Citizens Against Corruption (CAC) is a grant management programme implemented by PAC. It is supported by Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF), Washington D.C. CAC aims to fund initiatives by NGO and CSOs in South Asia that stimulate, capacitate and facilitate citizens to fight against corruption. PTF, in turn, sources its support from DFID’s Governance and Transparency Fund (GTF).
The delivery of CAC programme with the objective of addressing corruption in government schemes hinges on four approaches:
1. Community Engagement and Empowerment: Sustainability and the need for civic engagement leading to community ownership of project processes is imperative in any successful field-oriented social accountability initiative. Through this dimension PAC hopes to build lasting civic action movements against corruption which constantly pressure and work with the government to this end in order to create a non-corrupt and responsive system of service delivery. Through this approach, partners are encouraged to use existing community-based organisational structures (such as Self Help Groups) wherever possible, or to establish new coalitions of local organisations.
2. Constructive Engagement: Engaging meaningfully with the government is a key feature of CAC. This involves developing links with interested and like-minded officials within government structures at all levels of public governance (panchayat, block, district, state, etc) and encouraging dialogue. This is intended to minimise conflict and to generate an internal institutional response from those public agencies seen to be active in corrupt practices.
3. Peer Learning: PAC aims to promote a learning environment among anti corruption stakeholders across the region. This implies that the activity base of CAC partners will be periodically reviewed by peers within the groups as well as by external resource persons through interactive fora such as discussion groups, workshops and a website.
4. Innovation: CAC’s work has to be analysed by all concerned (CSOs, PAC and PTF) to differentiate it from others in order to make a mark of its own. The innovation may be in terms of capacity building, awareness generation, engaging media, government authorities and other key stakeholders, etc. E.g. a model PDS shop; visual training tools, Role play, etc.
These approaches have been pervasive in the design and delivery of CAC, guiding all operational aspects of programme management to date such as: concept selection; proposal development; and project monitoring. Transparency has been an underpinning principle in the delivery of these approaches: the utmost effort has been taken to develop and execute all technical processes in a transparent and objective manner – a value we believe is necessary in order to conduct anti-corruption work in a morally consistent manner. This has been carried out by developing comprehensive systems and formats which subject all concept papers and proposals to rigorous impartial review such that little room remains for unfair and non-meritorious project funding.
Steps have also been taken to ensure transparency and credibility of programme partners through accreditation with Credibility Alliance (CA) – a national-level organisation aimed at improving transparency within the NGO sector through the development of standard minimum good governance norms and practices for NGOs. CAC partners, in their accreditation process, are required to periodically inform the public of their financial status and operational progress of their plans.