Since mid-2012, UNODC's small grants scheme has assisted a number of African-based civil society organizations (CSOs) across the continent in developing innovative anti-corruption projects to raise awareness on the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and its implementation. With applications now open for the fourth round of funding, the grants scheme has helped CSOs from a range of countries tackle corruption within the private sector, particularly amongst small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Among the 17 CSOs who benefitted from the small grants scheme, below highlighted three stories.
In 2014, the Anti-Corruption Coalition of Uganda (ACCU) assessed the conformity of Uganda's private sector laws with provisions of UNCAC. It conducted a participatory study on the extent to which Uganda's anti-corruption policies conform to the provisions of UNCAC dealing with the private sector. As a result, ACCU highlighted some challenges associated with capturing private sector ownership data by regulatory bodies and proposed recommendations to the government to strengthen, streamline and formulate laws relating to the conduct of private sector in compliance with UNCAC provisions.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo for instance, a grant to the Action Against Impunity of Human Rights (ACIDH) helped sensitize SMEs which operate in the mining sector in the region of Katanga and contributed to their knowledge and awareness of UNCAC and its review mechanism, developed their interest in integrating the provisions of UNCAC in their management policies and helped them better understand the important role private sector plays in the fight against corruption. These results were achieved through training workshops on UNCAC and its review mechanism.
The Association for Transparency and Development (ATED) of Mauritania implemented awareness raising activities on UNCAC and its review mechanism by promoting transparency within SMEs and refusal to enter in corrupt practices as well as promoting collaboration between SMEs and civil society in the fight against corruption. They organized a national workshop where 55 SMEs, 17 NGOs and 7 media organizations were sensitized trough three participatory sessions on the dangers of corruption, national legislation and the importance of ethical codes to prevent corruption in the industry and trade.
UNODC's small grants scheme is designed to assist civil society organizations in their engagement with the private sector in anti-corruption activities. Applications are now open for the current round of small grants for African-based CSOs. The deadline is 27 March 2015 and more information is available from UNODC's Civil Society team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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