June 2, 2023 10:15 am
It is a great honour for CoST Uganda to win the Outstanding Achievement Collective Action Award 2023.
We are truly obliged for this great honour and recognition given by the Jury of judges at the Basel Institute of Good Governance on the First shortlist and the hundreds of stakeholders all over the World who gave us the public votes that enabled us to win. The award was received by Eng. Joe Chingani, the Multi-Stakeholder Group Chairperson for CoST Malawi, on behalf of CoST Uganda, signifying that CoST International is a unified Family of Infrastructure Transparency Advocates.
We are deeply indebted to all stakeholders, the Government of Uganda, our Champion Ministry of Works and Transport, all Procurement Entities, the private sector, media and civil society, and the people of Uganda for having provided us an enabling environment to implement the CoST approach, and addressing our recommendations. Your multi-stakeholder efforts, have brought us this far, congratulations. This award further challenges us to embrace the CoST approach at all levels of project delivery.
“This Award is not just for CoST Uganda but for the government, private sector and civil society partners that have worked together to increase disclosure, undertake assurance processes to give meaning to disclosed data, and mor importantly government’s commitment to implement recommended reforms. This Awards inspires us to continue on this path” – Gilbert Sendugwa, CoST Senior Regional Manager- Africa and Executive Director, AFIC shortly after recieving the news of the Award.
This award confirms the value of Infrastructure Transparency in the delivery of public infrastructure projects in Uganda and beyond. It speaks to our outstanding performance in enhancing transparency and accountability in the public infrastructure sector through promotion of disclosure of infrastructure data, periodic, independent review of disclosed data, technical assistance and broad consultative cooperation with key stakeholders in government, private sector and local communities. CoST Uganda through the FCDO’s Business Integrity Initiative (BII) and support from CoST International Secretariat has since 2020 promoted integrity and fairness in infrastructure procurement using the multi-stakeholder approach in Uganda.
“It is an infinite honour to win this Award which reveals the growing need for Infrastructure Transparency in Uganda and beyond. It is indeed a great pleasure to the people of Uganda, our stakeholders and the global CoST Family to celebrate this success while we are challenged to do more. An Africa without Infrastructure Transparency means poorly constructed public projects at the expense of citizens. It is pertinent that Governments, Private sector and civil society jointly work together through the CoST approach of Disclosure, Assurance, Multi-stakeholder working and social accountability to remove all impediments that affect delivery of quality infrastructure, stronger economies and better lives. To the Basel Institute of Good Governance, thank you for this recognition, to all our voters, and the people of Uganda, Hongera sana! Olive Kabatwairwe, Africa Regional Manager and Coordinator, CoST Uganda.
The private sector operated in silos, with less systematic interactions with government on issues that affected them in the sector. Through the Business Integrity Initiative, and learning from experiences of our Assurance Processes, and various researches, CoST Uganda has progressively turned this situation around specifically through; promoting better data disclosure through the Open Contracting for Infrastructure Data Standard (IDS) which has been integrated into the Government Procurement Portal (GPP) and enabling disclosure across projects in Uganda; increasing competition in doing business with government agencies; and, strengthening transparency in procurement processes for infrastructure projects. Beyond this, we have documented changes at policy, sector and project levels on how public infrastructure projects are delivered.
Our work in Uganda supports the central goal of the global CoST initiative, which is to promote transparency, accountability and citizen participation in public infrastructure investments. The idea is that enhancing data disclosure on infrastructure projects helps to inform and empower businesses and citizens. This knowledge enables them to hold decision-makers to account and informs delivery of quality infrastructure, a stronger economy and better lives. Our approach has been appreciated and adopted across the various entities, for instance, the citizens Barazas have been introduced by government across all infrastructure projects as an accountability and information sharing platform. Citizens have been able to raise their concerns and receive feedback, this has directly led to improvements on infrastructure projects addressing issues from the assurance reports. In November 2023, CoST Uganda won the first CoST International Global award as the best performing Member programme implementing the CoST approach that has documented results at various levels in a nearly few years of implementation.