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The Role of Information in Improving Development & Governance

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  1. The Role of Information in Improving Development & Governance Sahr Kpundeh World Bank Institute

  2. Overview of Presentation • Information and Governance -- economic perspective -- governance perspective • Information and Development -- transparency and corruption -- information and accountability -- information and efficiency • Program Components -- Media and Information Environment -- Public information capacity -- Media institutions and Capacity -- Development Journalism -- investigative Journalism • Conclusion: WBI’s Media, Information and Governance Program

  3. Creating Freedom of Information A Steep Ascent&A Difficult Climb

  4. Per Capita Income and Infant Mortality and Corruption Regulatory Burden 12,000 90 80 10,000 70 8,000 60 50 6,000 40 4,000 30 20 2,000 10 0 0 Weak Average Good Weak Average Good Development Regulatory Burden Control of Corruption Development x x Dividend Dividend Literacy and Rule of Law Per Capita Income and Voice and Accountability 100 10000 9000 8000 75 7000 6000 50 5000 4000 3000 25 2000 1000 0 0 Weak Average Good Weak Average Strong Development Development Rule of Law x x Voice and Accountability Dividend Dividend The ‘Dividend’ of Good Governance Note : The bars depict the simple correlation between good governance and development outcomes. The line depicts the predicted value when taking into account the causality effects (“Development Dividend”) from improved governance to better development outcomes. For data and methodological details visit http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/governance.

  5. Reforms for Improving Governance & Combating Corruption • Civil Society Oversight • Open Hearings • Monitoring • Access to Information • Freedom of the Press • Economic Policy • Deregulation • Privatization • Competition Policy Good Governance • Accountability of Political Leadership • Disclosure • Inspector General/Anti-Corruption Agency • Campaign Finance • Financial Management • Comprehensive Budget • Transparency • Procurement Reform • Independent Audit • Rule of Law • Independence from Executive • Upgrade Staff Training and Laws • ADR Mechanisms • Civil Service • Pay • Meritocracy • Client Information • Customs Reform • Tariff Simplification • Professionalization • Reduce Discretion

  6. Perspectives on Information • Economic perspective • Information about prices • More efficient markets • Governance Perspective • Information about functioning of public officials • Transparency, accountability • Better allocation of public resources • Information as tool for empowerment

  7. Information from Economic Perspective • Information as a public good • Responsibility of the government to make information available to citizens about economy/markets – publication of data and statistics • Decreases uncertainty in the market. Hence decreases volatility and improves macroeconomic environment

  8. Information & Development • Government’s design sound economic and social policies and implement policies more effectively • Private business/individuals make better choices in private markets • Business/individuals evaluate choices and make better choices in public/political markets • Hold private and public actors accountable by: --affecting reputation -- allowing to monitor with a view to devise penalties and rewards

  9. Information & Governance • Transparency & Corruption • Transparency in Government decisions, public expenditures, and transactions is key to averting corruption • Transparency in the award of contracts and licenses is key to making them fair and open • Information on public officials in the media provides a useful check on the discretionary exercise of authority

  10. Transparency and GDP Growth Annual GDP Growth (%) Source: Annual GDP growth over 1999-2001 is taken from WDI 2002; GDP is computed in PPP terms. The various transparency / governance variables drawn from Executive Opinion Survey, 2002.

  11. Information & Governance • Information and Accountability • Increases political accountability if politicians have to make information public • Increases internal accountability of public officials if they are required to regularly report to policymakers • Increases social accountability since citizens can monitor actions of bureaucrats and delivery of services, and participate • Especially important to participation and accountability by local governments

  12. Information & Governance • Information & Efficiency • Increases efficiency if information is effectively managed and shared between government departments • Important for businesses to function effectively, and for a more stable macroeconomic environment • Improves accessibility to public services if information about them are available easily

  13. Information Institutions & Flows Information Government Central Ministries Local/Municipal Bodies Legislatures (Central & Local) Checks & Balance Media Citizens Civil Society Private sector Information Information Voice & Participation

  14. Information & Governance Delegation of Implementation Delegation and Voice Political Accountability Internal Accountability Public Goods and Services Client Power/Social Accountability Politicians/ Policymakers Information Information Information Citizens Bureaucrats

  15. WBI’s Media, Information & Governance Program • Needs Assessments, Learning workshops and programs to build capacity in client countries • Target groups: legislators, government information officials, media professionals, civil society • Partners: Local research institutions, media training institutes, international donor partners

  16. WBI’s Media, Information & Governance ProgramFive Modules Media & Information Environment Public Information Capacity Media Institutions and Capacity Development Journalism Investigative Journalism

  17. Media and Information Environment • Many countries have Secrecy laws – Official Secrets Act • Conflicts between FOI law and Secrecy laws • Freedom of Information Law is a relatively new phenomenon in many countries • FOI law provides exemptions, procedures for requests and outlines obligations of public officials for disclosure • Provides guarantees against denial of information • Also includes freedom of expression • Enforcements Mechanisms: Information Commissioners; Ombudsman

  18. Public Information Capacity • Even in the presence of FOI law, government agencies need the capacity to make information public • Information as a public good. Obligation of public agencies to provide information about citizen rights and entitlements • Press Information Departments fulfill this function • Limited capacity for information management, processes for information flows • Need for both structural solutions – technology for better information management, capacity for dissemination, publications etc. • Public Information Campaigns

  19. Public Information Capacity • Importance of the architecture of information - to ensure that the information that is collected is comparable and accessible. • Integrated financial management information systems - to track the use of money within the government. - used in Tanzania, and being implemented in many other African countries. • Computerized audits - to ensure comparability of information on the use of public money across years and to enhance accessibility - used in South Africa. Implemented in Ghana. • Mobilization of non-governmental groups in information gathering - use of service delivery surveys in Uganda and India.

  20. Media Institutions & Capacity • Mass media are important intermediaries of public information • Political Economy of Media Ownership • Political Influence & Independence of the Media • Financial Autonomy • Media Management • Independent media – Print, Community radio, Internet

  21. Development Journalism • The Role of the Media in Development • Reporting on Poverty • Public Service Obligations of Commercial Media • State media and Development • Balancing Commercial and Public Service Interests • Quality and impact of good reporting

  22. Investigative Journalism • Reporting and Writing Skills • Research Skills • Media Ethics • Dealing with political pressures • Uncovering Corruption

  23. Program Achievements • Long experience with investigative journalism courses in Africa • Freedom of information workshops in Sri Lanka and Indonesia

  24. Thank You

  25. Q&A and Discussion