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Why multi-stakeholder groups succeed and fail

  • Truex, Rory
  • Soreide, Tina

Anti-corruption initiatives increasingly use multi-stakeholder groups, comprised of representatives from government, private sector, and civil society organizations, to drive implementation at the local level and serve as a force for transparency. In theory, the multi-stakeholder groups ideal is quite appealing -- each stakeholder has its own interest in the initiative and contributes its unique capacities. In practice, many multi-stakeholder groups have fallen short of expectations. This paper considers two separate but related questions. First, what are the unique barriers to implementation facing multi-stakeholder groups? Second, what policy measures can be taken to improve the likelihood that multi-stakeholder groups will succeed? The authors use existing research in political science and economics to develop a multi-level framework that accounts for the"nested nature"of multi-stakeholder groups. The framework is then applied to experiences of MSGs from the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative, a new pilot program that aims to promote transparency in construction through the release of material project information. The evidence shows that the barriers facing multi-stakeholder groups are substantial, but once the level (individual incentives, organizational dynamics, country context, or international pressures) of the challenge confronting a multi-stakeholder group is identified, the specific barrier, its root causes, and appropriate solutions can be identified. More broadly, the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative experiences suggest that multi-stakeholder groups are best used as a means of promoting dialogue and building consensus, not as the locus of policy implementation and oversight.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5495.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5495
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  1. Cadot, Olivier, 1987. "Corruption as a gamble," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 223-244, July.
  2. Andvig, J.C. & Ove Moene, K., 1988. "How Corruption May Corrupt," Memorandum 20/1988, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Rajeev Goel & Daniel Rich, 1989. "On the economic incentives for taking bribes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(3), pages 269-275, June.
  4. Kolstad, Ivar & Wiig, Arne, 2009. "Is Transparency the Key to Reducing Corruption in Resource-Rich Countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 521-532, March.
  5. Kenny, Charles & Soreide, Tina, 2008. "Grand Corruption in Utilities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4805, The World Bank.
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