This week in transparency: Diaspora Saving $4 Billion

Open Design

While the Millennium Development Goals provided the end result goals to be reached by 2015, a framework of how best to make this happen was left to other discussions (such as those that took place in Paris, Accra, and Busan). ONE suggests that a post-2015 framework include more of the structure that will help reach such goals. The organization, along with many partners, suggests an Open Design Process, Monitoring Systems, and Data Portals to be the basis of this framework. If you doubt the necessity, read the report to see how budget monitoring strengthened sanitation delivery in Nepal, or how difficult it has been to even track MDG progress without these tools and systems in place.
Citizen Participation
More and more of these systems are being created that increase citizen participation, transparency, and accountability. The KM4DEV blog highlighted e-participation innovations they love such as South Australia’s Ask Just Once initiative to increase public access to government information and services. (I’m sure there are plenty of parents who would like to implement a ‘just ask once’ policy in their own home.) Sounds like a nice idea to me.
I hope to find the time to read this Brookings paper that explores Efforts to Introduce Inclusive Planning in Egypt. Some of the highlights include how a lack of transparency and low accountability has led to corruption, insufficient support for the poor, and the emergence of the soft state. The paper focuses on improving voice and participation in policy making and economic planning post-revolution with Egypt as the example.
ODI is also thinking about increasing crisis-affected voice and participation, but between aid agencies and citizens. This topic will be discussed later this month; if you want to participate it will be live streamed. 
Remittance and Debt Transparency
Remittances have grown in the past decade to surpass the global aid budget by three times. This growth has sparked discussion on the role it can play in development, as well as competition between companies to benefit from these overseas transfers as highlighted on the Guardian’s globaldevelopment blog. (Check out the Guardian’s interactive map to see where the money is flowing to and from). In response to this phenomenon, Development Gateway created the website Send Money Africa for the World Bank for African migrants to compare the cost of different services for sending money to their home countries. Shocking to discover, the post notes that reducing prices down to 5% would yield a savings of $4 billion for African migrants and their families.
In an effort to encourage a mass collaboration process at enhancing information on sovereign credit risk, Open Economics has released an open database of historical sovereign risk data. The interface is wiki-style allowing users to edit data points and enter comments.
Weekly updates are written by Taryn Davis of Development Gateway; email her your tips for next week's update to get a shout-out in the post.



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