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An Open Letter to UN High Level Panel

Dear Sir,

This week, a UN High Level Panel, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, will discuss its report on development priorities for 2015 and beyond. The recommendations will inform what replaces the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The MDGs galvanized development efforts and helped guide development priorities but, with less than a thousand days to go before the 2015 deadline, it’s clear not all of them will be achieved. The absence of transparency, accountability and participation as explicit aims within the current goals is in part to blame.

We must learn from the past and ensure transparency and accountability are at the heart of the new agenda. The new goals should be measurable, so that policymakers and citizens can track progress and monitor service delivery. Better access to information will reduce corruption, improve decision-making and allocation of resources, empower citizens and support good governance: all prerequisites for successful poverty reduction.

More than 200,000 people placed an “honest and responsive government” among their top‐three priorities in a recent UN survey. The panel has already highlighted the need to “invest in stable and accountable institutions, fight corruption, (and) ensure the rule of law” and called for a “data revolution”. We look forward to seeing these sentiments reflected in their final report, and adopted by governments and institutions around the world.

Yours truly,

Judith Randel, Director, Development Initiatives, Bristol
Gavin Hayman, Campaigns Director, Global Witness, London
Fredrick Galtung, Executive Directive, Integrity Action, London
Warren Krafchik, Director, International Budget Partnership, Washington DC
Jamie Drummond, Executive Director, ONE, London
David Hall-Matthews, Managing Director, Publish What You Fund, London
Marinke van Riet, International Director, Publish What You Pay, London
Matthew Frost, Chief Executive, Tearfund, London
Robert Barrington, Executive Director of Transparency International UK, London

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