Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) holds Asia Regional Workshop on Engaging Citizens to Fight Corruption

by  Eric Jude O. Alvia, NAMFREL Secretary General
from NAMFREL Election Monitor Vol.2, No.25
As part of its partnership with the PTF through the Medicine Monitoring Project, NAMFREL along with other Philippine NGOs, participated in a regional peer learning and knowledge sharing workshop on Engaging Citizens Against Corruption in Asia. The event was sponsored by PTF in collaboration with its Indian partners the Public Affairs Center, CUTS-International and Transparency International.

The four-day workshop held in Jaipur, India on November 29 to December 2, 2011 brought together Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from nine Asian countries and anti-corruption experts from all over the world. The workshop also featured results from over 30 case studies and four country programs.

Governance and anti-corruption experts from the PTF, World Bank, Transparency International and other organizations presented good practices in helping citizens fight corruption. The participants underwent sessions amongst peers and experts discussing a variety of topics related to Good Governance, funding strategies, sharing of best practices, innovations in engaging media and new technologies for anticorruption programs.

The 2011 Asia Regional Peer Learning and Knowledge Sharing Workshop’s intents are to 1) Foster peer learning and networking among PTF grantees and other CSOs outside the current PTF grantee community on engaging citizens against corruption projects; 2) Enhance the capacity of participants through interactive expert presentations and break-out sessions on topics prioritized with participants' inputs and based on participants’ case studies; 3) Promote and stimulate participants' awareness on global good practices in citizen engagement; and 4) Document and share workshop proceedings with all PTF grantees as well as the broader community of social accountability practitioners in Asia and around the world.

Interactive and participatory workshops were conducted that generated content on the basis of participants’ own anti-corruption project experiences. This had been supplemented by participants’ project reports that serve as a basis for the experts session papers and presentations.

Five common and relevant anti-corruption topics and themes identified were covered at the workshop.
These were:


Strategies for empowering communities to demand good governance in public service delivery and increase responsiveness of service delivery of public services.
2. Analyzing and exposing corrupt practices in government and public sector programs and developing results driven anti-corruption programs.
3. Advocating anti-corruption policy and legislative reforms
4. Creative and innovative engagement of media in anti-corruption projects
5. Increasing capacity of CSOs for helping citizens in a sustainable manner, raising funds and measuring and communicating results.
The Philippine country case presentation dealt with experiences and learnings from various PTF-supported local anti-corruption initiatives. These included the Concerned Citizens of Abra for Good Governance (CCAGG) (Namfrel-Abra’s) road monitoring project; G-Watch’s school book and school building procurement monitoring; Davao Procurement Transparency Core Group’s local & national procurement and spending monitoring; Evelio Javier Foundations’ strengthening local mechanisms for an effective public procurement process; EcoLink’s local government & national agencies motor vehicle fleet management monitoring; and NAMFREL’s medicine procurement, delivery & stock management monitoring.