The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has the responsibility of working with national stakeholders towards achieving effective support to anti-corruption coordination, policy formulation and legislation. Their second objective is to strengthen institutional and operational capacity in the main anti-corruption agencies, with an emphasis on cooperation and third, to enhance accountability, transparency and public engagement. The third objective, however, is the responsibility of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The stated outcome for that third objective is: “civil society organizations empowered to increase the provision of services and their participation in anti-corruption activities enhanced”. Fulfilling this third objective require, among others, the assessment of relevant CSOs working in the area of anti-corruption, and consequent development of a directory of such CSOs.
ANEEJ CASAN PROJECT
To achieve maximum impact with the CASAN project, ANEEJ tied it on to the OGP and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), for which the review of two chapters was in progress in Nigeria. The CASAN project was supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the European Union (EU) founded 10th European Development Fund (EDF).
The greatest push for ANEEJ with this project was the mission of enhancing the capacity of CSOs including journalists to support anti-corruption effort of Nigerian government. ANEEJ targeted a number of CSOs to try to enable them understand what the Federal Government is currently doing regarding the implementation of Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Our purpose at the end of the day is to help them engage relevant government agencies which are taking a lead in the implementation of such initiatives.
To drive these resolutions, ANEEJ held a workshop to strengthen the capacity of selected CSOs including journalists on the concept of open government partnership including the open contracting platform and the implementation UNCAC in Nigeria including the 2nd UNCAC review circle. That workshop was also to support their policy advocacy and engagement with relevant agencies of government around the issues.
Our expectation at the end of the day was, inter alia, that participants’ would have acquired enhanced knowledge on the OGP and UNCAC implementation and review in Nigeria and should be able to apply the knowledge to support their policy advocacy around the issues. We also wanted journalists to use their respective platforms to report the issues they learnt during the workshop.
Stakeholders both from government and the organized private sector who were part of our workshops included a focal person for the UNCAC Review Cycle from the Ministry of Justice, the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reform, TUGAR (which is the secretariat for the 2ND UNCAC review circle in Nigeria), the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.
The project has come and gone but it came with a very pleasant surprise – an award from the UNODC to ANEEJ, for a job well-done. Here it is..!