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Casals & Associates, Inc . The International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management and Casals & Associates “Reducing Poverty and Corruption: An Integrated Approach to Good Governance” AMERICAS ANTI CORRUPTION ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT (AAA) THE CASALS EXPERIENCE.

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Casals & Associates, Inc.

The International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management

and

Casals & Associates

“Reducing Poverty and Corruption:

An Integrated Approach to Good Governance”

AMERICAS ANTI CORRUPTION ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT (AAA)

THE CASALS EXPERIENCE


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Casals & Associates, Inc.

Contents

  • CONTEXT AND OVERVIEW – AMERICAS’ ACCOUNTABILITY, ANTI –CORRUPTION PROJECT (AAA)(Patricio Maldonado)

  • THE CIBAO REGION EXPERIENCE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - WORKING WITH CIVIL SOCIETY IN PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION(Olga Nazario)

  • LATIN AMERICA REGION - EXPERIENCES IN CIVIL SOCIETY OVERSIGHT AT THE MUNICIPAL LEVEL(Gerardo Berthin)


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Casals & Associates, Inc.

AAA Project Context

  • The AAA Project as a result of Countries’ positions vis-à-vis corruption and USAID’s strategy.

  • Promote democracy and good governance, support central and local government efforts.

  • Increase transparency and reduce corruption at all levels.

  • USAID, as most of the donor community, has clearly stated that it is convinced that corruption is the single most important factor that undermines the ability of countries to meet the social and economic development needs of their people.


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Casals & Associates, Inc.

AAA Project Context

  • As such, the fight against corruption is critical because it is pervasive and affects a wide variety of key elements in the development of any given society:

  • It curtails the ability of central and local governments to finance and provide social services - education, health, water, sanitation, etc.

  • It increases poverty and social unrest.

  • It negatively affects trade and investments.

  • It erodes the effectiveness and reliability of the rule of law and the judicial system.

  • It undermines democratic institutions

  • It prevents the participation of civil society in the oversight of how public resources are utilized.


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Casals & Associates, Inc.

AAA Project Context (cont’d…)

  • Casals & Associates (C&A) compliance with needs expressed by Countries and USAID’s strategy.

  • Corruption and lack of transparency are structural problems in our societies.

  • The fight against corruption is not an event but rather a long term process.

  • It requires the unwavering commitment, determination, perseverance and a permanent partisan and active participation of many actors.


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Casals & Associates, Inc.

AAA Project Context (cont’d…)

  • C&A is committed to the fight against corruption.

  • Under the AAA Project, as designed by USAID, and started in 1989, C&A has undertaken activities to improve transparency, at the present time principally at the local level.

  • As originally conceived, the Project will also maintain activities at the central level, particularly in the area of integrated financial management systems.


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AAA Project Overview

A. AAA PROJECT PURPOSE

  • To improve public sector accountability and transparency in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • B. EXPECTED PROJECT OUTCOMES

    • Governments able to make operative the principles of transparency and accountability by undertaking specific institutional strengthening efforts; and

    • Civil society empowered to play a greater role in reducing corruption through citizen oversight activities and advocacy for reform.


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AAA Project Overview

  • C. AAA PROJECT COMPONENTS

    • Improve Government Policies and Practices to Reduce Corruption

      Through the assessment and dissemination of successful policies and practices with demonstrable impacts on corruption.


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Casals & Associates, Inc.

AAA Project Overview

  • C. AAA PROJECT COMPONENTS (cont’d…)

    • Enhanced Support for USAID Missions’ Anti- Corruption Strategies and Activities

      Through the establishment of linkages with USAID Missions to identify and implement activities to assist Missions develop anti-corruption strategies and projects.


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AAA Project Overview

  • C. AAA PROJECT COMPONENTS (cont’d…)

    • Facilitate Donor Coordination

      The objective of this component is to make the Donor Consultative Group (DCG) more actively engaged in coordinating anti-corruption strategies and planning and implementing anti-corruption/accountability activities in the Region.


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Casals & Associates, Inc.

AAA Project Overview

  • C. AAA PROJECT COMPONENTS (cont’d…)

    • Develop a Plan for Sustainability of ResponDanet, the Anti-Corruption Without Borders Electronic Mailing List and the Electronic Newsletters

      This component of the Project provides a way to link individuals, organizations and government officials involved in the fight against corruption.

      It is aimed at maintaining reform momentum by information sharing, and networking with groups advocating anti- corruption/accountability measures.


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AAA Project Overview

  • D. AAA IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY

  • The development of Technical Assistance Modules (TAMs) designed to derive, document, promote and disseminate lessons learned on successful central and local level participatory transparency and accountability practices; and,

  • The provision of technical assistance to USAID Missions, local governments and civil society organizations, designed to support expanded and more focused anti-corruption programming, particularly at the local level.


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Casals & Associates, Inc.

AAA Project Overview

  • D. AAA IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY (cont’d…)

  • The development of a specific plan for the sustainability of the ResponDanet web site in the years to come; and,

  • The institutionalization of the Donor Consultative Group as a means for maintaining the level of discussion and attention of the donor community in anti-corruption issues and activities.


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Contents

  • CONTEXT AND OVERVIEW – AMERICAS’ ACCOUNTABILITY, ANTI –CORRUPTION PROJECT (AAA)

  • THE CIBAO REGION EXPERIENCE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - WORKING WITH CIVIL SOCIETY IN PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION

  • LATIN AMERICA REGION - EXPERIENCES IN CIVIL SOCIETY OVERSIGHT AT THE MUNICIPAL LEVEL


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CITIZENS PARTICIPATION

FOR TRANSPARENCY

AND ACCOUNTABILITY

CIBAO REGION,DOMINICAN REPUBLIC


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Regional Traits

  • Central part of the country; covers 40 percent national territory and population

  • Has 5 of the 14 cities with over 50,000 inhabitants

  • Tobacco growing region; economically prosperous in comparison to rest of country

  • Concentrates 40 percent of local decentralization initiatives in DR (2001)


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Municipal Structure

Central Government

Dominican Municipal League

Mayors

(Sindico)

Municipal Council

(Sala Capitular)

FEDOMU


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Corruption Indicators

  • High level of Centralization

  • Depend on central government for funding (4-5% national budget); distributed through the Dominican Municipal League (Liga Municipal Dominicana)

  • Local authorities tied to political parties

    • Nepotism and favoritism

    • Responding to political bosses rather than to

      community needs

    • Central government and DML manipulate budget distributing along party lines

  • Lack of civil service career and oversight mechanisms


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    Keys to Reform Initiatives

    More resources available after 1% budget increase in 2001-2002

    Citizens more concerned on having a role on how resources are used

    Mayors react to over-centralization and corruption of Municipal League and create own organization: FEDOMU

    International Cooperation: technical assistance, awareness, leadership training, democratic processes


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    Casals & Associates, Inc.

    Communities in Action

    • Santiago de los Caballeros: Strategic Planning

    • Villa Gonzalez: Participatory Budget

      Citizens making proposals and working closely with local government

    • Esperanza: Towards Strategic Planning

      Developed by the local municipal council has motivated Mayor to reach out to citizens

    • Constanza: Partnerships

      Citizens and local governments collaborate on making decisions affecting the community

    • Cevicos: Dialogue and Consultation

      Began by citizens mediating in conflict within the municipal council, led to a process of consultation to define priorities


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    Casals & Associates, Inc.

    Key Enabling Factors

    • Community closer to municipal and local officials

    • Citizens mobilization for participating in elections continues on for decentralization and then into transparency and accountability

    • International Donors assistance on leadership training, participation, technical assistance, etc.

    • Improved levels of education

    • A dynamic civil society (such as traditional

      neighboring boards)

    • New local leaders understand participatory processes and willing to promote them

    • Community consensus around a common project


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    Key Obstacles

    • Lack of political will and political conflicts

    • Citizens manipulation and lack of information

    • Lack of legal framework for citizens participation

    • High dependency on funding from central government

    • Local authorities lack plans and vision

    • Unskilled local authorities

    • Existence of an authoritarian culture and a culture of corruption

    • Few civil society organizations with proposal capacity


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    The Local Agenda

    • Application of civil service career at municipal level

    • Citizenship training for local authorities

    • Access to information participation mechanisms

    • The legal framework for citizens (oversight, open forums, participatory budget, social auditing) to monitor local government spending (particularly

      public works)

    • Educate on ethics and meaning of electing public officials


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    Casals & Associates, Inc.

    USAID/AAA in the Cibao Region

    • Assessment of the anti-corruption initiatives in the region

    • Workshop brought together local officials and citizens representatives from 16 neighboring communities

      • Exchange of experiences and establishment of ties

      • Identified common obstacles to transparency and accountability

      • Formulated agenda for transparency

  • Technical assistance and transfer of know-how across borders based on their own lessons learned (Medellin-Santiago de los Caballeros)

  • Generate synergies and motivate local actors to work toward more transparent communities


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    Casals & Associates, Inc.

    Contents

    • CONTEXT AND OVERVIEW – AMERICAS’ ACCOUNTABILITY, ANTI –CORRUPTION PROJECT (AAA)

    • THE CIBAO REGION EXPERIENCE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - WORKING WITH CIVIL SOCIETY IN PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION

    • LATIN AMERICA REGION - EXPERIENCES IN CIVIL SOCIETY OVERSIGHT AT THE MUNICIPAL LEVEL


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    Transparency & Participation

    Lessons from the

    International Workshop on

    “Strengthening Transparency in Local Governments through Citizen Participation Mechanisms”

    Tela/Honduras on

    February 10-11, 2003


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    Background

    • International Workshop on “Strengthening Transparency in Local Governments through Citizen Participation Mechanisms,” Tela, Honduras, February 10-11, 2003.

    • 17 diverse experiences (8 from Honduras, 9 from throughout Central and South America), ranging from bottom-up to top-down approaches.

    • Workshop was intended as a means, a key activity to the generation of lessons and possible future technical assistance initiatives (TAM).

    • Workshop generated a set of findings about participation and transparency at the local level,as well as lessons.


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    General Findings

    • Meaningful, growing and active participation & genuine desire

    • Several participatory methodologies and techniques

    • Transparency was mainly linked to increased flow of timely and reliable fiscal, social, and political information.

    • Ownership and active citizens’ participation in policy

      development

    • Building effective government/citizens’ partnerships


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    General Findings (cont’d…)

    • Honest transparent and effective management at the local level is essential

    • Local level approaches can have two key advantages: 1) being closer to the citizen and 2) higher levels of political will of elected officials.

    • An overwhelming majority of initiatives are donor- driven.

    • Citizen participation is no magic potion

    • There is no single technique to increase participation and transparency at the local level


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    Wide Spectrum of Mechanisms/Techniques

    • Strategic Planning (Sabanagrande/Honduras, Santiago de los Caballeros/DR, Medellin/Colombia, Santa Elena/El Salvador)

    • Citizen-based monitoring and evaluation (Guatemala/Acción Ciudadana, Santa Elena/El Salvador)

    • Transparency Committees (Tela/Honduras, Jutipalca/Honduras)

    • Government-sponsored institutional mechanisms (Municipal Commissions/Honduras)

    • Veedurias (Medellin/Colombia, Rumiñahu-Ecuador)

    • Structured public hearings or meetings usually called by the municipality (Tela/Honduras)

    • Integrated financial management systems with software (FUNDEMUN/Honduras, Santa Rosa de Copan/Honduras)

    • Cabildos Abiertos (Honduras, Santa Elena/El Salvador)


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    Wide Spectrum of Mechanisms/Techniques (cont’d…)

    • Governmental Social Auditors (Villanueva/Honduras, Cotacachi/Ecuador, Guamote-Ecuador, Choluteca/Honduras)

    • Local Development Committees/Agencies (Santa Elena/El Salvador, Villa Gonzalez/DR, Otavalo/Ecuador)

    • Awareness-raising and building capacity to mobilize (Asociación Civil Transparencia/Peru, Villa Gonzalez/DR)

    • Electoral Auditing & Legislative Monitoring (B. Oriental/ Honduras, Guatemala/Acción Ciudadana, Peru/Asociación Civil Transparencia)

    • Citizenship Auditing (Costa Rica)

    • Vigilance Committees (Bolivia, Peru)

    • Budget hearings and dissemination (Tela/Honduras)

    • Accessible government/information and services (Guatemala/Acción Ciudadana, Santa Rosa de Copan/Honduras)


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    Key Obstacles Limiting Transparency & Participation

    • Lack of integrated and coordinated efforts.

    • Lack of strategic planning and integrated financial management systems.

    • Lack of follow-up and monitoring and evaluation systems (indicators).

    • Diverse opinions and conflicts among citizens and between citizens and governments

    • Confusion and lack of knowledge about 1) laws regarding issues of control, accountability, enforcement and 2) about the scope and depth of responsibilities assigned to actors and institutions.

    • Unclear sustainability strategies

    • Resistance to change (both government and citizenship)


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    Key Factors Enabling/Supporting

    Transparency & Participation

    • Proactive role of citizens’ participation and capacity to mobilize support and resources

    • Donor support and technical assistance (projects)

    • Increased flow and access of timely and reliable fiscal, social and political information, including use of latest technology and software applications.

    • Increased understanding of local government and legal frameworks

    • Shared vision and strategic planning involving key sectors

    • Explicit recognition (legal, judicial, in practice) of citizen participation

    • Establishing key partnerships


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    Impact and Results

    • Strategic Planning & Strategic and/or Development Plans

    • Social auditing

    • Active involvement of citizens, CSOs & NGOs

    • Creation of deliberation spaces (forums, dialogue, consultations).

    • Advocacy efforts

    • Productive partnerships

    • New stakeholders

    • Growing political will

    • Some institutional innovations


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    Casals & Associates, Inc.

    Impact and Results

    THANK YOU


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