Anti-corruption measures in Riga City Council – community participation in reducing corruption

Main aim: promote anti-corruption measures in the Riga municipality and provide for public participation. Delna attended the Riga City Council meeting of the Commission Against Corruption, prepared a draft municipal code of ethics, suggested reorganization plan for the Urban Development Department. The project also carried out a broader study of the corruption structural risks in the three departments of the Riga City Council – City Development Department, Welfare Department and the Property Department. A survey on civil servant’s views on anti-corruption measures was carried out. Before 2008 elections a public debate was organized were candidates were invited to present their plans to reduce corruption in Riga.

Transparency of political party funding

A small research team from the Institute of Public Affairs (Instytut Spraw Publicznych) carried out an appraisal of financing of the political parties’ electoral campaigns. It was an in house research not related to any public campaign. They focused on official information provided by the parties to a governmental agency responsible for gathering such documents, which the parties are obliged by the law to deliver. Moreover, the team carried out in-depth interviews with or contacted via email/fax (one party and three main governmental controlling bodies) representatives of the political parties.
A project final output was a report on budgetary subsidies to political parties for running their electoral campaigns. The report was released at the press conference and was commented by all the major newspapers and on-line news portals as well as radio and TV news. It included a detailed analysis of a gathered material as well as recommendations aiming at enhancing transparency of the political party funding.
Goals of the project:
• assessment of corruption risks in the political party financing system
• enhancing the transparency of parties’ expenditure of budgetary subsidies
• civil society control of the party financing
• increasing public awareness of party financing system

Corruption – everyone loses

This initiative organized by Stowarzyszenie Instytut Nowych Technologii focused on raising social awareness about the corruption issues and simultaneously endeavored to diminish public acceptance of any form of corruption in the Łódzkie province. The organization applied means to both ridicule corruptive activities as well as spur a discussion about commonness of this phenomenon in Poland. The organizer intended to target different types of audience with this action and encourage reflecting on corruption. To achieve that, a light and fun-related form of the messages was chosen in order to appeal to the target groups.
During the action various measures were applied:
• Surveys of corruption perception in the Łódzkie province (some 750 respondents)
• Public debates devoted to anti-corruption issues, in which well known and popular celebrities (football players) as well as sociologic experts took part
• Workshops on ethical code of conduct for those groups, which were perceived in the survey as having the greatest exposure to corruption i.e. police, public officials, healthcare workers (high turnouts)
• Open space public happenings with an anti-corruption message (some 600 people)
• A family-oriented picnic with games and activities rising awareness of corruption issues (some 300 people)
• Final conference (with low participation rate)

Free access to information of public interest is a right, not a privilege

The project aims at contributing, through watchdog and advocacy activities, to a better and a more uniform implementation of transparency and accountability principles in Romania. Specific objectives: • Building local capacity of civil society in using proper advocacy tools for holding public authorities accountable for granting free access to information. • Raising awareness of public authorities on the duty to provide unrestricted, non-discriminatory access to information for all categories of solicitors, regardless the subject matter of the request or the type of institution.

Youth Awareness in the Schools

Public opinion surveys conducted by the ACTION Project indicate that Ukrainian youth are among the primary groups victimized by corruption and is a group that voluntarily participates in corrupt activities. In view of this, the Lviv-based NGO, For a Common Future, developed an inte ractive simulation exercise and curriculum for students to make them more aware of the negative costs of corruption and what to do about it.

They worked with to the Lviv State Administration, which ordered that anticorruption classes would be included in the school curriculum on Legal Studies for Grades 9–11 starting in the academic year 2008-2009. Teachers were trained and the course was launched in 1000 out of 1450 schools. Next, the NGO developed a manual for the course, with the involvement of specialists from the Ukraine Ministry of Education and Science. In August 2009, the Commission on Educational Work of the Research and Methodological Council of the Ministry approved the manual and recommended it for use in secondary, vocational, professional and higher education institutions of I-II accreditation levels.

Source: Promoting Citizen Engagement in Combating Corruption in Ukraine (action) USAID Read it here.

Pedagogical model for anti-corruption education in secondary schools

The project aimed at introducing anti-corruption education in the secondary schools trough the elaboration of an applied pedagogical model with the participation of teachers, pupils and parents. Some of its expected results were:

  • Analysis of corruption in the secondary education, review of the international experience in civil education;
  • Teaching syllabus and programs;
  • Methodological manual for teachers;
  • Training seminar with teachers;
  • Pilot model approbation;
  • Information and media campaign

Results

 

January 2004

The project was launched  as the project team consisting of experts and an administrative assistant was made up and they took to performing the scheduled activities.

February-March 2004

An empirical sociological survey was conducted among secondary school students, teachers and parents from Sofia. Its findings were crucial for the project’s goal since the particular corruption practices, attitudes and perceptions could be incorporated into civil and anti-corruption curricula. The sample covered 193 students, 128 parents and 129 teachers.The surveyed units were defined through a two-stage cluster sample. This sample was representative for the groups surveyed (secondary school students, parents and teachers) from the city of Sofia.

On 27 February, 2004 a press conference informing about the launch of the project was delivered at the press club of the Sofia Press Agency. It was attended by representatives of partner organizations and reporters from over ten media.

March-April 2004

A series of working meetings were held with the managing staff and boards of trustees of the two schools where the core part of the project was to be carried out: 135th Secondary General School Jan Amos Komenski and the National Secondary School of Trade and Banking. The meetings served to negotiate the project activity schedule, the responsibilities of the parties, and the manner of communication in the course of the project. Teachers that were to take part in the project were also selected.

May 2004

The sociological survey findings were processed. The statistics received was rather valuable in terms of the implications it had for the education process in the following project stages. The data drawn from the interviews complemented the information gathered in the two focus groups from the first trimester which featured 17 randomly selected secondary school teachers. The main causes of secondary school corruption as defined with the help of these two tools were:

• the general crisis of values in society;

• the crisis of family relations and family upbringing;

• the lack of basic material comfort and education facilities at schools;

• teacher underpayment;

• the sense of impunity;

• the lack of effective anti-corruption actions on the part of the public authorities (especially the judiciary);

• the public schools funding system which lags far behind modern requirements;

• the fuzzy rules on private tutoring by public school teachers;

• violations in the entrance competitions at top-rating secondary schools.

June-August 2004

Anti-corruption syllabi and curricula were developed consisting of separate modules fairly independent in contents. These modules were roughly based on the Anti-Corruption Manual previously developed by Coalition 2000. Model lesson plans were prepared for teachers to use during the try-out phase of the curricula. These included elements such as projects, role plays, group work, and a number of extracurricular and out-of-school activities. They involved an interdisciplinary approach with the possibility of using the plans in various academic subjects as well in special lessons in the weekly class-focused sessions.

November 2004

One of the project’s main lines of activity was teacher training aimed at enhancing teachers’ skills in civic education and anti-corruption. Their first training seminar was held on 12 -13 November 2004 at the Secondary School of Trade and Banking. It was attended by 30 teachers from the two target schools including their principals. The seminar was devoted to Methodology of Anti-Corruption Education Instruction.

On 26 November, 2004 the sequel of the on-site teacher training was held at the other participating school 135th School Jan Amos Komenski at which fourteen more teachers were trained. Among the training’s main topics were:

• civic education in EU countries;
• planning the education process;
• the essay as a testing tool.

January 2005

On 29-30 January 2005, at its closing conference the project team announced its secondary school corruption survey findings from the study it conducted in the two Sofia-based schools in 2004. The organizers also presented an electronic manual containing methodological hints, model curricula and teaching aids for possible anti-corruption courses at secondary schools. Its main highlights are:

• details about the Elisaveta Klark and Penka Kasabova Association;
• review of the project’s theoretical background;
• teacher training within the project;
• presentation of survey findings;
• foreign experience in civil education;
• modern approaches to education planning (model syllabi, lesson plans, etc.);
• innovative teaching methods;
• contemporary methods for student evaluation.

Source: http://www.anticorruption.bg/acartShow.php?id=6005

Youth Against Corruption (Jaunimas pries korupcija)

Objectives

The aim of this project was to educate the younger generation (future citizens of European Union) in the sense of awareness in the sphere of corruption, so that a new generation cherishing the moral values, following the civilized patterns of behavior – both on a personal and official level- could be brought up.

Beneficiaries in Lithuania

  • 3 000 direct beneficiaries.  High school and university students, members of debate clubs.
  • 20 000 indirect beneficiaries.  Members of local communities (other school and university students, teachers, parents, friends, officials of various local governmental institutions), members of national governmental institutions (Parliament, ministries).

Main activities

  • Teacher training seminar – outcome: a developed anti-corruption curriculum meant for working with students in clubs (3 days, 40 participants).
  • Public introduction of the proposed curriculum in local communities and show debates
  • Public debates, round table discussions at local communities, local and national governmental institutions were carried out  throughout the year.
  • Debate tournaments on corruption related issues 2 national (350 participants).
  • Topics: “Punishment for Bribery Should be Made More Strict”; “Anti-corruption Education should be Introduced into School Curriculum”.
  • Organizing “The best anti-corruption poster and slogan” competition and publishing of the calendar “Youth Against Corruption 2003” with best posters and slogans.
  • Organizing anti-corruption campaigns in all 17 cities and towns, giving anti-corruption calendars as gifts to all Members of Parliament, local and national authorities.
  • Anti-corruption Youth Forum (Druskininkai, June 20 – 30th, 2003).
  • Topic: “EU should introduce anti-corruption policy in its member states” ( 340 participants )
  • Compiling data of the project, evaluating results, preparing materials for publications, disseminating the publications and other outputs (August 2003).
  • Follow-up activity: International Anti-corruption Youth Forum (Druskininkai , September 2003). Participants from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Moldova and Kazakhstan
  • Presentation of Anti-Corruption Action Plan at the Parliament. (September 2003).

Results

  • Increased awareness of the problem of corruption and active involvement of young people into the activities of anti-corruption campaign all over Lithuania.
  • Comparative analysis and evaluation of the results of the questionnaires filled in by young people before the beginning of the project and at the end of it.
  • Compiled materials, which will be ready for dissemination in other schools and local communities of Lithuania;
  • Cooperation with other organizations dealing with corruption in the country (Special Investigation Service, Transparency International, Lithuania Chapter).
  • Cooperation and a joint activity (“International Anticorruption Youth Forum”) with the young people from other countries (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Belorus, Moldova and Kazakhstan).
  • Creation of a charter “Youth Against Corruption” and presentation of it to the department in Parliament dealing with corruption.

Budget

65.970,11 EUR

Donors

Open Society Fund-Lithuania, Ministry of Education and Science of the RL, The Kazickas Family Foundation, International Debate Education Association (IDEA), Democracy Commission, US Embassy U.S. Embassy, Baltic American Partnership Program, East-East Program Open Society Fund-Lithuania, Council of Europe Information Centre, British Embassy

Read the report here.

Initiative for civic culture

The project aimed to introduce anti-corruption education in the high-schools in order to: improve the civic education at school and the legal knowledge of the students (their civic rights and obligations); initiate new alternative forms of education and social contacts; encourage young people with leadership abilities and interests to receive professional realization in the sphere of public administration; to transfer the idea of intolerance among the youth to the problems resulting from the corruption in the society.

Corruption and FDI in Kosovo

The goals of the project were: 1) Raising awareness about the damage that corruption as well as perceptions about its presence in our society cause to the process of attracting new foreign investments in Kosovo; 2) Support of Kosovo institutions in drafting more sophisticated platform for creating a better conditions, comparable with the countries in the region, for foreign investments; 3) Mobilizing social capacities in treatment of this phenomenon and contribution for development of an atmosphere where fighting corruption is considered as necessity.

Civic monitoring over the process of issuing licenses by Hygienic-Epidemic Inspectorate and National Fire and Emergency Safety Service in cases of building and reconstruction

The primary goal of the project was to identify and investigate corrupt practices in the process of issuing licenses in the targeted supervising agencies. The project team made official meetings with representatives of the target institutions: the Hygienic-Epidemic Inspectorate (HEI), the Fire and Emergency Safety Service (FES) and the Ministry of Health to present the project and negotiate the terms of project partnership. The main project outputs referred to: analyzes of citizens’ complains for illegally issued licenses; monitoring of the routine activity of the targeted supervising agencies;development of a legal data base the observed field and a hot phone line for signals; an active public awareness campaign for popularization of the investigated corrupt practices and the proposed measures for counteraction.