Guidance

Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST)

CoST explores how construction projects could be more transparent, reducing the mismanagement, waste and corruption that are common

Overview

CoST was launched in May 2008 to tackle some of the problems endemic to public construction across the world – overcharging, excessive delays, low standards and theft. Vietnam, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, the Philippines, the UK and Tanzania are piloting CoST.

Cost is supported by DFID and the World Bank. The DFID-funded CoST pilot program has now run its course. The World Bank is currently leading on the design of a global CoST programme, taking lessons learned from the pilot phase into the programme design.

CoST explores how, using a multi-stakeholder approach, public construction projects could be made more transparent and accountable, reducing the mismanagement, waste and corruption that are common in construction.

CoST is now supported by many prestigious private companies and by prominent civil society organisations including Transparency International, the Institution of Civil Engineers, Engineers Against Poverty, Tiri, the UK Anti-Corruption Forum - as well as by global initiatives including the grassroots advocacy organization ONE and the International Business Leaders’ Forum.

Among the private sector supporters are major international companies including Balfour Beatty, Halcrow, Skanska, Ramboll and Strabag.

How to partner:

To be considered as a CoST associate country, the following are required:

  • high level political commitment to implementing the CoST core principles
  • the appointment of a CoST Champion, preferably at ministerial level to facilitate support to CoST
  • the formation of a multi-stakeholder group to drive the process and balanced effective representation from the public and private sectors and civil society
  • a commitment to selecting appropriate public sector construction projects for public disclosure

The process

The CoST champion or a senior government official should contact the International Secretariat, expressing commitment to the CoST core principles and progress in meeting the requirements for associate country status.

DFID contact: S-Young@dfid.gov.uk

Find out more about CoST on the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative website.