Why we come to work
We believe that accountable, transparent, and honest government is a fundamental right of every citizen. Good governance provides the basis for efficient markets and effective government service delivery; it also plays a powerful role in reaffirming citizens’ belief in democracy as a just means of organizing public life. We seek a public sector that is responsive and accountable rather than predatory, capable of promoting economic growth through citizen empowerment while simultaneously addressing complex public policy challenges. We are inspired by reformers – whether in government, civil society, or the private sector – who work towards the same ideals. Our approach is to collaborate with them whenever possible.
Our theory of change
We view corruption as a universal challenge, not a problem specific to low-income countries. It is not just about national governments, but about local government and communities as well as key sectors within economies. Corruption is not a “development” issue; it is a political and economic one. The solutions to curbing corruption – transparency and accountability – are not luxuries but are essential everywhere. They are available anywhere, provided there is leadership as well as demand for reform.
Our theory of change is based on the belief that governance, transparency, and accountability reforms are best achieved when public sector reforms are met with a demand for good governance from the private sector and civil society. No single approach will work without support from the others. Legal and regulatory reforms are weakened without a business community willing to adopt ethical business practices, while citizen demand for reform can only go so far without political will from the top. We view efforts that target both the supply and demand sides of the governance reform equation as the best, if imperfect, strategies for stimulating lasting reforms. We recognize that corruption persists in many countries not only because of rapacious “bad apples” but because patronage and cronyism are often the byproducts of broken or failed social compacts. In lay terms, politics matter just as much as economics.
We also believe that governance reforms stand the best chance of success if they are grounded in rigorous, detailed evidence generated by local stakeholders. That evidence should “make the case” for key reforms based on those reforms’ potential to generate positive ripple effects across other dimensions of governance and transparency; they should also be politically feasible and affordable. We believe that incremental yet ambitious reforms are achievable when solid evidence is used to inform reform strategies, even if the path of reform varies greater across countries and regions.