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.
The 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 Approach
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”.