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IDB Fund Approves $600,000 Grant For Transparency and Accountability Programs Based On The PTF model


On May 24, 2006 the Partnership for Transparency Fund announced that the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund has approved a $600,000 grant for a program to support targeted projects of civil society organizations to increase transparency in public and private sector economic activities based on PTF's now well established model for assisting CSOs to fight corruption.

Resources will support projects and help disseminate knowledge on successful initiatives. A Regional Fund for the Promotion of Transparency (FONTRA) will be created to cover activities in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay to be managed by The Institute for Communication and Development (ICD), PTF’s partner in Uruguay. The program will be executed over a period of three years.

The Fund will finance around 30 grants of between $10,000 and $30,000, with a maximum of $50,000. MIF resources will be used to cover approximately 40 per cent of the projects on average. Each institution will be required to match at least 20 percent of the total cost of each project. All grants will have a maximum duration of one year.

“This program represnts a spin off of PTF’s activities in the Mercosul countries” said PTF President Pierre Landell-Mills. “It should pilot an intensive program of coordinated CSO anti-corruption initiatives in that area, engaging the private sector as co-financing partners. If successful, it could be replicated in the Andean region and Central America.

The program will be presented at a series of promotional events and announced online through the Internet (Visit: http://www.lasociedadcivil.org/). Specific calls for proposals are expected to be issued later this year and in 2007, but meritorious proposals may be submitted at any time. Proposals will be assessed on their technical merit, innovativeness, replicability and adherence to the program’s objectives.  A final regional conference will assess and disseminate the results of the program, which will be executed over a period of  three years.

The executing agency for this program, ICD is a non-profit civil society organization founded in Uruguay in 1986 to promote awareness for a democratic, inclusive and equitable development based on ethics and transparency. An important aspect of this program will be the participation of various private companies and other donors interested in providing financial support. One of the benefits for these companies is that by rooting out and reducing corruption, they can help to lower cost of doing business.

“By bringing in companies and private sector associations at the national level through a consultative council, the program will attract increased support and improve its sustainability,” IDB’s Dan Shepherd stated. “Increasing transparency in the participating countries will improve market functioning and the overall business climate.”

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ADB Boosting PTF’s Resources in its Fight Against Corruption in Asia

 

Press Release: ptf@partnershipfortransparency.info
http://www.partnershipfortransparency.info

Washington DC, May 4 2006: The Asian Development Bank, working with the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF), is making a technical assistance grant of US$150,000 to strengthen the role of civil society in the fight against corruption.
PTF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting corruption by supports individual projects managed by civil society organizations across the developing world.

Pierre Landell-Mills, President and CEO of  PTF, said, “We are delighted to be working with the ADB. This is the first time that the ADB has made a grant of this kind and we believe that it will prove in time to be a model for engaging the ADB in partnerships with civil society across Asia in implementing specific anti-corruption projects that can have a formidable impact.”

The technical assistance will support non-governmental organizations in India, Mongolia, Pakistan and the Philippines that can develop projects that meet PTF’s criteria. Mr. Landell-Mills said, “We are particularly interested in projects that can be replicated and that by their example can demonstrate how small amounts of funding that are well managed and effectively targeted can have a major impact. Our experience in these countries augurs well for the success of this new approach with the ADB.”

PTF has made more than US$800,000 of grants to civil society organizations across the developing world in the last four years. Grants are typically for $25,000 or less and the evaluations of completed projects are routinely posted on PTF’s website.

The ADB announced the grant on May 2, 2006 and quoted ADB Vice President Geert van der Linden as stating:  “Over the last decade, societies have come to realize the extent to which corruption and bribery have undermined their welfare and stability, and hindered development efforts. Governments, the private sector, and civil society alike have declared the fight against corruption to be of the highest priority.” He added,  “The fight against corruption cannot be won without citizens’ support, participation, and vigilance. The media, civic and business association, trade unions, and other nongovernmental actors play a crucial role in fostering public discussion of corruption and increasing awareness about the negative impacts of corruption.” 

The grant capitalizes on the work undertaken by PTF over the past five years to foster the role of CSOs as innovators, mobilizers, and monitors in support of effective measures to combat corruption. It gives voice to civil society, and demonstrate the value of partnerships between government, civil society, and ADB.

PTF is also discussing substantial grants from other important funding agencies to support its work in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

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Formulating an Anti-Corruption Agenda and Making it Effective – A Malaysian Perspective
By Dato (Dr.) Anwar Fazal

Many NGOs can benefit by adhering to clear principles for implementing specific action programs. In a recent speech “Corruption & its Impact on Nationhood,” Dato (Dr) Anwar Fazal, Director, Citizens International in Malaysia and co-founder of Transparency International Malaysia, defines the guiding principles and sets out what he calls “12 target agenda.”

The author advocates seven principles for effective program implementation that he terms the “seven chakras (life-forces) of social mobilization.” These are, in brief:

  •   Develop a light but participatory coordination and operating mechanism;
  •   Link and build on existing initiatives and programmes in the country;
  •   Give leadership to those with compelling interest in outcome;
  •   Emphasis contribution of others recognising differing motivations;
  •   Scan and bring on brand new constituencies and participants;
  •   Foster energies away from protest to proactive partnerships;
  •   Communicate, communicate, communicate - popular mobilisation with the active involvement of media specialists will be critical.

 

Dato (Dr) Anwar Fazal’s 12 action targets in Malaysia illustrate a clear program that can build support and that can succeed. In brief:

 

  1. get Malaysia to ratify the United Nations Convention on Corruption.
  2. seek the independence of the Anti Corruption Agency – free it from executive control and, possible manipulation.
  3. seek the independence of the judiciary, whose integrity was severely challenged in recent times.
  4. seek a Freedom of Information Act and a  review of the Official Secrets Act.
  5. a clear transparent and competitive procurement policy that is overseen by an independent auditor. Out with crony capitalism!
  6. the protection of ‘whistle blowers’ and rewarding of private and public servants, who expose such crimes of corruption.
  7. the independence of the press, so that they can report without fear or favour. Thank God, for Malaysiakini in the meantime, and the internet generally.
  8. the establishment of a ombudsman system – a civil servant with legal powers to investigate and report on maladministration – the national complaints service could be expanded to include this.
  9. a national campaign of “tak nak” (“say no”) to corruption like we are doing with tobacco. Make 9 December the United Nations Day Against Corruption, a major popular mobilisation tool.
  10. a serious look at “money politics” and funding of political parties.
  11. pay the civil service well, especially taking into account housing and transport, health and education – expect the  best and pay for the best.
  12. lastly, the top leadership, cabinet, MPs, the leadership of civil service and corporate leaders should sign a pledge of zero tolerance in corruption.

For a full copy of the speech please write to Transparency International Malaysia admin@tranparency.org.

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