Michel Démarre, Chairman of the CICA Working Group on Well-Prepared Projects moderated a session on “Promoting a culture of transparency and integrity in transport administrations” at the 26th World Road Congress in Abu Dhabi organized by the World Road Association on October 6-10, 2019.
The World Road Association (PIARC) decided to set up a task force on Well-Prepared Projects for the next 2 years. It is assumed that the newly established PIARC Task Force 1.1 on Well-Prepared Projects, which is scheduled to commence their work in the first quarter of 2020, will also be an opportunity for PIARC to reach out to external organizations on topics clearly related to good governance.
It is in this context that Michel Démarre animated a special session on transparency issues focusing on good project preparation as a tool to improve transparency.
The following topics were presented during the session:
- The issue of Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse possibly occurring during implementation of infrastructure works was presented by the World Bank, as well as possible remedies in a contractual framework; this has been a hot topic in the Bank for the last years;
- The importance of collective action was outlined and illustrated by all speakers
Between the promoters of public projects and the civil society: A representative from Iowa State, highlighted the need to identify champions among the civil society to help build trust and make project identification and implementation possible;
Between public authorities and contractors’ organizations: A representative from GCEF, presented the holistic program promoted in South Korea with the support of MOLIT (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport) to sensitize, incentivize and train contractors, with young professionals as a specific target;
Between Multilateral Development Banks or other international organizations, such as the OECD, and the private sector (including both consultants and contractors’ organizations), as illustrated by Michel DÉMARRE, on behalf of CICA (Confederation of International Contractors’ Associations)
- Significant results can be achieved through concrete and sustained efforts:
The example of Ukraine, a country often considered as having a poor track record in governance matters shows that progress is possible and rewarding;
Similar achievements were presented on behalf of CoST (Infrastructure Transparency Initiative), who outlined that transparency is just one of the many building blocks required to build trust.
- Finally, transparency issues should not be considered in isolation, but together with other governance issues, namely health, social, safety and environment issues. Risk assessments are the basis for better management in all these fields.