PACTA - Participatory Action Against Corruption: Towards Transparency and Accountability
In Bangladesh, Switzerland was instrumental in engaging likeminded development partners to support prominent local actors to curb corruption and establish transparent and accountable governance systems. This project, co-funded by Switzerland with the UK and Sweden, will continue the work on reducing corruption by engaging citizens, adding the use of an innovative digital tool for community monitoring. Based on the evidence collected on corruption incidences, the project will reinforce policy advocacy and engagement at different levels.
Democratic participation and civil society
Public finance management
|Background||Since 2009, Switzerland and other likeminded development partners have been collaborating with Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) to promote their mandate of curbing corruption through a participatory social movement to develop and reform laws, institutions, and practices for combating corruption and establishing efficient, transparent, and accountable systems of governance. During this period, TIB has learnt that a long-term and adaptive approach is required, as forms of corruption evolve with time and a changing context. To facilitate sustainable changes it is crucial to constantly engage with stakeholders, explore the political economy landscape, and adapt activities accordingly. With a shrinking civil society space, the importance of having actors such as TIB is becoming even more pertinent. Through community engagement, research and policy advocacy, TIB has been particularly instrumental in Bangladesh in limiting corruption and fostering political will to combat against it. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected governance mechanisms at all levels and in different dimensions, triggering an increase in corruption. Against this backdrop, the planned intervention is even more pertinent to counter unfavourable trends by enabling TIB to continue curbing corruption, and to promote democratic governance, while harnessing the potential of digitalisation in collecting evidence for systemic change.|
|Objectives||The overall goal is to curb corruption and to contribute to developing an inclusive, equitable, and non-discriminatory society. This goal will be achieved by enhancing citizens’ participation to raise their voice and act for reducing corruption and irregularities, promoting greater social accountability, transparency, and better public service delivery.|
|Target groups||Through specific interventions, the project will empower 50’000 youth and 6’000 local actors from regions lagging behind to raise their voice and act for reducing corruption and irregularities. The project will thus benefit directly an estimated 1 million poor women and men through civic engagement in specific regions, sectors, and institutions. Indirectly, the scheme will benefit the wider population of Bangladesh, as the systems strengthening intervention will have a nationwide impact.|
Outcome 1: Citizens, including poor and marginalised women and men, are collectively able to demand and negotiate corruption-free services and entitlements.
Outcome 2: Corruption is reduced in targeted institutions and sectors through reforms in laws, policies, processes, and practices.
Outcome 3: The civic anti-corruption movement is strengthened in Bangladesh, with TIB's organisational evolution as a catalyst and a collaborator.
Output 1.1 Citizen groups, with a focus on women and marginalised groups, are mobilised for anti-corruption actions and improved service delivery.
Output 1.2: The application ‘PACTApp’ is systematically used for documenting corruption incidences.
Output 2.1: An information technology-driven monitoring and research programme is operational.
Output 2.2: National policies are influenced.
Output 3.1: Stakeholders are engaged through partnerships and networks.
Output 3.2: TIB’s organisational capacity is enhanced.
Output 3.3: TIB’s external partnerships and financial resources are gradually increased.
Results from previous phases:
- TIB has been successful in facilitating significant improvements in several legal frameworks and policy changes such as the adoption of the Right to Information Act (2010) or the formulation of National Gold Policy (2018).
- TIB selectively engages in global initiatives representing the voices of Bangladeshi non-state actors on issues of governance and corruption at the national level.
- At a local level, a total of 280’000 direct beneficiaries received support and more than 11’903 activists, 70% of them youth, were mobilised in 38 districts (out of 64 districts).
- TIB’s local activists achieved transparent processes for the distribution of stipends in selected schools, the reduction of “payments under the counter” in hospitals, public disclosure of budget figures as well as increased community dialogue with local Government for improving social protection targeting women, the poor and marginalise/d communities.
- TIB has learnt that it is essential to balance and engage with both the supply and demand sides to push the anti-corruption agenda forward. Therefore, the planned intervention aims at strengthening the governance system bottom-up – by promoting citizens’ voice through the use of a newly developed application (PACTApp) to demand for equitable service delivery, accountability and transparency – and top-down – by influencing and improving policies.
- An adaptive approach is required as the forms of corruption change with an evolving context.
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
International or foreign NGO
Contribution Agreement with Transparency International Bangladesh
|Coordination with other projects and actors||SDG16, GO4IMPact, Ashshash, Integrated Water Resources Management, and Efficient and Accountable Local Governance.|
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 7’050’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 501’159 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF 15’100’000|