Assessing the evidence
Transnational multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) – voluntary partnerships between governments, civil society, and the private sector – are an increasingly prevalent strategy for promoting government responsiveness and accountability to citizens. While most transnational MSIs involve using voluntary standards to encourage socially and environmentally responsible private sector behavior, a handful of these initiatives – the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST), the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) and the Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) – focus on information disclosure and participation in the public sector. Unlike private sector MSIs, which attempt to supplement weak government capacity to enforce basic social and environmental standards through partnerships between businesses and civil society, public sector MSIs ultimately seek to bolster public governance. But how exactly are these MSIs supposed to work? And how much has actually been achieved?