5.4 Making Participation Work – Tools to Engage Victims of Corruption short report

Kulan Amin, Anupama Jha, Tinatin Ninua, Given Lubinda, Robert Lugolobi, Claire Schouten, Karanveer Singh, Anga Timilsina, 14th IACC, Workshop report, Development, Civil Society
Short WORKSHOP REPORT FORM

Number and title of workshop: 5.4 Making Participation Work – Tools to Engage Victims of Corruption and Champions in Public Office to Reach the MDGs
 
Coordinator: Kulan Amin
 
Date and time of workshop: 11 November, 2010 17:30-19:30
 
Moderator: Anupama Jha, Transparency International India
 
Rapporteur: Tinatin Ninua, Transparency International Secretariat
 
Panellists
Hon. Given Lubinda, Chair of the African Parliamentarians Network against Corruption and Member of Parliament of Zambia
Robert Lugolobi, Executive Director, Transparency International, Uganda
Chaire Schouten, Senior Programme Manager of the Network for Integrity in Reconstruction, TIRI
Karanveer Singh, Chairman of the elected Local Government (Panchayat), Bhadrajun, Rajasthan, India and Chair of the district level Water Association (Jal Parishad)
Anga Timilsina, Coordinator – UNDP Global Thematic Programme on Anti-Corruption for Development Effectiveness (PACDE), Democratic Governance Group (DGG)
 
Main Issues Covered

Anga Timilsina addressed the linkages between development and anticorruption tools and methodologies; cited the Millennium Development Goals synthesis report, pointing out that sectoral and anti corruption practitioners often work in parallel. Professionals in sectors lack anti corruption expertise and it is hard to integrate efforts in their work. In general, there is a great need to integrate anti corruption efforts and MDGs. 
 
Given Lubinda spoke about the Social Contract, pioneered by him in one of the constituencies in Zambia in 2007, as a campaign tool. He defined the Social Contract as an agreement between individuals or groups of individuals and as a yardstick against the benchmark of performance of the politician. It allows the participation of people and also is a protection for a politician against a popular perception that politics is a source of making private profits. Based on his experience of the Social Contract, which he has designed in cooperation with 5 local councillors, he shared some major lessons learned. It was also added that it is best if such contracts are concluded in the pre-election period, although it provides an opportunity to create structural elements of monitoring after the election. 
 
Chaire Schouten highlighted some of the case studies on engaging citizens in monitoring of financial assistance and focusing on local accountability projects. These initiatives in Afghanistan and Palestine have helped to gather data from the beneficiaries and understand hether community projects are meeting the needs of the people. The examples included the solid waste management in Palestine and mainstreaming social accountability with school education programmes.
 
Karanveer Singh spoke about his experience of working with the constituency as a grassroots politician and highlighted some of the challenges he faced in getting things running right after the election. In his view, local engagement mechanisms, such as the development pacts, give voters a chance to assist the politicians and to have a road map to follow. He also pointed out that party manifestos are made at national or state level and they may not be all fully relevant for local communities. Working with local administration is crucial in delivering on election promises. 
 
Robert Lugolobi described TI Uganda’s approach to counter public apathy and presented an example of the voluntary accountability committees, which have brought communities and their leaders to the same table. The approach has been to raise awareness among the population, facilitate dialogue and allow collective problem solving and the participation of citizens. This has been particularly important in the context of Uganda, where historically chiefdoms have not been accountable to people and civil servants don’t have a forum to inform the population either.
 
The question and answer session focused on identifying some of the challenges of applying the described forms of social accountability mechanisms in different political contexts. The question of sustainability of such efforts was also repeatedly addressed. 
 
Main Outcomes

Shared understanding on political corruption as an issue which needs to be most effectively addressed from the grassroots level.
 
Understanding for the need of the sustainable collaborative approach. 
 
Awareness of different approaches of accountability mechanisms, such as the Social Contract, Development Pacts, citizens engagement in monitoring of social programs. 
 
Main Outputs

Importance of combining of anti corruption tools by building this into sectoral planning and the need to engage with political champions. 
 
Social Contract could serve as a yardstick against the benchmark of performance of the politician who wants to deliver on promises. Social contracts could be most effective when they are concluded between an individual politician and the community, with a pledge coming from a politician, and the needs of the stakeholders are identified without the influence of the political leader. 
 
The vicious circle of corruption involves government officials, who are sustained by politicians who on the other hand, are voted in power by citizens. The break of the circle should start with the voters on the grassroots level. 
 
Recommendations, Follow-up Actions

Anti corruption research has to focus more on governance problems and not limit itself to financial management issues. There is a need for marrying anti corruption efforts and MDGs. 
 
Politicians are by and large considered corrupt, but there is a need to promote those who are not. 
 
Politicians and administration have to work together for improving public service delivery. Development pacts could offer the opportunity to create structural elements of monitoring.
 
Long term capacity development approach to strengthen political parties and focus on engaging individual champions who care about corruption. 
 
Workshop Highlights (including interesting quotes)

“Corruption does not start from the government; politicians allow them to be corrupt. Politicians on the other hand, are corrupt because they are in power, and they are in power because people have voted for them”, - Karanveer Singh.
 
“I used the Social Contract as a campaign tool to protect myself from those amongst my constituency who always believe that politicians are a source of private profits”, Given Lubinda.
pdf5.4 Making Participation Work – Tools to Engage Victims of Corruption short report

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