrastructure. Entitled “Ethics, Transparency and Corruption in Public Infrastructure Projects”, the training programme seeks to drive ethical and democratic practices in public infrastructure investment and delivery. Read more  


From Lilongwe to Tegucigalpa: CoST countries working together to strengthen transparency

CoST Honduras hosted CoST Malawi in Tegucigalpa for a peer-exchange programme to share insights from their experience with a focus on SISOCS, the sub-portal for public infrastructure disclosure. Joe Ching'ani, CoST Malawi MSG Chairperson, said: “When political support is guaranteed, advocating for transparency in construction matters can do anything including unveiling new innovations.” Read more  



Spot an infrastructure issue? Text CoST Malawi!

CoST Malawi has created an innovative SMS platform to provide citizens with a real-time reporting mechanism for infrastructure issues affecting their local areas. Launched in late May, Malawians can now text the toll-free SMS number 576 to log details of any infrastructure projects, such as roads and schools, where they have concerns with its delivery. The service covers everything from delays in project commencement and changes in project proposals to failures in safety requirements. The number provides a lifeline for citizens to ensure that the services their taxes pay for are delivered efficiently and effectively. Read more  



Government of Honduras commits to acting on recommendations from CoST Honduras Assurance Report

The Minister of Infrastructure, Roberto Ordoñez, has praised CoST Honduras for increasing transparency and accountability within national public infrastructure and committed to implementing CoST’s recommendations. The announcement was made as part of a series of events organised by CoST Honduras to launch its second Assurance Report; CoST Assurance has increased transparency in the country, improving disclosure rates on projects sampled from 24 to 97 per cent overall. Read more  



British Embassy in El Salvador supports CoST El Salvador to increase transparency in public infrastructure

The British Embassy in El Salvador has officially joined the CoST El Salvador Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) as an Observer member to support the programme in increasing transparency and accountability in public infrastructure. The British Embassy has long championed the initiative on the ground and their membership to the MSG marks a formalisation of this partnership. Read more  



CoST Malawi workshops spark media demand for transparency

Across the cities of Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre, CoST Malawi recently held a series of training workshops for government, the media and civil society representatives. The workshops were aimed at reinforcing demand and supply of information on public infrastructure projects. With a focus on the CoST Infrastructure Data Standard (IDS), the workshops highlighted the data that government officials should disclose and how this disclosure can be used to demand accountability. Read more  



CoST Honduras agreement with transparency commissions fuels demand for citizen involvement

CoST Honduras has signed an agreement with 90 citizen transparency commissions to increase transparency and accountability in public infrastructure. As part of the agreement CoST Honduras will share information on infrastructure data and assurance, in addition to providing workshop training on SISOCS, a subsystem of the national e-procurement portal. SISOCS allows citizens to access information on the construction, supervision and maintenance of public infrastructure, such as road networks. It is an excellent example of CoST being used in the everyday management of public infrastructure, enabling users to understand the physical and financial progress of a project. Read more  



CoST Ukraine works with government to develop disclosure system

In February, CoST Ukraine provided a training event for government officials, in partnership with the World Bank. The event was opened by Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan and aimed to overcome perceptions that CoST might be a punitive system for government employees. There were representatives from 24 regional road authorities and Ukravtodor, the central office, in attendance. Read more  



CoST Country Managers: Working together to strengthen capacity

CoST Country Managers came together for a four-day training workshop in London to build capacity and support shared learning. Covering four continents, CoST Country Managers have a wealth of knowledge around both the best practices for and challenges of working with stakeholders to deliver better value from public infrastructure. The workshop sessions were therefore designed to provide guidance from the Secretariat, whilst facilitating the exchange of experiences across countries to develop new approaches. Read more  



Monitoring the performance of CoST National Programmes

CoST's Performance Monitoring Policy came into effect on 1 April 2016 and ensures that national programmes are making progress towards implementing CoST standards, within CoST principles. The policy sets out procedures to identify good performance and manage poor performance or non-compliance, as well as assisting those countries which find themselves in the midst of political instability or conflict. Read more  



Lack of transparency in public infrastructure data is a key concern in latest assurance report from CoST Guatemala

CoST Guatemala has published its fifth assurance report, featuring analysis of over thirty public sector infrastructure projects across roads, water, sanitation, schools, hospitals, municipal buildings, sports facilities and parks. A key finding from the report is that time overruns were found in all case studies, often due to mismanagement. The report provides several recommendations and has been widely circulated amongst stakeholders, including a launch event covered by El Periodico in Spanish. Read more  



Lessons from Seoul: Strengthening transparency and accountability

Last month Petter Matthews, Executive Director of CoST, delivered a keynote speech at an international workshop for public construction transparency organised by the UNDP, Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Taking place in Seoul, the workshop utilised the capital’s Clean Construction System (CCS) as an initial reference point before drawing best practice examples from CoST and other international actors. Read more  



New reports highlight the potential of CoST

Those on the ground believe CoST’s strength is its ability to “get simple information to the public…[and] reduce corruption in construction” whilst the international donor community “see CoST’s unique focus on transparency in infrastructure as filling an important gap”. These are the findings from reports published this month into the value and potential of CoST. Read more  



New funding and MSG members announced at CoST Tanzania AGM

During the latest CoST Tanzania AGM, it was announced that the Africa Open Data Collaboration Fund (AODC) has awarded the national programme US$15,000. CoST Tanzania will design tools for CSOs operating at sub-national level to monitor procurement and implementation of infrastructure projects in education and health.  Read more



Breaking the chain in Malawi

Reflecting on International Anti-Corruption Day 2015 and its #BreakTheChain theme, CoST Malawi and other leading civil society organisations held an Anti-Corruption Symposium in December with a focus on infrastructure development. The Symposium brought citizens and stakeholders together to highlight the true cost of corruption in construction. Read more



Growing CoST globally: Changing infrastructure delivery to change lives

International development consultancy IMC Worldwide will conduct a strategic review of Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST). Launched in 2012, 15 countries now participate in CoST. The review will explore how the initiative can increase its impact to support communities worldwide. Read more  



CoST Malawi projects retendered

Following the publication of CoST Malawi’s second assurance report (completed with support from the African Development Bank) highlighting extensive time and cost overruns on various public projects, a number of public contracts including Thyolo-Thekerani-Muona-Bangula Road and Zomba-Jalie-Phalombe-Chitakale Road were cancelled. A new selection process is now underway to complete the work and CoST Malawi was present at the pre-bid contractors’ meeting organised by Malawi Roads Authority to monitor developments. Read more  



From Mexico City to St. Petersburg and Seoul: Raising awareness of CoST 

CoST has been around the world recently discussing how to deliver better value from infrastructure. We have compiled our highlights from the Open Government Partnership Global Summit 2015 (27-29 October, Mexico), Conference of the States Parties to the UN Convention Against Corruption (2-6 November, Russia) and the World Road Congress (2-6 November, South Korea). Read more  



Rooting out impunity and strengthening integrity in the construction sector: CoST at IACC 2015

CoST hosted a panel debate entitled ‘Rooting out impunity and strengthening integrity in the construction sector’ at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya, Malysia. Read more 



CoST Ethiopia publishes three assurance reports, highlighting causes of concern in the procurement process

Following their support to Procuring Entities (PEs) in disclosing data, the first assurance reports have now been published by CoST Ethiopia highlighting key issues in terms of how the tender process was carried out and contracts awarded. Read more


CoST workshop in Lima to develop transparency in Latin America

From 22-23 October, the Comptroller General's Office of the Republic of Peru hosted a CoST regional workshop in Lima to support Latin American countries in strengthening transparency and accountability in the delivery of public infrastructure. Read more


CoST Ukraine officially launched in Kiev

On 20 October 2015, details of the ‘CoST Ukraine’ initiative were agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Andriy Pivovarskii (Ministry of Infrastructure), Andrew Batishchev (Ukravtodor, State Road Agency) and Petter Matthews (CoST International Secretariat). Read more


Six month saving in construction time brings benefits to Ethiopian farmers

In a new CoST film, Deputy Director the Ethiopian Roads Authority has confirmed a six month saving in construction time on the Gindeber to Gobensa road, bringing the benefits to the rural community earlier than expected. Read more


Five lessons from CoST for new Global Infrastructure Forum

In our latest blog, International Secretariat Executive Director and Board Member, Petter Matthews highlights five lessons for the new Global Infrastructure Forum that can help to deliver better value for money from infrastructure investment. The Forum was announced at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. Read more


CoST Honduras first assurance report highlights increase in transparency

This item was submitted by our CoST Honduras colleagues.

CoST Honduras recently presented the results of it first assurance process at an event attended by more than 120 invited representatives of government, private sector, civil society, international cooperation and media. Read more

El primer estudio de aseguramiento de CoST Honduras pone de relieve  el aumento en la transparencia. Leer más


Scoping study identifies need for a Government Decree to provide a secure framework for CoST Ukraine

A CoST scoping study has identified the need for a Decree of the Cabinet Ministers to provide a framework for CoST Ukraine.

The Ukraine National State Roads Agency (UAD) started the CoST Ukraine programme in November 2013. However, the recent political instability has meant progress in establishing the CoST programme has been slow.  Read more


CoST Malawi unveils ambitious new Business Plan

CoST Malawi recently unveiled its new three year Business Plan that will run from 2015 to 2018 at a ceremony attended by CoST Champion and Vice President, Saulos Chilima, the CoST Malawi Multi-Stakeholder Group and Development Partners’ representatives.  Read more


Date Published: 26 March 2015
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