Transparency International: ‘Leverage the experience & enthusiasm of good governance activists worldwide’

A mural in Bosnia-Herzegovina by Transparency International makes sure citizens know their rights. Photo by: Transparency International

Transparency International was selected as a Devex Top 40 Development Innovator based on a poll of thousands of global development professionals who are part of Devex, the largest network of aid and relief workers in the world.

Announced on April 18, Devex Top 40 Development Innovators is an impressive listing of the world’s leading donor agencies & foundations, development consulting companies, implementing NGOs, and advocacy groups.

We asked each of the Innovators four questions to learn how they stay ahead to the curve and tackle old development challenges in new ways. Here’s how Transparency International responded:

‘Leverages the experience & enthusiasm of good governance activists worldwide online & in person to fight corruption’

If you had to condense it to just one or two sentences, overall, what is it that makes your organization innovative?

The primacy of home-grown, bottom-up action: linking and leveraging the rich expertise, experience and enthusiasm of good governance experts and activists all around the world into a global movement online and in person to fight corruption.

Can you provide a specific example of something your organization has done that is particularly innovative?

Resisting corruption is often a collective action challenge: A company or official is more likely to resist if peers and competitors also play according to the rules. To facilitate such collective action, TI has developed a range of tools that enables stakeholders to come together and forge effective pacts that foster mutual trust and integrity. These tools are successfully deployed in a wide range of settings from big infrastructure procurement projects to specific industry sectors and local elections in many regions around the world, all with demonstrated impact on rolling back corrupt behavior.

Looking ahead 10 years, what are some of the innovations in international development that your organization wants to be a part of?

The transition to a truly sustainable and just world economy will require a big global push towards greening economies and making governance structures more accountable and inclusive at all levels and in all countries. As TI, we are deeply committed to help support this process. We will carry out and catalyse research, monitoring and advocacy in key policy areas, from ensuring that corruption does not thwart efforts to effectively respond to climate change or roll out ambitious anti-poverty programs to building strong judicial systems and empowering citizens to curb the influence of special interests and corrupt powerbrokers on policymaking all over the world.

One factor in driving innovation at any organization is the talent you hire and the partnerships you make. How does your organization take into account innovation when it comes to cultivating talent and partners?

Harnessing the creativity and commitment of social entrepreneurs and innovators is essential to match and trump the criminal energy and tactical shrewdness that often comes with corruption. Our approach to constructively work with all stakeholders from public, private to civil society helps us spot relevant innovations in any field and incubate new ideas for the fight against corruption.

This openness combines with an ambition for organizational learning that is geared towards understanding what works and what does not in tackling corruption and systematically refining interventions for best results. And it is reflected in our hiring policies that put a premium on intellectual curiosity and a multi-sector background.

Check out the full listing of all Devex Top 40 Development Innovators on Facebook.

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