Last April, Global Integrity announced the winners of our first-ever Global Integrity Impact Challenge— a call for anti-corruption advocates to submit proposals to improve governance. The “challenge” was for these groups to create direct linkages between the problem of corruption, the findings of the Global Integrity Report: 2008, their proposed action and measurable change on the ground. The jury recognized LEVISKI of Bulgaria, Transparency International- Lithuania, Voies Nouvelles of Cameroon and Romanian Academic Society for integrating Global Integrity’s findings in their plans to fight corruption.
Almost six months later, we checked back in with these anti-corruption reformers to hear more about the implementation of their unique and non-binding Impact proposals. In this first post of the series, we are focusing on Voies Nouvelles’ work to increase budget transparency in Cameroon.
Voies Nouvelles sees Cameroon as poised at a potentially watershed moment for budget reform and they are not wasting time. The group has reached out to both government and to established community organizations to increase citizen access to budget documents. Through education workshops, Voies Nouvelles is tapping into existing civil society networks to multiply the number of local budgetary watchdogs across Cameroon.
In an email to Global Integrity, executive officer Onésim Cyrille wrote to us about their first budget monitoring workshop:
“Nous continuons néanmoins notre travail habituel de documentation indépendante de l’exécution de l’investissement public et de renforcement des capacités des populations bénéficiaires de projets pour permettre à celles-ci de participer au suivi de leur exécution. Enfin, nous avons organisé un premier atelier de partage de notre expérience avec d’autres organisations de la société civile pour permettre à celles-ci de faire le même travail que nous dans d’autres localités du pays.”
(English-translation): Nevertheless, we continue our typical work on the publication of public spending records and increasing the capacity of recipient populations so they play a more active role in the budget allocation process. We organized the first workshop to share our experience with other civil society organizations so that our work can be continued at the regional level throughout the country.
This model pushes budgetary oversight to the local service delivery level, using an informed public as the driver of change. Voies Nouvelles also looks at budget dissemination in its partnership with a newly created government agency, Public Investment Budget. The polarity of its advocacy campaign (in partnering with both community groups and with government) has given Voies Nouvelles the potential to push both the supply-side and demand-side towards a more transparent national budget
Bravo to Voies Nouvelles on its inaugural workshop!
— Norah Mallaney