Transparency & Accountability Initiative

When grassroots women organize at the community level to design and implement anti-corruption strategies, they build gender sensitive governance that leads to improved service delivery, increased access to justice, and decreasing levels of corruption and poverty.

Frances introduces and explains survey exerciseThe HC T&AI formed out of a growing partnership with UNDP, which gained traction in 2011 during HC's Global Summit on Grassroots Women's Leadership and Governance. As a direct result of the Summit, UNDP committed to funding an action research project examining grassroots women's perceptions and experiences of corruption, notably lacking in existing corruption research

The Transparency and Accountability Initiative, launched in September 2012, was built out of the consolidation process of the MDG 3 Initiative, the creation of a new Action Plan for the Governance Campaign and the study “Seeing Beyond the State: Grassroots Women’s Perspectives on Corruption and Anti-Corruption.”

Photo: Frances Birungi of UCOBAC explains a
mapping exercise to grassroots women leaders in Kiboga, Uganda.


Grassroots Women's Strategic ApproachTransparency & Accountability Strategic Diamond

Lessons Learned in the Fight Against Corruption

Through the Huairou Commission and UNDP PACDE’s Transparency &Accountability Initiative, six grassroots women organizations designed and implemented anti-corruption projects in the sectors of health care, water and sanitation, electricity, land, and national identification documents. 179 grassroots women were mobilized to lead these projects, with over 2,338 community members impacted across Uganda, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Brazil, and Nepal, while 508 community members were trained in technical skills.

These pilots, highlighting the link between organizing and partnerships at the local level, and governance and service delivery, have led to an increased understanding of a grassroots women’s approach to anti-corruption that is collective, goes beyond confrontation, and is rooted in improving governance and transforming traditional power dynamics.

The T&AI culminated in an Internal Planning Meeting and Partners' Dialogue in New York. The six implementing organizations, including grassroots women leaders and local partners, and UNDP agencies met to share practices and achievements, and strategize about the next phase of work at the local and global levels. Participants in these dialogues reaffirmed messages on grassroots women's approaches to anti-corruption, and highlighted lessons learned, including:

  • Collective Organizing is the first step   
  • Beyond Confrontation: partnerships between grassroots women and local authorities are mutually beneficial
  • Grassroots women effectively used a sectorial anti-corruption approach as an entry point to improving governance processes
  • Through the T&AI, community members changed their perceptions of grassroots women’s role in their communities, beginning to transform traditional gender relations

Following these strategic meetings, UNDP and the Huairou Commission hosted an official side event during the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), entitled “Looking to 2015 and Beyond: Dialogue with Grassroots Women to Advance Gender Equality and Reduce Corruption”.


Concrete Results

Transparency & Accountability Brief Achievements Chart

The Way Forward


The six locally led initiatives set a solid baseline to measure impact of reducing corruption and improving service delivery. The Huairou Commission aims to continue and scale the Initiative for the next three years and show through consolidated indicators how recognizing grassroots women’s knowledge and perspectives on anti-corruption and investing in their capacities to monitor service delivery can reduce corruption, empower women and improve service delivery.

Photo: International Anti-Corruption Conference in Brasilia




Grassroots women’s perspectives and strategies should also influence programs and policies at the global level. HC and UNDP have given a first step towards such goal by creating an e-learning course on Anti-Corruption, Gender and Women’s Empowerment to train UNDP staff members. In the context of Post 2015 agenda, grassroots women should play a critical role in monitoring service delivery, holding governments accountable and increasing transparency.


Photo: Community women gather for a public forum on Anti-Corruption Strategies in Jinotega, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy of Haydee Rodriguez.



Learn More

To learn more about the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, please read our Concept Note Summary which outlines the history and trajectory of our work on good governance and anti-corruption strategies.

Photo: A peer exchange between (left to right) Sama Vajra Upreti and Roshani Joshi (Lumanti) and Haydee Rodriguez of (Las Brumas) during the Transparency and Accountability Initiative's Strategic Planning Meeting on March 8, 2014 in Brooklyn, NY.

News and Media:

Reports and Publications:



  • The "Gender and Corruption" video, produced by UNDP, features findings from the Huairou Commission and UNDP's joint study "Seeing Beyond the State."


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