TI Holds Meeting in Berlin on Development of Manual for CSO Compliance Reviews

9 April 2009, by Gillian Dell.

Has your government taken all the necessary steps to meet the requirements of the UN Convention against Corruption?

What’s the best way to check that? What’s the best way for civil society organisations (CSOs) to carry out assessments—UNCAC compliance reviews—that can provide the basis for a well-informed dialogue with governments?

This was the subject of a recent meeting convened by Transparency International at its International Secretariat in Berlin to discuss a draft Manual for CSOs conducting UNCAC Compliance Reviews. The meeting took place on Monday & Tuesday, 30–31 March 2009 and included experts from Basel Institute on Governance (BIG), German Agency for Technical Assistance (GTZ), Government of Nigeria, OECD and UNDP. The discussion focused on a draft document commissioned by TI and prepared by BIG with inputs from the Bangladeshi BRAC Institute of Governance Studies.

The meeting was opened by TI Global Programmes Director Christaan Poortman, who reminded participants of the important role of civil society in anti-corruption, as recognised by UNCAC Article 13. The same Article recognises the importance of civil society access to information. With the civil society role explicitly recognised in the UNCAC, he noted that it was important that CSOs pick up the challenge of reminding governments of their UNCAC commitments and holding them to account.

The group discussed a range of issues that CSOs face in preparing compliance reviews such as whether to conduct full or partial reviews; how to interpret the UNCAC provisions; how to link the CSO review to the upcoming UNCAC review mechanism; how to access the necessary information; whether to conduct multi-convention reviews; how to present the results; and how to use a compliance review for advocacy purposes. Based on the advice and suggestions of the meeting, a revised draft of the manual is currently in preparation. Gillian Dell and Finn Heinrich at Transparency International are managing this project and can be contacted for additional information at email hidden; JavaScript is required and email hidden; JavaScript is required. TI intern Kelly McCarthy gave valuable support to the preparation of the meeting. Funding for the meeting was provided by a grant from DfID.