Transparency campaigners welcome UN development report


Leading transparency and access to information campaigners including CAFOD, Global Witness, Integrity Action and Publish What You Fund, today hailed a new UN report as driving progress towards enhanced citizen accountability around the world. The report by the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 development agenda calls for a data revolution, proposes a goal to ‘Ensure Good Governance and Effective Institutions’ and puts transparency, accountability and people’s participation at the heart of the new framework.

First time access

The recommendations are a dramatic shift from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which expire at the end of 2015. The focus on improved data and measurable goals will mean, for the first time, that policymakers and citizens will be able to track the progress of the new goals, monitor the delivery of services and hold their governments accountable for their actions. Better access to information will reduce corruption, improve decision-making and allocation of resources, empower citizens and support good governance: all prerequisites for successful poverty reduction.

The Panel, which is co-chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, will now work with the UN Secretary General and the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development to refine the proposals.

Accountability and empowerment at every level

Judith Randel, Development Initiatives said:

“The inclusion of transparency, accountability and access to information as priorities in the HLP report will empower people at every level, adding value to the achievements in health and education seen to date under the Millennium Development Goals. We strongly welcome the HLP report and hope that the panel’s proposals will be adopted by governments and institutions around the world.”

Tony German, Development Initiatives, added:

“We are delighted with the HLP’s commitment to ending extreme poverty by 2030. The increased transparency and access to information called for by the HLP will increase accountability and empower people at every level. Alongside the education and health benefits delivered by the MDGs, access to information will increase vulnerable people’s awareness of their rights, services that are available – and it will also promote participation and opportunity for the poorest.”

Graham Gordon from CAFOD said:

“For the post-2015 development agenda to make real difference in the lives of people in poverty, access to information, access to justice, and enabling people to affect decisions that shape their lives are essential building blocks. The Panel is right to acknowledge these important elements in their report. Ensuring they remain a priority over the next two and a half years is crucial.”

Warren Krafchik from the International Budget Partnership said:

“An emphasis on fiscal transparency and participation in the post-2015 goals would allow citizens and other stakeholders to monitor whether or not those governments are investing sufficient resources in the right places to achieve the goals and whether all the resources actually reach intended beneficiaries.”

Ingrid Parent, President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), said:

“IFLA welcomes the report’s focus on transparency and accountability and hopes to see governments around the world implement the reports proposals as soon as possible. Libraries stand ready to act as key partners as we seek to increase access to information for all in the post-2015 development agenda.”

Marinke van Riet, International Director at Publish What You Pay said:

“The extractive industry has the potential to bring prosperity and opportunity to countries, provided the resources and revenues are managed in a transparent and accountable manner. We therefore welcome the High Level Panel’s proposals to put transparency and accountability at the heart of the new development framework. This will empower citizens to demand a fair deal for their resources and to follow the money.”

For editors

• The organisations involved are: CAFOD; Development Initiatives; Global Witness; International Budget Partnership; International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions; Integrity Action; Network for Information & Digital Access; Publish What You Fund; and Publish What You Pay.

• CAFOD and Development Initiatives are members of Beyond 2015 which is a global campaign with over 600 participating organisations in nearly 100 countries. Beyond 2015 is calling for an ambitious post-2015 agenda in line with its vision of a more equitable and sustainable world.