Practical examples and Open Forum

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Practical examples and Open Forum

This is a space for conversation leaders and guests to pose questions, propose ideas, share successes, tactics, tools and resources with one another that have not been addressed in other threads. 

Resources on people power and the role of citizens

There are so many resources out there if one wants to learn more about citizen action, people power and civil resistance to impact corruption, including in the public sector. Here are a few for a start.

Freedom from Corruption: A Curriculum for People Power Movements, Campaigns and Civic Initiatives (2015) - my practical, free self-study guide that also has adapted techniques and tools from New Tactics and is a companion to the following book

Moblizing Accountability: Citizens, Movements and the State (April 2015)
By Brendan Halloran and Walter Flores

Social Accountability: What Does the Evidence Really Say? (September 2014)
By Jonathan Fox
This is available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

Connecting the Dots: Civil Society Policy Monitoring and Advocacy Strategies (June 2015)
By Jonathan Fox, Brendan Halloran (with Anna Levy, Joy Aceron and Albert van Zyl)

Research Briefing: Getting Strategic:Vertically Integrated Approaches (June 2016) By Joy Aceron and Francis Issac

Curtailing Corruption: People Power for Accountability and Justice (Lynne Rienner publishers 2014) - my book based on qualitative research of 16 case studies (12 included in the book from Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, South Korea, Turkey, Uganda). Here is the table of contents:

Part I              From Top-Down to Bottom-Up: The Anti-Corruption Paradigm Shift

1.    Corruption, People and Power

2.    Approaches to Curbing Corruption                                            

Part II             People Power versus Corruption: Case Studies

3.     Blacklisting Corrupt Candidates: Korea

4.     Digital Resistance for Clean Politicians: Brazil

5.     Citizens Protect an Anti-Corruption Commission: Indonesia

6.     Youth Lead Nonviolent Resistance against the Mafia: Italy

7.      A Citizen Pillar against Corruption: India

8.      Community Monitoring for Post-War Transformation: Afghanistan

9.      Curbing Police Corruption through Engagement and Disruption: Uganda

10.     Highlights from Around the World: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey

Part III           Conclusions

11.     What We Have Learned

12.      The International Dimension: Policy Implications and Recommendations for External Actors

Appendix 1     Nonviolent Tactics Used in the 12 Cases


Paper on the Role of Civil Society - Nigeria
Thank you Olajobi!

Thank you Olajobi!

Hello Olajobi, I was not able

Hello Olajobi, I was not able to open the link. Can you please repost it.

Community Based monitoring - examples (videos)

In case you would like to see (or use) some short videos showing practically the impact of community based monitoring, please feel free to watch these handful of youtube videos:

Thanks Joy!

Thanks Joy!

Mobilizing fellow citizens in nonviolent campaigns/movements

One of the great scholars and practitioners of citizen mobilization, community organizing and nonviolent action is Professor Marshall Ganz from Harvard. He has some excellent resources on his website:

At this website, you'll find a Web module that contains learning materials on a number of topics, including:

  • What is organizing?
  • How do people organize?
  • What skills are required of organizers?
  • How can these skills be shared with others?

     The website states: "This module is designed for organizers, students, and trainers of organizers alike. It is more of a library than online course per se. Organizers and students will find readings, video lecture clips and Web links on organizing ("Learning Resources" tab on this website). In addition, trainers will find a pedagogy of organizing developed by Professor Ganz and his colleagues ("Trainer's Workshop")."

Dr. Ganz says: "Learning organizing is learning a practice, like riding a bicycle--falling off, and having the courage to get back on, is the only way you can learn to keep your balance."




Some examples for open contracting in action

Just a brief note to link to our map of open contracting innovations where we list both the commitments and progress by governments, as well as the innovations by civil society and others in using this information. This is developing rapidly and we are updating regularly. 

Some of the most interesting stories come from Nigeria, the Ukraine, Slovakia (in the GovLabs useful platform looking at the impact of open data), Montreal, Africa more broadly, Chicago

In the context of the Open Data Charter, we are currently looking at developing and systematizing a data-driven approach to using open contracting data for identifying "red flags" of corruption based on some of the work Digiwhist, the World Bank, and others have been doing. We hope this will be useful both for governments but also a tool for civil society. 

Government & civil society access to open contracting innovation

Georg - I really liked your connection regarding the usefulness of tools that have been developed from either government or civil society initiatives that can be used respectively. We often miss this connection of human rights accountability - that not only states (government) is responsible and accountable for upholding human rights (safety and security, non-discrimination and participation) but we, as citizens are also responsible for ensuring the protection and accountability of our own rights as well as for those in our communities, our country and others in the world. 

These are terrific examples and resources! I hope people don't miss the other great examples that you and others have shared in the other conversation thread -The role of civil society in combating corruption with specific examples that reinforce this civil society and government connection / collaboration.

Shaazka has provided some excellent examples of actions taken from civil society. Are there additional examples that can be shared when civil society and government are working well together?


Members tagged in this comment: 
Reply to #5


Here it is 

You can also find it in the Journal of Business and Social Science,  Vol. 7. No 3; March 2016


Thank you Olajobi!

Thank you Olajobi!

More examples

I'd like to share some more examples of people power to impact public sector corruption.

Afghanistan: (as previously mentioned) Integrity Watch Afghanistan is empowering villagers in community monitoring of internationally and domestically funded projects, in order to curb corruption and improve reconstruction and development. Since 2010 to the present there were 560 fully completed civic initiatives. In 460 (82%), either problems were uncovered and rectified as a result of community pressure, or those responsible for the projects (contractors and the State) cooperated during the process, or no problems were found. Among the final cases, there was no “success” in that irregularities weren’t discovered during the monitoring, site access was blocked to citizens, or the communities weren’t sufficiently mobilized.

Bangladesh: The “Social Movement against Corruption,” launched in 2009 by Transparency International-Bangladesh in 34 districts, empowered citizens to hold public officials accountable for health, education and local government services through citizen committees, youth groups and a variety of nonviolent actions, such as information tables outside targeted hospitals and volunteer monitoring of their services, cleanliness, and medical staff attendance.

India: 5th Pillar is social movement with long-term transformative goals to change the culture of corruption in the country. In the short-run, it targets bribery with innovative low-risk actions such as passing out “anti-corruption” Zero-Rupee Notes in public places, conducting Right to Information workshops, petitioning, holding citizen anti-bribery pledges, and leafleting queues outside state offices. Since 2007, over 2.5 million Zero-Rupee Notes have been distributed, and it has received numerous reports of success. It conducts outreach to rural populations, is building voluntary, student-led chapters in higher education institutions across Tamil Nadu state, is engaging the business community, and is experimenting with a local television talk show.

Kenya: MUHURI (Muslims for Human Rights) is empowering communities to conduct comprehensive social audits of constituency development funds and projects, in order to fight poverty and curb misuse of these resources. Within three years, comprehensive citizen-led social audits were conducted in 10 constituencies. Corruption was uncovered and problems were addressed by the authorities. In 2010, the civic organization made a strategic decision to empower others by training CSOs and citizens to launch their own social audits. It also developed a new “mini-social audit” in which citizens monitor a single development project in their community, rather than multiple projects throughout their respective constituency.

Paraguay: reAcción is a grass-roots NGO that promotes transparency, citizen engagement and anti-corruption in Paraguay. It believes in using civic education to break the cycle that perpetuates docility against corruption. It works in the country-side of Paraguay supporting the decentralization of organized civil society to strengthen communities’ social accountability skills at the local level. Education spending in the National Public Investment and Development Fund (FONACIDE) is an important target for young people fighting corruption and improving development outcomes.

Philippines: In 2003, a consortium (CSOs, local community groups, the Public Services Labor Independent Confederation/PSLINK) coordinated by the G-Watch program at the Ateneo School of Government, launched a nation-wide campaign in cooperation with the Department of Education to stamp out corruption in the production and delivery of school books. The Textbook Count/Textbook Walk campaign annually mobilized about one million boy and girl scouts to count books. Between 2003 and 2008, textbook prices were reduced by 50%, the procurement process was shortened from
24 to 12 months, and ghost deliveries ceased.

Serbia: (as previously mentioned) Serbia on the Move (SoM) has been empowering thousands of people to work on improvement of conditions of their lives and mobilized tens of thousands of Serbians to successfully reduce corruption in Serbian health care, improve the position of the women in the workplace etc. a civil society organization. SoM has been engaging in some innovative people power campaigns in the public health care system – not only to impact corruption and increase transparency - but to improve services and bring forth reforms through policy and implementation.

South Korea: A coalition of 1104 civic networks and groups launched the “Civil Action for the General Election 2000” (CAGE 2000) campaign to tackle political corruption. It identified malfeasant and ineligible candidates in the general election and pushed for their defeat through a blacklist based on publicly-documented assessments of all initial nominees and final candidates in the National Assembly elections. They held street rallies, petitions, phone and email campaigns, and launched youth websites that included celebrity endorsements. Sixty-nine percent of blacklisted candidates (59 out of 86) lost the elections.

Uganda: The NAFODU (National Foundation for Democracy and Human Rights in Uganda)-Police-Community Partnership Forum initiated a community-monitoring mobilization that targeted local police intimidation and extortion. Marginalized people exposed police graft through radio call-ins and SMS texts, while efforts were made to win elements of law enforcement towards the community, for example, through local integrity trainings. Over the course of one year, organizers reported a change in police behavior, based on citizen input during the weekly radio shows, SMS monitoring, and direct communications with NAFODU’s district offices. Towards the end of the civic initiative, officers asked for the help of NAFODU and citizens to help overcome the problems they faced within the institution.

More resources

The International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC), with which I'm affiliated, has a new website with many kinds of resources on people power and nonviolent action, from free online courses to seminars, downloadable resources, videos and webinars. This past Spring, we also had a special webinar on recent anti-corruption struggles in Latin America. There is NOW a call for applications for the free 2016 ICNC online course on civil resistance, which starts in October.