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Speak Up Newsletter - February 2016
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Dear Reader,

Welcome to our February Speak Up News!

We met with Eric Barrett from the Georgian NGO JumpStart to learn more about the role of data in communicating and engaging audiences for our upcoming ALAC Storytelling Booklet. Enjoy the preview of his expert insight which we present in this newsletter.

Next, join us to learn more about the important Grand Corruption Case Work – a recent workshop in Panama was visited by international high-level experts.

Do you remember the report about the climate integrity work in our last Speak Up News edition? In February, chapters from Indonesia, PNG and Vietnam met to review their REDD+ work and how it benefited from being linked to ALACs.

There are also good news from the Americas region: the chapter in Honduras just launched the “Say it Here, Honduras” – an App to denounce corruption, the chapter in Mexico is part of a historic citizens’ initiative to pass a law fighting corruption; the chapter in Peru runs successful anti-corruption brigades; and the chapter in Guatemala has an update of their work to fight corruption and save lives.

The chapter in Argentina reports on the use of technologies for election monitoring, and do not miss the note on secure online reporting.

TI Lithuania reports back from a meeting with the Sub-Committee on Education, Youth and Sport of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly which together with the Advisory Council on Youth discussed the role of youth in anticorruption. Also, do not miss the chance to apply for the TI Summer School – Ingrida Palaimaitė (TI Lithuania) mentions some competitive partial fee waivers available for young professionals from the TI Movement.

Last but not least – have a look at a new online journalist learning platform, and at the Fundraising Team which contributes with a great funding opportunity!

With many thanks to Eric Barrett, Casey Kelso, Thomas Vink, Mario Cerna, Evan  Trowbridge, Luciana Torchiaro, Marta Erquicia and  the chapters in Mexico and Peru, Gabriela Ayerdi, Maria Rosario Pavese, Jean Brice Tetka, Ingrida Palaimaitė, Thomas Kaye and Melina Jamain for contributions to this newsletter.

With kind regards from Berlin,
The PEP Team

Please send your feedback and suggestions to pep-team@transparency.org.

Expert insight:
Q/A with Eric Barrett, an expert on communicating information and data to engage audiences and achieve goals

This is a section from our upcoming ALAC Storytelling Booklet.
Enjoy the preview and watch out for more!

What is most important in using data to communicate?
The most important thing is to first know your goals. Too often I hear the phrase "raise awareness" and that just doesn't cut it. Awareness raising should not be a goal in and of itself. A clear goal leads to a change - a change in behaviour or opinion. And not everyone's behaviour or opinions. I often say that in advocacy, everyone is basically no one. It is important to limit your audience to a group, for which you can actually make a difference. If you set your sights on everyone you will almost surely fail. Finally, in your messaging, make a call to action. It can be frustrating when good content moves you, but you don't know how to direct that emotion. It can be as simple as contact someone, but at least you've provided some direction.

These are very general advocacy tips, but many people often forget that these apply too when communicating data. In the end, you can have a mountain of data, but the message you communicate is a message to the heart that doesn't have a graph or a chart in it. Yes, the data gives you the confidence to make the statement, but what is most important is that you achieve your advocacy goals, not prove how clever you are with data. People like heartfelt visualisations and messages that move them to act and share. People like stories about people. It is important not to forget that.

How to … analyse data
I think the best way to analyse data is to start by writing down the most important questions to which you want answers. This is also a great way to start to design a data project in general. Then work backwards. How do I define these things in my questions? Once you have the definitions, that should give you a good idea of what you need and what you want to look at from a data perspective. Then some basic statistics can take you a long way to understanding the trends and enable you to compare different characteristics of the thing you are studying.

What others do – some examples
There are a lot of people integrating data into their advocacy strategies and this is good news. I tend to think that it makes for stronger argumentation, but only if communicated on a personal level. Some examples I have liked are (click on the pictures to see the film/website):
 
And many more!
 
For more detailed information, please visit the website of JumpStart or contact Eric Barrett, Executive Director of JumpStart at eric@jumpstart.ge.

Grand Corruption Case Work

A Case Working Group was established in the TI Secretariat in 2015, with the aim to develop a broader case-based approach to stopping corruption and ending impunity in grand corruption cases.  Currently, the group is working on a “Case for Action” in collaboration with relevant chapters. It is the case of ex-Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli. This is a “stress test case” or “pilot case” on one specific country situation through which the Secretariat will develop its capacity to detect, analyse, expose (communicate) and take action on cross-border grand corruption cases in its advocacy, as well as building mutual legal assistance networks between civil society and governmental prosecutors.
Among other activities on the Case for Action, the Case Working Group organised a Latin American Regional Prosecutors Workshop on 28-30 January 2016 in Panama City, with the support of the chapter in Panama (Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Libertad Ciudadana) and Amnesty International.
Prominent experts participated in the “practical lessons learned” sessions of the workshop: Ivan Valasquez, the head of CICIG (Comisión Internacional contra la Impunidad en Guatemala); Juan Jiménez Mayor, the newly appointed head of MACCIH (Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras); attorneys general or public prosecutors from Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama, and a senior corruption investigator from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Representatives from TI Chapters in Guatemala, Honduras and Panama also joined the discussion, with further involvement from Open Society’s Foundation – Justice Initiative, Global Witness and the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice.
Under “Chatham House rule”,
  • Case studies were examined on past legal interventions requiring international cooperation on investigations, extraditions and recovery of the proceeds of corruption.
  • Concepts of restorative justice and compensation to the public were explored.
  • Public interest litigation in civil suits and fostering mutual legal assistance featured on the agenda.
A consensus on the need for cooperation and mutual support between Latin America’s prosecutors and civil society was an outstanding outcome from the meeting.

The success of the workshop has crystallised into a request submitted to TI by the participants to organise further meetings with the aim of creating a civil society/prosecutors network on grand corruption.
For more detailed information, please contact Casey Kelso, Advocacy Director, Global Outreach and Campaigns at TI Secretariat at ckelso@transparency.org.

REDD+, Climate Finance Integrity and ALACs

A learning and review workshop was organised in early February 2016 to assess progress on the NORAD funded REDD+ project carried out under Transparency International’s Climate Finance Integrity Programme. Implementing teams from three countries – Indonesia, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea – came together to discuss and define results and share the lessons learned from the implementation. Actionable recommendations were also put forward to support the sustainability of project outcomes in the implementing countries as well as planning for TI’s broader Climate Finance Integrity Initiative.

Both chapters in PNG and Vietnam have had good success in combining their work on REDD+ with their ALACs. TT Vietnam will be using the lessons learned from developing locally adapted feedback mechanisms for REDD+ as the building blocks of their ALAC, while TI PNG will continue to align key strategies under REDD+ and their ALAC work to increase the effectiveness of both projects.

Click here to see a documentary film made in Indonesia, PNG and Vietnam.

For more detailed information, please contact Thomas Vink, Programme Officer, Climate Governance Integrity at TI Secretariat at tvink@transparency.org.

“Say it Here, Honduras” – an App to Denounce Corruption

Click on the picture to watch the introduction video.
On 27 February 2016, DILO AQUÍ, HONDURAS (“Say it Here, Honduras”) was launched by the ALAC of our chapter in Honduras (Association for a More Just Society, ASJ) and the Honduran Public Ministry. It is a corruption reporting app that is downloadable for free through IOS, Android and any computer with access to the internet.

Mauricio Aceituno, Sub-Director of Prosecutors for Honduran Attorney General's Office; Carolyn Davidson, British Ambassador to Honduras; Yazmina Banegas, ALAC Coordinator and Carlos Hernández, president of AJS-Honduras introduced the app.
The “Say it Here, Honduras” app allows citizens to send reports about corruption cases quickly and effectively. The citizen fills out information about the organization or entity, officials involved, as well as any additional documentation such as photos, videos, or documents. Citizens may identify themselves, or choose to make the report anonymously. Once cases are reported, it will be possible to check in to the platform to see any advances that have been made on the investigation.
The app allows citizens to denounce corruption, illicit association, contraband, and other crimes directly to the Public Ministry, that will confidentially manage all the information as well as process the reports and undertake pertinent legal acts. ALAC will provide follow up respective to each of the denouncements that are made.
The launch of the app "Say it Here, Honduras" was made possible through the British Embassy and Transparency International Venezuela, where they have an app with the same sort of reporting. Its big success is in encouraging more people to speak up against corruption, and it also allows more solid data to be filled into the AAC database. The chapter in Guatemala is using a similar tool.
For more detailed information, please contact Yazmina Banegas, ALAC Coordinator at AJS at yasbanegas.asj@gmail.com or Luciana Torchiaro, Regional Coordinator at TI Secretariat at ltorchiaro@transparency.org.

Ley3de3
Historic citizens’ initiative to pass law against corruption in Mexico


"#Ley3de3 is a proof that when citizens get together and demand concrete changes, corruption can be controlled. We should not wait for political will for things to change. Citizens must say openly no to corruption."
Eduardo Bohórquez, TM's Director. 

The political reform approved in Mexico in 2014 allows citizens to draft laws and submit them to Congress for approval if they collect 120,000 signatures. Also, the anticorruption political reform in Mexico included a mandate for Congress to pass the General Law on Administrative (Public Servant) Responsibilities in 2016.

Now, top Mexican civil society organisations (among them Transparencia Mexicana), academics and activists joined for a historic citizen’s initiative, to take the legislative processes against corruption into their own hands and to draft a bill establishing clear penalties for corruption acts. They state that Mexicans are tired of corruption, but asking politicians to solve the problem is like asking a football player to be the referee at his own match. Therefore, the solution has to come from the citizens themselves.

The initiative is called “Citizen Initiative Law 3of3”. It includes the obligation for all public officials to make public three statements (declaration of assets, interest and tax). It also defines clear rules of conduct for public servants and private actors, as well as penalties for corrupt acts.

We asked our chapter in Mexico to explain Ley3de3 in more detail:

Why the initiative Ley3de3?
Mexicans have the right to propose directly to the Congress any change to the Constitution or laws. The only requirement is backing the proposal with at least 120,000 signatures. According to TI's Global Corruption Barometer, 9 out of 10 Mexicans believe corruption is a serious problem. Taking this into account, a diverse group of Mexican organizations, got together to elaborate a proposal that could strengthen the fight against corruption in the country. Now, we're asking those Mexicans citizens concerned about corruption to back up this proposal with their signatures.

What law is it? How does it address corruption?
In 2015, Mexico approved a constitutional reform that created the National Anti-Corruption System. This reform mandates to create a new law that regulates the Public Service, its management and ethics rules (Ley de Responsabilidades). We decided that instead of waiting for Congress to propose the law, we would draft the law citizens are expecting. This initiative is proposing to add new obligations to public servants that will reduce corruption risks such as disclosing their assets, interests and tax-payments. It proposes stronger sanctions for those public servants and enterprises or individuals involved in corruption and mandates government to create anonymous and safe channels to denounce corruption, among other actions. 

A summary of the law can be found here.
 
What is the link to the 10 types of corruption? Why did the Ley3de3 initiative published them?
Currently, the Mexican law does not recognize certain conduct as corruption. We're proposing that at least 10 different types of conduct or actions are considered corruption crimes and are sanctioned as such. They are: bribery, peculate, abuse of power, embezzlement, collusion, conspire to commit corruption acts, traffic of influences, obstruction of justice, misuse of privileged information and nepotism.

Click on  the picture to watch all ten cartoons.

How many signatures do they have already? How many do you need?
A first counting will be done in early March. Currently, there are over 170 points across the country, and also in the US and Europe, where Mexicans citizens can sign the proposal. At least 120,000 signatures are needed. 

Until when are you collecting signatures?
The goal is to have the 120,000 signatures by 21 March 2016. But it will depend on the number of signatures gathered. The anticorruption reform in Mexico will be discussed during March, April and May 2016. 

How can we, or any reader of the Speak Up News, support your initiative?
Anyone around the world can simply help us by being a supporter and telling the story. We hope we can motivate other citizens to make use of their political rights to demand concrete changes to reduce corruption among politicians in their countries. If they happen to know someone from Mexico, ask her if she already signed. 

If the number of signatures is reached, what would this mean for Mexico?
120,000 signatures can only mean the start of a new time for Mexico. One in which we Mexicans won't tolerate more corruption. One in which corruption won't be part of our daily lives. One in which Mexicans let know politicians that we are aware of are rights and make everything needed to be exercise them. 
 
How to get news about Ley3de3:

For more detailed information, please contact Melany Olivares at Transparencia Mexico at molivares@tm.org.mx or Marta Erquicia, Regional Coordinator at TI Secretariat at merquicia@transparency.org.

Anti-Corruption Brigade in Peru

The Anti-Corruption Brigade is a citizens´ oversight initiative that aims at identifying risks and cases of corruption in the public sector both in municipalities and other public entities. It is an approached designed by Proetica, the chapter in Peru, the Ombudsman and the NGO Asociación Civil Transparencia.

The work of the brigade has 4 different focuses:

  1. Information: Informs and raises awareness of the problem of corruption using general information, reports from journalists and the local government websites.
  2. Review: checks information on budgets, public works of the municipalities.
  3. Social oversight: the volunteers get in touch with the municipalities and ask information related to licences, public works, public contracting, etc.
  4. Guidance: using the information that has been gathered, citizens are given guidance on what to do to report a case.

When a Brigade is going to take place, citizens are informed and invited to participate.

To get a sense of how this works in practice: the first Anti-corruption Brigade took place in a municipality of Lima in August 2015. During 5 days the members of the brigade were trained by the three partners. As a results of the intervention, there were 27 reported cases of malpractice and it also revised and acknowledged that many of the process were done the right way. The mayor was reported.

For information in more detail, please contact Samuel Rotta, Sub Director at Proética at srotta@proetica.pe or Marta Erquicia, Regional Coordinator at TI Secretariat at merquicia@transparency.org.

Guatemala
Fighting corruption - saving people's lives

For the case description and information in more detail, please contact Gabriela Ayerdi, ALAC Coordinator at Accion Ciudadana at gabrielaayerdi@accionciudadana.org.gt.

Experiences from election monitoring in Argentina - from Maria Rosario Pavese

To share with other chapters, could you please tell us how you identified opportunities for using technologies during election?
Poder Ciudadano has been an observer during the electoral processes for many years. For the national elections of 2013, we trained over 300 citizens in order to carry out this duty in the voting precincts. Despite being accredited by the Electoral Justice, the day prior to the elections, CABA’s Electoral Justice decided to prohibit our observation claiming that we were going to “disorganise the process”. As a result of this discriminatory measure, 120 of these citizens could not fulfil their duties. For this reason we decided to look for a simplified alternative thus allowing us to surpass these difficulties and to touch more people. Cell phones appeared to be the best option. We started exploring different options and found Pol-it, a technology-friendly Company eager to apply its tools to the electoral sphere. Together, we created Ojo con el Voto (http://poderciudadano.org/lanzamos-ojo-con-el-voto-la-primera-app-de-observacion-electoral-ciudadana/).
The Ruta Electoral platform emerged as a result of the need to make campaign financing information clear and visible. In 2008 Poder Ciudadano developed www.dineroypolitica.org, the first platform of this type. Ruta Electoral is the result of a cooperative process between OSC, academicians and media.

How did you collect your information?
In the case of the Ojo con el Voto, the information is generated by citizens. The tool does not aim to replace the official complaint mechanisms but thanks to citizens’ participation, it allows to gather qualitative samples of the process. These observations remain at the disposal of the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) which includes a group of experts analysing papers and writing a report that will be submitted to the National Electoral Body (Camara Nacional Electoral).
In La Ruta Electoral, the information is published in PDF and Excel format by the National Electoral Body. In this case, the average citizen might find the format complex.

Did you get the information from the state or from political parties?
Information on campaign financing is provided by the political parties for the National Electoral Justice which in turn publishes it online.

Were you involved in the observation of the election process?
Yes. Poder Ciudadano observes the different stages of the electoral process. For example, the stage of financing the campaign through www.dineroypolitica.org y www.larutaelectoral.com.ar/, and the election itself through Ojo con el Voto.

Do you think you project has had an impact on the election?
Yes. Although it is difficult to measure, one great achievement is that many journalists have become interested.  They do research and incorporate the theme in their agenda. Financing of politics as well as other instances of the electoral process (such as the type of ballot used) are currently subject to discussions and will be reformed in 2016.

Could you describe how you ran your projects?
Usually we do it in conjunction with other organisations, mainly with media, in order to guarantee maximum diffusion. Ojo con el Voto was supported by La Nacion and Clarin, the two main Argentinian newspapers. They both showed the results of the observation live on their webpages.

How did technology help you achieve your goals?
Through technology, we overcame obstacles to fair elections in the public sector; we addressed the problem of  publishing  information about campaign financing, and we found a means to observe the  election process using the Ojo con el Voto.

For information in more detail, please contact Maria Rosario Pavese, Director of Political Institutions and Government Area at Poder Ciudadano at mrpavese@poderciudadano.org.

Secure Online Reporting

Some of the movement’s websites designed to collect corruption reports online for the ALACs were reported to have been breached last year. This means, potentially sensitive data can get exposed in the absence of an encryption key or because of a break in the source code.
 
This is the reason why we are verifying now whether ALAC online reporting platforms are secure.
 
At the same time, we want to invite you to try a few tools that can help to identify other potential weaknesses on your website (you don’t need a technical background to do this):
 

  1. Please verify whether your website has HTTPS protection: Just enter your website here https://www.sslshopper.com/ssl-checker.html.
  2. Check the vulnerability of your website:
    1. Download this tool: http://www.janusec.com/download/WebCruiserPro.zip.
    2. Unpack it and open the file WebCruiserWVS.exe.
    3. Enter your website and click on “Scan Site”.
  3. Verify who is the real owner of your website (domain). Just enter your website here  https://whois.icann.org/fr
 
Please also look at these two websites offering secure reporting mechanisms:
Please contact Jean Brice Tetka, Data and Technology Coordinator at the TI Secretariat at jtetka@transparency.org for information in more detail.

News from the work with youth in Europe

On 27 January 2016, the Sub-Committee on Education, Youth and Sport of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly together with the Advisory Council on Youth discussed the role of youth in anticorruption. The Advisory Council on Youth (AC) is a Council of Europe body made up of 30 representatives from youth NGOs and networks which provide opinions and input on all youth sector activities. It also ensures that young people are involved in other activities of the Council of Europe.

Colleagues from our movement were in Strasbourg to share their insights on the importance of youth anti-corruption education and involvement in the fight for transparency and accountability. Ingrida Palaimaite (TI Lithuania) participated in the discussion and shared her insights and experience from youth integrity initiatives in Lithuania such as the Network of Schools for Integrity, bringing together high schools in Lithuania, and the annual global Transparency International School on Integrity.  She emphasized that the future change depends not only on young people but rather on successful cooperation between young people and adults:

“Youth are dynamic, vibrant and constantly in search of new challenges. The question is how to employ their energy, enthusiasm and help in tailoring this stream of ideas. From our experience in Lithuania, we see that the best way to involve youth is working hand-in-hand--facilitating the conversation, supporting youth ideas, asking the right questions and guiding them through.”

Please contact Ingrida Palaimaitė, Project Coordinator at the TI Lithuania at ingrida@transparency.lt for information in more detail.

TI Summer School is open for applications …

… and has available a number of partial fee waivers for young professionals from the  TI Movement!

TI Lithuania is delighted to announce that applications to the 7th annual Transparency International School on Integrity are now being accepted. Over the past six years the TI School on Integrity has become a go-to event for young professionals and senior students from all over the world. The ever-growing global alumni network currently unites almost 700 future leaders from around 90 countries worldwide.

There are competitive partial fee waivers available for young professionals within the Transparency International Network. Discover more about the application to Transparency International School on Integrity 2016 at www.transparencyschool.org

Please contact Ingrida Palaimaitė, Project Coordinator at the TI Lithuania at ingrida@transparency.lt for information in more detail.

Online platform for journalists

The European Journalism Centre (EJC) announced the launch of LEARNO.NET – an online video training platform for journalists.

The platform is open to anybody with an interest in digital storytelling.  It is accessible worldwide and was developed by an international A-list of instructors including Nicholas Whitaker and Simon Rogers from Google News Lab, Craig Silverman from Buzzfeed Canada as well as renowned data journalism practitioners Paul Bradshaw and Alberto Cairo.

To get a sense of how this works in practice: the first Anti-corruption Brigade took place in a municipality of Lima in August 2015. During 5 days the members of the brigade were trained by the three partners. As a results of the intervention, there were 27 reported cases of malpractice and it also revised and acknowledged that many of the process were done the right way. The mayor was reported.

Click on the picture to learn more (from their website).

Fundraising tips

Making All Voices Count (MAVC)

New support to civil society groups working on open governance
Objectives Civil society organizations interested in applying should design proposals strongly rooted in the national context and the opportunities that the prevailing context offers. Proposals should include realistic assessments of the local political appetite for open governance reform and OGP, and projects should be designed based on that analysis.
Making All Voices Count is open to considering a wide range of different activities, such as the following civil society activities:
  • Campaign for OGP participation of your country;
  • Strategically organize yourselves for effective OGP participation (playing a coordination role), including involving other organisations (e.g. women or youth focused organisations) that would ordinarily not participate;
  • Advocate for, set up and/or play a leadership role in OGP permanent dialogue mechanisms;
  • Draft of shadow action plans with civil society priorities
  • Organize campaigning activities to influence new OGP action plans;
  • Support the implementation of commitments;
  • Monitor the process and/or the quality and impact of the commitments (for example through participating in the NAP review tool project).
Geographic focus
  • Countries producing new OGP plans in 2016: Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania
  • Countries currently implementing OGP plans: Ghana, Liberia, Philippines
  • Countries where civil society is campaigning for the government to join OGP: Nigeria

Eligibility

Indonesia, Philippines
Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria

Duration

Not specified

Grant size

Not specified

Total funding available
Not specified
Deadline
Applicants who put in their ideas before April 2016 will have a greater chance of being funded.
Applications that come beyond May 2016 will not be accepted.
Application procedure
Interested organisations should send their concept notes/ideas to the respective Making All Voices Count country teams:

Other information
Open Government Partnership’s 4 year strategy and by Making All Voices Count.

More here: http://www.makingallvoicescount.org/news/new-support-to-civil-society-working-on-open-governance/


If you are interested, please contact Barbara Gerold-Wolke, Fundraising Coordinator, TI Secretariat at bwolke@transparency.org.
Photo credits: Expert insight: Q/A with Eric Barrett: Eric Barrett/JumpStart, http://guns.periscopic.com/, http://www.girleffect.org/media?id=3453; Grand Corruption Case Work: workshop photo and photo provided by Casey Kelso; REDD+, Climate Finance Integrity and ALACs: workshop photos, photo provided by Thomas Vink; “Say it Here, Honduras” – an App to Denounce Corruption: photos provided by AJS; Ley3de3: photos provided by Transparencia Mexicana, from internet resources mentioned in the text, http://rendiciondecuentas.org.mx/tag/eduardo-bohorquez/; Secure online reporting: Michael Hernandez on https://ahrefs.com/blog/http-vs-https-for-seo/; Anti-Corruption Brigade in Peru: Proetica; two contributions from Lithuania: TI Lithuania; Online platform for journalists: http://learno.net/; photos from chapter and secretariat colleagues: provided by colleagues or taken from internet/social media.
Copyright © 2016, Transparency International 

The views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of TI-S or any individual chapter.


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