Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Two reports worth highlighting from recent months. The first is a summary and evaluation of technology for transparency and accountability by the T/A Initiative. How is it being used to promote transparency in government? Is it effective? How can it be used better?
A key element of successful technology use in transparency and accountability efforts is their speed – both in execution and in stimulating change. Well-designed efforts produced relevant and usable information that can be used to demand accountability quickly. Technology for transparency and accountability tools need not be sophisticated, but it does need intelligent design that is relevant to the local context. Projects also have a better chance of effectively producing change when they take a collaborative approach, sometimes involving government.
The second is more focused in scope, but no less in-depth. The UNEP Ogoniland Oil Assessment has revealed the extent of environmental contamination and threats to human health in Nigeria's Niger Delta region.
The environmental restoration of Ogoniland could prove to be the world's most wide-ranging and long term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken if contaminated drinking water, land, creeks and important ecosystems such as mangroves are to be brought back to full, productive health.
Nigeria's petroleum industry is the largest in the country (itself the largest populous on the continent) and has seen serious criticism over its failure to reform an industry clearly damaging communities and their environment.

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