Presentation on theme: "Chapter 14: Advocacy & Legal Advice Centres (ALACs) Experiences in fostering citizen participation and government responsiveness Angela Keller-Herzog Kumarian."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 14: Advocacy & Legal Advice Centres (ALACs) Experiences in fostering citizen participation and government responsiveness Angela Keller-Herzog Kumarian Press
Unpacking statements about ‘lack of political will’ a little…. Is it like a light-switch? Is it the primary determinant factor shaping governance –Abstract, intangible, untouchable? –Idiosyncratic geopolitical pressures and circumstance-bound power struggles Statements which attribute our failures to “lack of political will” can have a strong sub-text of disempowerment and disconnectedness -Need to examine our own connectedness -Need to see how we are constructing ourselves to be empowered agencies… to converse with the agencies of political will
A global movement against corruption established in 1993 A world-wide network of 99 national chapters / contacts / partners International Secretariat in Berlin International Board of Directors Global Network of Senior advisors and other volunteers
ALAC 101 ALACs aim to: Empower citizens to make and pursue corruption- related complaints Translate these complaints into structural changes ALAC activities are to: Provide legal advice and assistance to victims or witnesses of corruption Help citizens pursue corruption-related complaints Undertake advocacy for broader reform
The rationales for the ALAC are that: The fight against corruption will be more effective if citizens are involved (anti-corruption work not limited to ‘experts’) Engaging directly with citizens provides a deeper understanding as to how corruption works in practice (information not always available from surveys) Reflecting the real experiences of people enhances the legitimacy of advocacy campaigns (grounded in the concerns of the population; not just TI ‘opinion’) ALAC 101
The types of cases the ALACs deal with vary enormously: From small- (e.g., small business licensing) to large-scale (hundreds of millions of dollars/ procurement) Across sectors (e.g., businesses, health, education) The clients include: Vulnerable people (who frequently have no other options available) Empowered individuals (seeking to assert their rights and who are frequently able to effect change)
The democratisation of the anti- corruption fight: At a basic and obvious level, the ALACs are the empowerment of individuals to fight against corruption. In this, ALACs provide a practical answer to the problem of how to broaden the anti- corruption coalition and involve citizens. Institutional reform: By using information gained from cases (either individual cases or common themes running through a variety of cases), the ALACs are able to advocate for reform. Many larger-scale changes have been effected by ALACs, including, for example, introduction of whistle-blower laws, new administrative procedures for inspections and licenses.
Connecting: Participation & Engagement Direct Citizen ParticipationRepresentative Citizen Participation Publicised primary gateway: advertised toll-free hotline, walk-in centre, mobile outreach Web-site Citizens’ Guides Resource Centre Legal advice for citizens to take their corruption complaints forward MOUs with responsible institutions Cooperation and referral agreements with other civil society institutions Press releases showing statistical breakdowns of complaints received and highlighting institutional and legal vulnerabilities Creation of dialogue and intermediation spaces with responsible authorities Formal consultation and advocacy
An Approach not a Blueprint In practice ALACs vary enormously from country to country. Environment: If legal system functions, ALACs can focus more on pursuit of legal remedies. More broadly, the environment for ALACs is set by how citizenship can be practiced in a country. Culture and history are important in shaping the functioning of institutions. NC leadership and management choices: Different perception of risks, different perception of opportunities, different roads to Rome.
Mobile Outreach Transparency Azerbaijan Pioneering Practice
Inventing Ourselves Through our Practice Key Success Factors of TI ALACs: Engagement and connection is necessary but not sufficient Persistence and consistency the (multi-dimensional) powers of information Lessons: One-off messages do not succeed. Consistent and legal framing is appreciated by bureaucrats/technocrats. Managerial competence and capacity required to achieve quality benchmarks of practice
ALACs: Helping Citizens resist corruption ALACs: Translating citizen complaints into structural change ALACs: New Generation of TI Program Thank You