Introduction to Tr-Ac-Net

"The Transparency and Accountability Network (Tr-Ac-Net) is a not for profit tax exempt organization organized in the USA that aims to make excellence in transparency and accountability (Tr-Ac) the norm rather than the exception. The network is made up of individual professionals and organizations around the world committed to excellence in transparency and accountability and management information for relief and development.

"Tr-Ac-Net is a volunteer member network with country teams in South Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe. It is coordinated from New York USA and Chennai India. Tr-Ac-Net data can be accessed anywhere at any time through the use of an Internet enabled database. Tr-Ac-Net has a small budget for coordination and the maintainance of its information infrastructure. Over the past decade there has been a series of high profile examples of failure of transparency and accountability in corporations, in government, in the official relief and development assistance (ORDA) community and in non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Corruption is widely regarded as a prime reason why relief and development has been expensive without being effective. For example: Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing, UN oil for food, American Red Cross 9/11, President Abacha in Nigeria, and so on. Organizations like Transparency International have highlighted the problem. There is a growing amount of anecdotal information about the effectiveness of small NGOs, but systemic data about relief and development performance and about small and informal organizations are not presently easily available.

"It is now time to implement a practical program to improve transparency and accountability and start to make it the norm rather than the exception, and to start a process that will make more resources available to the best performing organizations in relief and development. Philanthropic donors are increasingly interested in knowing more about the outcomes and the effectiveness of programs so that better decisions can be made about the allocation of scarce resources.

The Transparency and Accountability Network (Tr-Ac-Net):
The Tr-Ac-Net initiative comprises an international network of professional individuals and organizations with a commitment to the goal of Tr-Ac excellence. Tr-Ac-Net is, first and foremost, people, who are supported in their mission by:

  1. a database that makes a vast amount of data easily accessible;
  2. a Tr-Ac-Net Rating methodology;
  3. software and systems; and,
  4. expertise in improving transparency and accountability.

Transparency and accountability is the foundation for better use of scarce resources for global equitable sustainable socio-economic development. It helps level the playing field between the big and powerful and the small and powerless. It helps get resources to people and organizations that use resources best.

Tr-Ac-Net People:
People are Tr-Ac-Net's main strength. Tr-Ac-Net makes it possible for people committed to the goal of excellence in transparency and accountability everywhere to work on the problem and help fix it. A small team from the West/North in the USA and East/South in India coordinates Tr-Ac-Net activities on both sides of the globe.

Tr-Ac-Net Database:
Tr-Ac-Net operates an Internet enabled database system to have management information about transparency and accountability “on the record” and easily accessible everywhere. The database was started as a Wiki in 2003 and is now being upgraded to a high performance RDBMS.

Tr-Ac-Net Ratings:
Tr-Ac-Net Ratings are a way to get reliable information about an organization's transparency and accountability (Tr-Ac) status and its performance. Four sets of information are used: (1) level of commitment to Tr-Ac excellence; (2) level of Tr-Ac capability; (3) the actual level of Tr-Ac in practice; and (4) practical impact on socio-economic progress. Tr-Ac-Net Ratings are “on the record” in the Tr-Ac-Net database and easily accessible and serve as a balance to self-serving promotion and public relations.

Tr-Ac-Net Systems:
Tr-Ac-Net's efforts are supported by software and accountability systems that use open source code and are customizable for individual applications. They are based on the Tr-Ac E-Governance systems already deployed in offices of State Government in India.

Tr-Ac-Net Support:
Tr-Ac-Net provides consulting, training and support to organizations seeking help to improve transparency and accountability. Tr-Ac-Net encourages everyone to report and put “on the record” information about scams, rip-offs and profiteering. In many cases there are patterns that can be associated with weakness in transparency and accountability, especially where large fund flows are involved.

Tr-Ac-Net also implements projects such as:

  1. GIS for Community Development where Tr-Ac-Net will prepare community centric planning data to be incorporated into a GIS information database;
  2. Relief and Development Fund Flow documentation where the Tr-Ac-Net system will be used as an reliable independent way of tracking fund flows, for example, the multi-billion dollar Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM); and,
  3. Development Cooperation Report (DCR) preparation."

For more information, contact:

Tr-Ac-Net in New York USA (c/o Peter Burgess)
221 EAST 66TH STREET (4C), New York NY 10021
1 212 772 6918;

Tr-Ac-Net in Chennai, India (c/o Kris Dev)
B4, 27/12, III Main Road, K.B. Nagar, Adyar, Chennai-600020, India.
91 44 5211 5995;;
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