UNODC trains over 100 NGOs to help fight corruption

ACT against Corruption campaign10 December 2012 - The role of civil society and the media in the fight against corruption does not only consist in denouncing acts of corruption, but also increasingly in concrete collaboration with national Governments, regional groups and the private sector. Through the framework of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), UNODC is working closely with NGOs around the world to equip them with the tools they need to work constructively with Governments and the public in this common fight.

Through training sessions provided in partnership by UNODC and the UNCAC Coalition, over 100 NGOs from across the world came together recently to gain substantive knowledge on key provisions of the Convention. NGO participants were also trained on how to conduct national, regional and global advocacy strategies as well as working with the private sector, especially with small and, medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Equally important, these sessions provided a good opportunity for NGOs to share experiences and good practices, and work towards finding innovative approaches which can be implemented in their communities.

One good example of the work of grassroots organizations in the fight against corruption can be found in Ghana. Ms. Florence Dennis, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, has created the Network of Journalists against Corruption. The aim of this network is to build journalists' capacity to improve investigative reporting.

"The training emphasizes the need for collective action not only with stakeholders within ones country but also across countries in the fight against corruption" said Ms. Dennis following a training organized recently by UNODC at the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Austria.

The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition has also launched a platform for regional businesses to obtain and share information on their business code and anti-corruption policies. Not only does this platform aim to create awareness on anti-corruption policies in the business sector, but it also offers the possibility of signing integrity pacts with public institutions that can offer them services and develop principles by which they will abide. For Ms. Dennis, the training "has also brought to bear that the fight against corruption is very complex and one needs to adopt sustainable measures to make any meaningful impact."

Her NGO is also initiating a workshop to start discussions on the UNCAC review process in Ghana and intends to participate in the review process in the coming year. "The training has offered knowledge and skills on the UNCAC and its review process, how to conduct the self assessment, and strategies that my organization can adopt to work with the key stakeholders especially the government in the review process", said Ms. Dennis.

In addition to providing training for anti-corruption NGOs, UNODC supports closer cooperation between civil society and the private sector through a small grants scheme for NGOs based in Africa. In 2012, 4 NGOs from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda received a grant and are currently implementing projects with local SMEs.

More information on UNODC engagement with civil society is available through this link : http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/ngos/news.html

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