by Alexandra Malmqvist on 2:48 pm on Tuesday, 22. March 2011 | No Comments
Like TI’s service delivery project mentioned in Francesc’s blog earlier today, the Water Integrity Network is also stepping up its work in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali. We are planning a training of trainers to better tackle corruption in the water sector.
Last year we worked with Farm Radio International on radio scripts that were sent out to 325 Sub-Saharan radio broadcasters and this year we are linking up with the WASH Network for Journalists in West Africa after a media workshop we organised in Senegal.
We also began measuring corruption risks, Annoted Water Integrity Scans (AWIS) that we will use to recommend specific action for governments and international organisations.
This is a quick way to get a picture of the level of integrity in a country’s water sector.
Speaking of pictures, we at WIN are just launching a photo competition in which we ask participants to document water corruption in cities.
The winner of the 2009 photo competition was Gregory Wait (picture below), who photographed the Buriganga River flowing through Dhaka, Bangladesh. People wash and fish daily in the river that is poisoned by thousands of tonnes of tannery waste, human sewage and industrial waste.
This is the sort of water challenge faced in urban areas: the theme of World Water Day 2011. Today half the world’s population lives in cities. By 2030, 5 billion people will be urban citizens. How will water management meet the growing demand for access to safe water?
Corruption already makes this and existing problems in the water sector more challenging.
The photo competition is part of our efforts to take the fight against corruption in the water sector to a wider audience.
Photo credit: Gregory Wait
by TI EU on 10:43 am on | No Comments
On Friday, the European Ombudsman asked the question “Is the Lisbon Treaty delivering for citizens?”
We here at the Transparency International EU office (‘TI EU’) indeed think that the Lissbon Treaty could deliver for citizens if the European Union (EU) were to implement a comprehensive EU information campaign on citizens’ fundamental rights.
The Ombudsman has just published a survey on how well citizens are informed on the EU Charter for Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. It is clearly showing a lack of information and knowledge: 75% of EU citizens don’t know where to turn to and how to exercise their right to good administration (Art. 41 of the Charter) and the right to access to documents (Art. 42) included in the now legally binding Charter.
The Lisbon Treaty has, in fact, created greater powers of the European Parliament, which is the only institution democratically elected and thus legitimised by citizens. And, indeed, “citizens can now play a more active role in the circle of the political EU dialogue“, said by European Parliament Vice President Diana Wallis (see also her press release), for instance, through the new agenda-setting instrument of the European Citizen Initiative (ECI). However, Hans Martens of the European Policy Centre (EPC) noted that up until now, none of these citizens-friendly changes and tools have yet fuelled greater trust or interest of EU citizens. But trust and legitimacy by European citizens in the EU’s institutions are essential, as repeatedly stressed by keynote-speaker and European Council President Herman van Rompuy.
We at TI EU hence fully support of EU Commissioner Viviane Reding‘s proposal that 2013 shoud be the Year of the European Citizens, raising citizens’ awareness about their rights enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which in the end will contribute to the fight against corruption.
Why we think this is the case? Take a look at our position paper “EU Citizens’ Rights: the way forward – Fighting corruption helps European Citizens to exercise their rights” that we have submitted to the European Commission in June 2010!
Dr. Janina Berg, Transparency International Liaison Office to the EU
by Georg Neumann on 12:12 pm on Friday, 11. March 2011 | No Comments
Do you want to know how corruption affects the lives of a politician or a manager?
Now you can! This week, we have launched online game Depende de Tí that gives you a little insight into the variety of decisions that have to be taken when you have the power to decide. And the influence they have on your personal and professional live.
It’s our first go at a short and entertaining game. For the moment, we have aimed it at Latin America, so you will have to speak or at least read Spanish.