Citizen Action Network for Accountability (CANA)

The Citizen Action Network for Accountability in the Philippines works to improve public services provided in our communities in general and to the poorest and most marginalized in particular.

CANA believes simply that more we ordinary people can understand and engage the government, the more accountable and effective we can all hold it to be.

Latest Work

Citizens force city to improve quality control of public works: A simple story on how citizen action compelled the government to repair a foot bridge previously declared complete yet unusable during rainy days.

Citizens encouraged to monitor government projects, spending: A national broadcast report in Filipino featuring CANA’s views and work in encouraging citizen action to fight corruption and demand for good governance.

Facebook: Citizen Action NetTwitter: @CitizenActionPH

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Alcalde, cómo vamos?

 

Alcalde, cómo vamos? is a platform of more than 40 social, academic and business organizations that agree to work for the civic and democratic maturity of the Nuevo León State in Mexico.

They have proposed 10 concrete actions to all candidates for Mayor in the 9 neighboring municipalities of Monterrey during the 2012 electoral process.Elected mayors of Monterrey, Guadalupe, Apodaca, San Nicolas de los Garza, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Santa Catarina, Escobedo, and Juárez García signed a commitment to perform these actions between 2012 and 2015.

During these three years, the platform is measuring, comparing and communicating the level of compliance of each action in each municipality.

Alcalde, cómo vamos? it is an unprecedented instrument for accountability that can contribute to changing the relationship between citizens and local authorities.

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Fin al abuso (1st Campaign)

The project measures the amount of money annually stolen and diverted from education in Mexico, and holds a permanent campaign to advertise and display what could have been done in the education field in Mexico with the money that is lost to corruption. Additionally, “Fin al abuso” encourages citizens to join electronic campaigns and take legal action to demand that money spent on education is rightly used.

First campaign

Following up a three years movement named “Where is my teacher?”, Fin al abuso is leading a group of organizations demand for a single, complete and reliable registry of basic education teachers. The obligation to submit such registry was established in the enactment of the Mexican Federal Spending Decrees for 2010, 2011, and 2012; however, it does not exist so far.

Fin al Abuso, has detected (by name) 22,353 people, who are paid an income as teachers or principals, yet are not teaching. These people are the so-called “union commissioners” (UC) teacher union workers whose salaries cost Mexicans at least 1.7 billion pesos every year.

 Mexicanos Primero

“¡Fin al abuso!”  denounced this wrongdoing in 2012 and invited Mexicans to join the demand of more money to be allocated for education and less to be given to the Teachers Union.

The campaign collected signatures at public spaces, universities and forums; and had broad media presence in Mexico City, Tepic, Tijuana, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

In three months 230,240 citizens signed the campaign and 115 NGOs supported the initiative.

With each collected signature a letter demanding public resources to be well used was sent to the President of Mexico, the presidents of the Senate and House of Representatives, and the Ministers of Education and of Finance. If these Union Commissioners are essential to the SNTE (teachers’ union), then they should be paid from union dues deducted from teacher salaries. Those who signed received a reply from the federal authorities.

SEP (Secretariat of Public Education) and the SNTE reacted differing only in regards to the number of UC: SEP reported that there were “only12,704 commissioners whilst the SNTE admitted having over 160,000 commissioners.

In a second conference, Fin al Abuso published a document supported by the National Bar Association of Mexico (Ilustre y Nacional Colegio de Abogados de México) concluding that the payment of UC from the federal treasury is illegal.

 

 Twitter: @Finalabuso    •   YouTube: MexicanosPrimero  • Facebook: FinAlAbuso

Strengthening the Role of Rural Associations in Democratic Processes in Georgia (STAGE)

The STAGE project aims to build the capacity of rural associations through improving management structures and staff skills, raising awareness, establishing relationships with the private sector and national-level organisations, which are able to advocate for local development at the central government level. Since November 2006, the project has been working in eight municipalities of Georgia: Borjomi, Akhaltsikhe, Aspindza and Adigeni in Samtskhe-Javakheti and Gardabani, Marneuli, Tetristskaro and Tsalka in Kvemo Kartli. This 30-month project, funded by “Austrian Development Cooperation and Cooperation with Eastern Europe” (ADC) (for more information please visit: www.mfa.at/adc, www.ada.gv.at), is implemented by CARE Oesterreich (Austria) and CARE International in the Caucasus in partnership with three local non-governmental organisations: Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), Civitas Georgia and Civil Development Agency (CiDA).”

Developing conditions for better transparency and control of the governance through open and transparent procedures of public procurement

The aim of the project was to improve the transparency and accountability of the local administration, transforming it into a reliable business partner, through the application of procedures of good governance in the public procurement processes. The project activities included: 1. focus-groups with representatives of the local administration and business in order to define the major deficiencies in the public procurement process; 2. formation of a work group charged with the task to develop a report regarding the major problems and relevant policies for improvement of the public procurement procedures; 3. development of a “technical guidance document”” for the private sector aimed to help the business in the public procurement tenders; 4. development of an e-learning program for the target groups regarding the governance principles of the public procurement procedures.”

Youth for Transparency

The main aim of the project was to develop attitudes and meet expectations of young citizens in building the transparency and accountability of the public life on the local level, through education and through encouraging community cooperation on local and international levels.

Objectives

  • To engage local authorities and schools in common building and realizing the local policy of public administration monitoring.
  • To present the social control mechanisms in the subject of transparency and ways of corruption prevention for the students.
  • To cooperate with local authorities and schools in developing the local system of getting and disseminating information on the public institution functioning.
  • To build the international experience exchange and means of dissemination social control mechanism through education forum.

 

Target groups and beneficiaries

  • Youth: the project’s direct addressees are young people aged 13-18 years (students of gymnasium schools) in Poland and Lithuania living in places covered by the Programme, those who will one day become full citizens taking part in their local community life, also as the potential clients of offices in their localities (3900 students).
  • Local authorities chosen for the project: direct beneficiaries are local governments invited to co-operation (10 in Poland and 3 in Lithuania) their representatives who, assisted by the planned activities, are expected to build a positive image of the office and to work to improve confidence in public institutions (13 local governments, 65 representatives).
  • Teachers from the schools that will take part in the project: the Programme’s intermediate beneficiaries are also school teachers involved in its implementation and all the residents of counties and municipalities covered by the Programme, who will become addressees of activities carried out by school students and local government staff members (260 teachers).
  • Local community: all inhabitants in those regions where the project will be conducted (3000 adult inhabitants).

 

In dialogue with the local authority

The project aimed to improve the transparency and accountability of the local administration with regard to the development and implementation of policies for child protection. The main activities include: 1. development of a monitoring system for the implementation of local strategies and programs regarding child protection; 2. assessment of the educational needs of the targeted groups – civil society representatives and experts from the local administration; 3. development and realization of an educational program; 4. establishment and maintenance of a monitoring system for control and coordination of projects and policies in the field of child protection.

Power to powerless

The goal of the project was to involve the socially vulnerable part of the population in the local decision making process and tomcreate legal guarantees for their participation. Target group: vulnerable people, mayors, elected officials.

Local initiative for transparency of the administration and governance on the territory of Yambol municipality

The project aimed to increase the transparency of the local administration of Yambol’s municipality by improving the access to information for the citizens and the business regarding the governance priorities in the region.

The project activities included:

1. needs assessment of the civil society structures with regard to the governance priorities in the region;

2. development of mechanisms for better information dissemination regarding the work of the regional and local authorities.

Civil Parliament – a model for improving the organizational work, control and monitoring in preventing the corruption and increasing the accountability of the municipal administration of the city of Koprivshtica

The project aimed at increasing the transparency, the organization and civil control over the work of the municipal administration in the city of Koprivshtica in order to achieve better governance at local level. The project activities included: 1. surveys assessing the transparency and accountability of the municipal administration; 2. assessment and evaluation of the structure and effectiveness of the governance procedures of the municipal administration and the provision of precise recommendations for improvement; 3. risk assessment of the potential for corruption practices in the work of the administration; 4. assessment of the strategic documents and legal framework concerning the governance of the municipality and development of measures and recommendations for improvement; 5. realization of public hearings and round tables (civil parliaments) aimed to define the major problems and needs with regard to transparency and control over the work of the administration; 6. variety of activities for dissemination of the project goals and results.

Administration close to us, partner for everyone

The aim of the project was to increase the transparency in the work of four municipal administrations in the region of Gabrovo by increasing their accountability and accessibility to citizens. The main activities included: 1. development and dissemination of an information bulletin “Dialogue”” and creation of a web site for the news campaign regarding the work of the targeted municipalities; 2. realization of a radio program dedicated to the project main goal; 3. realization of several conferences with representatives of the civil society, the business and local authorities on the issues of transparency and accountability of the municipal administration.”

Bureau of Public Information in Rural Locals

Public services rendered to the rural population in Uzhgorod region were analyzed and mechanisms to protect the receipt of services were developed. Aimed at overcoming the rural population’s lack of knowledge concerning their own rights and corruption challenges, a handbook of services was prepared, published, and distributed among citizens and local self-governments in the region. A number of awareness-raising measures to introduce transparency principles were held in pilot villages.

Establishing of community liaison offices

The project consited in the creation of community liaison offices in regions and Kyiv City with a purpose of receiving of public complaints, and providing legal consultations.

Improving Bulgarian local government integrity

The project builds on a similar project being implemented in Romania and is designed to address the issue of local government integrity in ten Bulgarian big and mid-size municipalities. The overriding goal of the project was to formulate and implement local integrity policies designed to institutionalize civic participation in drafting and instituting procedural and administrative safeguards against misuse of position and institutional corruption in the local administration; ensure that both society and local government are stakeholders of the policies. The overall aim of the project was to develop transparency and integrity of local government in Bulgaria, as a pre-requisite for the development of a truly democratic society, which is able to face and solve problems that might otherwise endanger justice, communication and transparent management of local administration.

Survive Svanetia

The coalition project lead by “Civitas Georgica” was aimed at development of local communities in Svanetia by supporting establishment of active citizen’s groups, monitoring wood cutting, providing policy recommendations for local governments in Mestia and Lentekhi districts, distributing medicine etc. Target group: local population, CBOs, local councils, doctors, local businessmen

Citizens and local government

This project (Citizens and local government) was realized by the Foundation in Support of Local Democracy (FSLD). It was a country-wide project designed for small municipalities and districts below 50.000 citizens with an objective to create sustainable and transparent mechanism for cooperation between local administration and local civic organizations and citizens. Overall the FSLD funded 22 grants to local NGOs (total amount equaled PLN 805.400 or ca. EUR 200.000) for sake of creating and strengthening of the cooperation among the NGOs as well as between them and the local administration.
Those actions were envisaged to enhance common trust between the engaged entities, especially towards the local governments and to lower corruption thanks to increased transparency of the decision making processes. Also creation of local organization coalitions was encouraged in order to stimulate active citizens’ participation in public life and to shape sustainable communication schemes between the administration and local communities. Thanks to the latter, local officials could better address the needs of their communities.

The citizens and the municipality – partners for transparent and effective local administration

The aim of the project was to increase the transparency, accountability and effectiveness of the municipal administration in Bulgaria by creating bridges between the civil society structures and the local authorities. The initiative included: 1. survey and analysis of the existing working practices of the Bulgarian local administration; 2. development of precise measures for improvement at national level; 3. development and realization of educational seminars and workshops for the targeted groups; 4. dissemination of the results of the project.

Only fish don’t take bait?

The aim of the project was to encourage the development of the investigative journalism, the latter being one of the method of not only revealing corruptive situations in public life, but also exerting a social pressure on politicians and officials to counteract such phenomena. The program had seven editions, starting in 2000 and finishing in 2006. The journalist (press, radio, tv) submitted to the Foundation their materials pertaining to uncovering corruptive situations. In the first edition, 2000, there were almost 80 submissions whereas, in 2001-48, 2002-36, 2003-138, 2004-162, 2005-165, 2006-88 (the high number in the latter years are caused most probably by counting several materials on the same topic not as a one submission but as a single entry). The ‘applications’ were evaluated by a committee and the winners were selected and announced. The winning journalists were awarded with financial prizes, in 2000 the main prize was $5.000, in 2002 it was PLN 12.000 (ca. €3.000), in 2006 – PLN 7.000 (ca. €1.750). Usually there were 3-4 prizes per edition. The awarded reportages were both of the national and local scope.

Partnership between the citizens and the municipal administration – a guarantee for transparency and accountability

The project aimed at increasing the capacity of the structures of the civil society in four municipalities in the fight against corruption. The capacity building refers to the capabilities of the civil society organizations to implement models and methods for monitoring and control over the public services provided by the municipal administrations . The project main activities included: 1. development of a local civil society partnership network; 2. survey of best practices in Bulgaria with regard to services of general interest provided by the local authorities 3. development of a web site for the partnership network in order to facilitate the communication between the target groups as well as to ease the monitoring process; 4. analyses of the existing deficiencies in the provision of services of general interest in the selected four municipalities and development of action plans for improvement; 5. realization of round tables with representatives from the civil society sector and the administration in order to discuss and improve the action plans; 6. monitoring over the implementation of the provided recommendations in the action plans; 6. analysis of the results of the project and dissemination of the good practices achieved.

Civil control – a guarantee for transparent and accessible local authority

The project seeks to improve the role of the structures of the civil society in the city of Gabrovo in the formulation of policies and programs at municipal level. Some of the main project activities were: 1. realization of surveys aimed to define the main problems and deficiencies in communication between the local administration and the civil society at large; 2. monitoring activities regarding the work of the administration and development of precise recommendations for improvement; 3. organization and realization of round tables with representatives from the civil society and experts from the municipal administration aimed to encourage the dialogue and partnership between the two target groups; 4. realization of educational seminars regarding the civil control over the work of the administration; 5. realization of a regional information campaign “Civil society organizations – factor for increasing the transparency and accountability of the municipal administration””.; 6. development of precise recommendations for the public administration on how to incorporate good practices and procedures, which will ease the access to information for the citizens and the business and engage the civil society into the decision making process regarding the provision of services of general public interest.”

Institutional reaction to cases of corruption in Bulgaria

The main purpose of the project was to study the reaction of different institutions and players, who have an attitude to the problem with the corruption, such as media, the political actors, the government, the judicial system, the no- government sector, and the public at large. The project involved the creation of the task-force of experts, investigative journalists, and politicians which monitored and discussed institutional reaction to a number of cases of corruption during a period of ten months in Bulgaria. The “task-force”” organized four round tables discussion with the participation of legislators, heads of administrative agencies, NGOs and journalists.”