Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Global Reporting Standards: Two Worlds of Corporate and Non-corporate

Global standards in corporate financial and social reporting have attracted lots of attention from policy makers, and become an expanding field of research over the last few decades. A similar discussion about different approaches to reporting regulation has been largely missing in the non-corporate sector, in particular in the area of international development. This presentation will bring together key trends in international reporting standards in the corporate and non-corporate sectors, and focus on issues of accountability, open data and learning - as related to international development. I will discuss the situation where businesses are increasingly put under pressure to adopt rigorous reporting standards (e.g. financial accounting or CSR), however, equivalent pressure is lacking when it comes to various international development agencies, NGOs etc. I will argue that such different standards contribute to poor development progress around the world and come at a high cost to both Western tax payers and local communities in third countries.

Olga Ulybina is an A.SK Post-doctoral research fellow at WZB Berlin Social Science Center, Modes of Economic Governance project group. Olga's research explores institutional change in Russia and Central Asia, including the transforming nature of state-society relationships, outcomes of institutional transfers, and implementation of global rules in the local context, such as environmental policies. Prior to 2013, Olga was engaged as a research fellow at the Cambridge Central Asia Forum and a PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge, in addition to her work at the UNECE and private consultancy. Her recent publications include Forest Certification in Russia: Challenges of Institutional Development (Ecological Economics, 2013) and Russian Forests: The Path of Reform (Forest Policy and Economics, 2013). Olga's current research project examines the development of multi-level governance in Central Asia, with a particular focus on the impact of international programmes supporting participatory natural resource management.