World Bank Eyes Global Rollout of Anti-Corruption Scheme Targeting Construction Industry

A construction site in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Photo by: Antony Robbins / Overseas Development Institute

The World Bank wants an initiative tackling corruption in publicly financed construction projects to go global.

The bank along with the U.K. Department for International Development has piloted the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative, or CoST, in eight countries: Ethiopia, Guatemala, Malawi, the Philippines, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, Vietnam and Zambia.

“DFID are incredibly proud of what the CoST pilot has achieved to date. All those in CoST believe it has the potential to transform the construction industry,” Martin Walshe, a DfID engineer, told an audience at the Overseas Development Institute in London on Friday (April 18).

The construction industry, TrustLaw says, is particularly susceptible to waste and corruption, partly due to the large number of contractors and transactions involved in the sector. It is also known for bribes to public officials and financing politicians and political parties in a bid to influence policies, laws and regulations, Transparency International notes.

Walshe said the date for the global rollout is not yet known, but some countries, including Uganda and Nigeria, have indicated their interest in signing up for the effort, TrustLaw reports. 

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    Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.