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

The civil society and the regional administration in the South-West region – a model for partnership

The project aimed to facilitate the mechanisms for partnership between the structures of the civil society and the local and regional administrations in the South-west region of Bulgaria. The main project goal was: better transparency, more accountability and control over the work of the administration. Some of the project activities included: 1. analyses, development of recommendations and educational seminars; 2. development and maintenance of an information web site; 3. activities for capacity building for monitoring the activities of the local and regional administration; 4. development of recommendations for improvement of the legal framework, strategic documents or public services provided by the targeted administrations; 5. activities for information and publicity.

Local anti-corruption network project: Monitoring for transparency and good governance at local level

The project aimed to provide a tool for communication, information and knowledge sharing among the NGOs located in different Bulgarian municipalities in order to increase their monitoring and control capacity as a mechanisms for combating corruption practices. Within the framework of the project a survey of the anti-corruption initiatives of municipal councils, municipal administrations, civic organizations and local mass media was carried out.

Creation of a harmonic administration in twelve municipalities of Varna region

The general goal of the project was to contribute for the improvement of the work of the public administration by achieving better partnerships between organizations from the civil society sector and the administration. Development and implementation of mechanisms for civil society control and monitoring lay at the core of the project. Some of its main activities included: 1. analyses of best practices in twelve municipal administrations in the region of Varna; 2. assessment of the deficiencies in current work of the administrations and formulation of recommendations for improvement; 3. development and dissemination of a report regarding the “best practices”” in the work of the targeted municipalities; 4. realization of educational seminars for experts from the local administrations with regard to transparency and good governance; 5. realization of seminars and round tables between representatives from the civil society and the administration in order to improve and enhance long-term communication channels between the two groups.”

Transparent Poland – ‘Certification system for local government units’

This new pilot project within Transparent Poland framework was introduced in 2008. An appraisal of the district and municipality self-governments’ actions was carried out by external bodies. During this initiative 16 districts were examined and all but one were granted with a renewable certificate of ‘Przejrzysta Polska’ (the logo of the program is a blue diamond, which by now should be very well recognizable) for the period 2008-2010. Additionally, among 32 local governments from the PP-Forum phase a contest was organized for the friendliest Public Information Bulletin, which is an official web site that is required by the law, where all public information on a given community should be published.

 

 

Monitoring of the activity of Sofia city council and public register of the municipal property transactions

The project objectives are: Raising the level of transparency at Sofia Municipality and guaranteeing the public character of decision-making through development of a public register of the municipal property transactions and monitoring the activities, related to: economic policy and municipal property; municipal budget; urban planning, architecture and construction; ecology and land use.

Curbing corruption and promoting transparency in the work of municipal councils in Bulgaria

The project aimed at identifying corruption-generating practices in the work of local authorities. The project fulfillment included three stages: 1. an analysis of the Municipal Council documentation and the local newspapers; 2. a focus-group discussions with Municipal Councilors and community representatives for determining the target groups and spheres of competing interests; 3. social experiments in resolving typical cases in three of the selected municipals. As an outcome a Policy Paper and a Handbook comprising analytical material, suggestions for amending the Rules and Procedures of Municipal Councils’ functioning and for public feedback was developed.

Budget monitoring laboratory II

Continuation of the project ‘Budget monitoring laboratory’ implemented in the previous year. The overarching goals again were long-term and difficult to measure their outcome straight after the project. Projects objectives were:
• improving transparency of local government finances and enhancing citizens participation in budgetary process
• increasing the level of civic control over local authority activities
• enhancing information flow between citizens and local governments

The secrets of municipal property management

The project aimed at increasing the transparency in the work of the municipal administrations in the country through monitoring and analyses of the practices in the municipal property’s management process, privatization, restitution and public procurement. Some of the main project activities include: 1. development and dissemination of information brochures on the topics: “Citizens and local authority – administrative service”” and “”The poverty – national problem connected with corruption””; 2. nomination and price award for the best anti-corruption innovation practice in local government based on the conducted analyses; 3. realization of practical seminars for citizens and experts from the municipalities; 4. regular press conferences presenting the accumulated information.”

Secret client – development of mechanisms for better accessibility to information, transparency and accountability of the municipal administration

The major goal of the project was to develop mechanisms for better information accessibility, transparency and accountability of the municipal administration. The project foresee the incorporation of these mechanisms at targeted municipalities. Those mechanisms that work well were then multiplied and disseminated to other local administrations. In particular, the initiative included: 1. analyses of best practices with regard to transparency and accountability within different local administration in EU countries; 2. analyses of the current deficiencies in the targeted municipalities in the country; 3. development of specific recommendations and a “technical guideline for municipal transparency””. 4. dissemination of the results to other municipal administrations in the country.”

Transparent District (pilot)

The project was a pilot for the larger project Transparent Poland (’Przejrzysta Polska’). The goal of this first stage was to elaborate, in cooperation with 16 local governments, a model of tasks, which these governments were to implement in order to attain project objectives. The model was later to be scaled up in the following stage, i.e. the massive action. The project set forth six rules, which should be present in the functioning of public offices and officials at the local level. Those were: transparency, citizens participation, no toleration for corruption, professionalism, predictability and accountability. Within the program the participating governments had to fulfill certain solutions/tasks which were related to each of these six rules, e.g. elaboration an ethical code of conduct for public officials and members of local councils, creating a road map of local initiatives, elaborating materials that in an accessible way explain the role and creation of budgets and community’s strategy etc.

Budget monitoring laboratory I

This project aimed at enhancing long-term transparency of public life in local districts and municipalities through improving citizens’ knowledge about and ability to monitor local budgets. Transparency was to be ensured by requiring local offices to provide information understandable to a regular citizen about each phase of the budgetary process (elaboration, implementation, evaluation). This in turn was to, in the long-term, encourage citizens to inform themselves about creation of the future budgets and participate in decision making pertaining to budgetary decisions (application of social consultations, which would be mandatory for the localities). The project also emphasized utilization of good practices like elaboration and making use of multi-annual budgetary frameworks, which would inform a current year budget planning, or having experts to revise budget projects.

Education without corruption

The project aimed to initiate a dialogue between state authorities, academic institutions and civic organizations with the purpose to create basis for fighting corrupt practices in the secondary and higher education in Bulgaria. Some of its main activities included: 1. Publication of a collection of articles outlining the objectives of the project; 2. Four public round table discussions; 3. Discussion forum in Culture newspaper.

Town Hall Bulletins without Censorship

A survey of over 500 volumes of town halls bulletins issued by over the 100 town halls in the Czech Republic was implemented; the aim of the survey was to identify important features such a bulletin should contain to fulfil the conditions of the free access to information, information on public funds spending and balanced reporting. It revealed only about 26% of the bulletins allowed for critical opinions to be published, the censorship was widespread and the political parties in the local governments used the bulletins for their own PR. The project outputs involved: detailed survey, analysis identifying rights and obligations related to publishing town hall bulletins and recommendations for improvements of legal regulations; codex of balanced town hall bulletin and ten basic rules for its publishing and a leaflet for the citizens “Apply your rights”.

Anti-Corruption Education

Training project with the goal of reducing the scope of corruption in the public administration in the territorial self-governing units (municipalities and regions); it aimed at increasing the capacity of local government officials in detecting individual cases of corruption, applying suitable anti-corruption tools to cases of corruption, evaluating the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures in local government authorities and training on law on conflict of interest by tailored trainings.

The non-governmental center for public information access

This is a project with a large territorial scope, encompassing some 400 districts and municipalities. The main goal is to raise the awareness about exercising one’s right to public information. The project intended to show citizens how they can demand such data from uncooperative public offices. Within the framework of the undertaking not only individuals were instructed but also civil society organizations were trained in order to be able later to provide support to citizens. The project also intended to both gather information about cases of information refusals and systematize those instances to be able to draw more general conclusions on the matter. Finally, the public opinion was to be informed about the observance of regulation on the public information access.

Elections before Elections

The aim of the project: To train citizens and civil society organizations to carry out evaluation of the results of elected representatives work and currently ruling local authorities in selected municipalities, and based on that enable the citizens to make decisions at local elections which is scheduled in October 2008.
The primary purpose of the project is to deepen the positive influences that GROZD campaign made resulted in changing attitudes and behaviors of citizens and organizations of civil society in terms of need for their greater involvement in overall political and social processes in community and society in 2006 and 2007 and to make elected representatives most responsible for the problems citizens face with at the local level.
Direct project beneficiaries were the citizens gathered in local GROZD organizations in 30 selected local communities (Goražde, Rudo, Foca, Doboj, Livno, Tomislavgrad, G. Vakuf, Jablanica, B. Petrovac, B. Krupa, Prijedor, Jajce, Ključ, Velika Kladuša, Trebinje, Gacko, Kalesija, Travnik, Konjic, Visoko, Kakanj, N.Grad-Sarajevo, Bugojno, Sekovici, Zavidovici, Breza, Ilidza, Kalinovik, Modriča and D. Vakuf), as well as representatives of other NGOs, local formal and non-formal organizations and citizens groups which are interested in. During the year, 30 advocacy campaigns were organized, including informative and media campaign (project and goals were presented by 8 radio stations in Bosnia-Herzegovina) with aim to organize a pressure on candidates forcing them to include a way of solving key problems of citizens in their political program under local agenda.

I have the right to know! – a survey of access to information in Latvia

The grantee investigated how FOI law was applied in practice, by making requests for information to around 200 state and municipal organizations. The results of the survey were compiled in a report which was made available to the press and discussed at a number of public forums. The survey was carried out by ten students under the supervision of a project manager.

Promotion of the principles of good governance and increased citizens’ participation in the decision-making process in the Republic of Croatia

The project was primarily aimed at strengthening citizens, local civil society organizations (CSO), neighborhood councils, national minorities’ councils and local officials, at improving the communication between them through education on the principles of good governance and rule of law, as well as on the possibilities of involving in the decision-making processes on local level.