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Speak Up Newsletter - January 2016
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Dear Reader,

Welcome to the January 2016 issue of the Speak Up News!

Colleagues across the world did inspiring work during December and January. The UN Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris was a great moment with 195 countries joining to formulate climate change goals. Our movement was presented – join us in the discussion with views from Shaziya Ali (TI Maldives) and Brice Böhmer (TI Secretariat).

Data and storytelling have been core topics of our work in 2015 – and will remain so in 2016. Have a look at our data work achievements and at the storytelling work from Uglješa Vuković (TI Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Next, take a look at how colleagues in Tunisia started case corruption work and at the “crazy idea” the chapter in Honduras had six years ago, and the impact it has now.

As usual, the Fundraising Team contributes with great funding opportunities!

We are looking forward to our collaboration during 2016 and moving the ALAC work further, in line with the TI Strategy 2020.

With kind regards from Berlin,
The PEP Team

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

Our wishes for the planet and its inhabitants!


"I hear no objection in the room, I declare the Paris climate agreement adopted."
With these words Laurent Fabius closed the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris on 12 December 2015, followed by long standing ovations and shouts of joy in the room where the representatives of 195 countries had gathered to adopt the Paris agreement, a historic agreement to combat climate change.

Colleagues from our movement were in Paris to present the need of strengthening integrity for funds invested to mitigate or prevent climate change.
 

Take a moment to read the viewpoints from Asia and Africa by Shaziya Ali (TI Maldives) and Brice Böhmer (TI Secretariat):

Shaziya: We both were at the COP in Paris: what is the main achievement of the Paris Agreement in your opinion?
 
Brice: It is the first time in history: seeing 195 countries agreeing after more than 20 years of climate diplomacy is quite something! Of course, the content of the agreement is sometimes weak, especially on our issues. However, a whole section is dedicated to transparency and establishes a dedicated framework. But this is only the start: I was reading the other day an environmental think-tank saying the ‘transparency framework’ will be the most important issue in the coming years as the negotiations continue. What do you think: how will that translate in the Maldives and what will be the next steps?
 
Shaziya: The US$ 100 billion per year are now considered the floor for climate finance. One of the most important body in charge of channelling the money is the Green Climate Fund (GCF). TI has been engaging with it to put safeguards in place; I believe our mandate is now changing: we need to avoid corruption on the ground and stop it if any concern appear. The first projects had been approved just before the COP last year and are due to start in different countries, including in mine, with a US$ 24 million project to secure freshwater to 105,000 people.
 
Brice: In Zambia, where this project has been approved, I listen to the affected communities who were asking TI to help them raise their voice as no one was consulting them nor involving them in the implementation of climate projects. The Maldives are one of the most threatened populations by the effects of climate change. How do you plan to make sure the climate money is spent for its purposes and monitor this project and the others to come?
 
Shaziya: One of the tools we use is the ALAC. Climate projects are often implemented in isolated areas, and supposed to benefit vulnerable communities. Mobile ALACs are thus of particular relevance here.
 
Brice: True; another characteristic of climate cases is that they can be complex (and often linked to land problems). This is why some chapters are reaching out to other organisations to access expertise and join efforts. Globally, we are also looking at partnerships with Greenpeace, Global Witness and Human Rights Watch. I have seen great examples in Africa of chapters playing a mediator role in the implementation of climate projects, while trying to convince governance actors (including Anti-Corruption Commissions) they also need to look after those. The goal is then to bring the local level experiences and evidence to inform the national and global policy development.
 
Shaziya: Yes, this link is key. Recently, we communicated on a corruption case of US$ 1.6 million of embezzled money from the tsunami relief effort. One of the messages is that much more needs to be done to engage communities. The GCF should also commit to work more with communities, civil society, and anti-corruption activists. We also plan to train networks of citizens to gather evidence of corruption or abuse…
 
Brice: This is exciting; colleagues from 15 Chapters also have some experience with climate-related issues and several managed to join the national delegations to attend the COP in Paris to better influence the country’s position. I would love to see more from our movement and will be extremely proud and happy to help. We already started developing tools for chapters who would like to start looking at these topics. Please join us in this crucial fight!
 

Click on the picture to watch a COP21 interview with Brice Böhmer, Programme Coordinator Climate Governance Integrity, TI Secretariat.

For information in more detail, please contact Shaziya Ali, Senior Project Coordinator, Climate Finance Integrity Program, TI Maldives at shaziya.ali@transparencymaldives.org and Brice Böhmer, Programme Coordinator, Climate Governance Integrity, TI Secretariat at bboehmer@transparency.org.

ALAC Data 2015

During 2015, 42 chapters from all regions entered data into the ALAC database. The overall level of data entries has increased. The number of client contact entries, for instance, stands now at over 52,000. Moreover, the data quality has improved. All in all, we have reached a status that the data set is meaningful and can be used for data analysis on global level. Also many chapters started to use the data for their reporting and communication purposes.

Have a look at some visualisation examples showing 2015 data entries:
 

While reviewing the data quality, we saw that our colleagues in Sri Lanka are doing particularly well – congrats and many thanks for the detailed work!

Take a moment to look at the example of 2015 data from Sri Lanka’s main ALAC office in Colombo (data from offices in Vavuniy, Batticoloa and Matara is not yet included).
 
For information in more detail, contact Jean Brice Tetka, Data and Technology Coordinator, TI Secretariat at jtetka@transparency.org.
 

STORYTELLING

Bosnia and Herzegovina: From Humans of New York to Humans of Banja

“What was especially interesting for me is the process we went through choosing the most interesting sentences, adequate quotes, moments. All of it was exciting and it led to a more effective display of our work.“  Uglješa Vuković, Istraživač/Asistent za zagovaranje, TI Bosnia and Herzegovina

In 2015, we gathered with storytelling experts and colleagues from five countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Honduras, Palestine, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe) to develop an ALAC Storytelling Booklet which could assist ALAC experts in developing powerful stories from the great work they are doing. We are working on a booklet that presents the learnings and findings from this journey, to show that all of us can tell these stories in a powerful way to support corruption case resolution and advance necessary changes in policy, legislation and best practice.

Uglješa Vuković from BiH joined the team working on the booklet. He was inspired by Humans of New York and told a client’s story in a different way - Humans of Banja.

Watch this space for more news on the upcoming ALAC Storytelling Booklet.

For information in more detail, please contact Uglješa Vuković, Istraživač/Asistent za zagovaranje, TI Bosnia and Herzegovina at uvukovic@ti-bih.org.

A letter from Henda - starting YALAC in Tunisia

Since the beginning of its functioning in September 2015, YALAC Tunisia (Yaketh Advocacy And Legal Advice Center) received a total of 57 cases with a variety of causes and themes. To receive such an amount of cases before the official launching of the center was encouraging and challenging to the YALAC Team.

86 percent of our visitors were men who are mostly aged between 25 and 39 years old. The female complainants were usually part of a mixed group of colleagues, indicating a level of timidity we did not foresee among the female demographic. Phone calls and office visits scored the highest rates among different means of contact and most of complainants had heard of I WATCH via social media and radio/TV stations. It was noticed also that the rate of people reaching the center increases in association with I WATCH’s activities and its notable presence in the media.

Most of the cases were issued from individuals who came as victims of abuse of authority, nepotism, favoritism and embezzlement inside some public institutions. Whistleblowing has covered various sectors: education, defense, social affairs, agriculture, transport, religious affairs and health. Despite this, local authorities have marked their presence and have taken the lead in the order of institutions when it comes to whistleblowing.

We assisted the complainants with legal consultations, investigations and contacting the relevant bodies which led to some concrete results in some cases. In addition, we succeeded in speeding up the reactions of some authorities towards the corruption issues that were revealed in their institutions.

We considered it a good indicator of our efforts when a director and a financial body of a well-known educational institution were relieved from their positions after being accused of an abuse of power and embezzlement by a group of teachers. The whistleblowers came to our office to ask for support with the Ministry of Higher Education as victims of harassment, who had been fired from their institution as a punishment for revealing the misconduct of the administrative body. Yet, the pressure is still on to go further with judiciary pursuits and offer rehabilitation to the whistleblowers. 

Among the other prominent cases of corruption that have been processed by the government after our reports, we mention the abuse of power in a public bank by giving loans without guarantees; the waste of public money in the transport company that lead to the dismissal of the regional director; and the suspicious fraud in public procurement in the Housing and Construction Ministry.

And as the awareness of Tunisian citizens is rising towards reporting about corruption in the public and private sector, our pressure on stakeholders is increasing to speed up the establishment of a clear legal framework to protect them. As an attempt to bring attention to the heroes who stood against corrupt people and sacrificed their jobs and private lives, we organized our “Whistleblower of the Year Award” ceremony for the fourth year running under the slogan “Time To Drop The Mask”, which was an occasion to invite media and stakeholders and spread the message about the whistleblowers’ protection law.
YALAC Tunisia will be launched officially soon with a proper communication plan, but we have already achieved a milestone in gaining people’s trust to guide them through safe processes to achieve justice.
For information in more detail, please contact Henda Fellah, ALAC Coordinator, I Watch at Henda@iwatch-organisation.org.

“Six years ago, we had a crazy idea.”

Kurt Ver Beek, Vice President of our chapter in Honduras

Kurt Ver Beek joined the cross-country bike race in Honduras with about 140 cyclists to celebrate successes in education reform and to encourage further efforts in the cities they visit.

Click here to see the video.

Six years ago, our chapter in Honduras (Association for a More Just Society, AJS) started the first cross-country bike race to raise awareness about corruption in public education and, in so doing, reform the education system. It seemed to be a crazy idea – and it worked!

Numerous research reports revealed corruption in the country’s education sector and therefore the chapter and it partners set about to address accountability, by investigating the relationship between teacher compensation and number of school days and evidence of patronage in teacher employment.

For information in more detail, contact Luciana Torchiaro, Regional Coordinator for the Americas Region, at ltorchiaro@transparency.org.

15th March Against Corruption in Brazil

In January 2015, the 15th March Against Corruption and for Life was organised in Brazil. These marches aim to bring the fight against corruption to the local level and to empower communities to stand against corruption.

For information in more detail, contact Luciana Torchiaro, Regional Coordinator for the Americas Region, at ltorchiaro@transparency.org.

Fundraising tips

The Netherlands – Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

Arc Fund 2016-2021: Addressing the root causes of conflicts and illegal migration
Objectives:
More and more people leave their homes, because of armed conflict, threats, prosecution or a lack of prospect in their own country. Globally, one in every 122 people is currently internally displaced, a refugee or an asylum seeker. The majority of them find safe refuge in a neighbouring country, but growing numbers of refugees and migrants find their way to Europe as well.
Many neighbouring countries that currently receive large numbers of migrants and refugees increasingly have to deal with the negative consequences. Public services cannot keep up with the rise in demand; economic growth comes to a standstill, unemployment rises and tensions in society increase. Many people, who can afford it, travel on to i.a. Europe in search for a better future elsewhere.
To be able to provide people with a safe haven and positive prospects for the future in their own country, and to decrease the pressure on overburdened receiving countries, it is essential to work on decreasing the socio-economic and political root causes of these large flows of people.
 
The fund focuses on the following five policy goals:
  1. Improving human security
  2. Functioning the rule of law
  3. Inclusive policy processes
  4. Legitimate and capable government
  5. Equal access to employment opportunities and basic services
See Policy Framework ARC Fund for further information

Geographic focus: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Mali, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Eligibility:
The applicant (or in the case of a consortium: the lead party), together with any co-applicants, must be a Dutch, international or local not-for-profit non-governmental organisation (NGO), which possesses legal personality.
 
  • ‘NGO’ means: a not-for-profit organisation neither established by a public authority nor connected to a public authority either de facto or under its constitution, which possesses legal personality under civil law in the country where it has its registered office.
  • ‘Dutch NGO’ means: an NGO established in the Netherlands, subject to Dutch law and having its registered office in the Netherlands.
  • ‘Local NGO’ means: an NGO that has its registered office in the country where the intended activities will be carried out (target country).
     
    In the last five years (2011-2015), the applicant or the lead party must have had at least three years’ experience with implementing programmes in the target country with a budget of a) in the case of a Dutch or international NGO: at least €500,000 per year of b) in the case of a local NGO: at least €200,000 per year.
Duration:

The minimum grant period is three years (36 months) and the maximum five years (60 months)

The activities must not start before 1 September 2016 but must start no later than 1 January 2017, and must be completed no later than 31 December 2021.

Grant size:
The average minimum grant amount applied for is:
  • €500,000 per year in the case of a Dutch or international NGO;
  • €200,000 per year in the case of a local NGO;
  • €1,000,000 per year in the case of a consortium.
For all applications, the maximum grant application is €10 million per country for a five-year duration of activities (2016-2021). If the application concerns a shorter period, the maximum grant application is €6 million for a three-year duration and €8 million for a four-year duration.

Total funding available: €121 Million

Deadline: Friday 4 March 2016

Application procedure:
Concept note must be submitted, using the application format at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via DSH-ARCFUND@minbuza.nl (see more in the Policy Framework).

More: here.

If you are interested, please contact Barbara Gerold-Wolke, Fundraising Coordinator, TI Secretariat at bwolke@transparency.org.
For information on the UK Prosperity Fund in Brazil, Colombia, India, Peru and South East Asia, please click here.

If you are interested, please contact Barbara Gerold-Wolke, Fundraising Coordinator, TI Secretariat at bwolke@transparency.org.
Photo credits:
COP21: Brice Boehmer, Abe Sumalinog, internet sites: Storytelling: TI Bosnia and Herzegovina; YALAC Tunisia: I Watch, Henda Fellah; Honduras bike race: AJS; march in Brazil: Amarribo.
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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