1st Collective Action Regional Clinic Middle East & Africa held in Egypt

13th February 2018

By Jennifer Schoeberlein

On February 7th and 8th 2018, the Integrity Network Initiative invited experts and practitioners to a 2-day Regional Clinic Middle East & Africa in Aswan on “Collective Action to Counter Corruption and Foster Integrity”.

In the region, as elsewhere, corruption has been repeatedly identified as a key obstacle to economic development and impediment to doing business. Collective Action, defined as a “collaborative and sustained process of cooperation between stakeholders”, has emerged as a promising tool to tackle this challenge. In recent years, initiatives that follow a collective action approach have been established increasingly to strengthen ethical standards in the business environment.

In bringing together the expertise of some of these initiatives, the workshop aimed to identify success factors and challenges in implementing Collective Action. A goal was further to discuss ways to scale up and improve the long-term effectiveness of initiatives in the region, as well as to generally identify steps forward for Collective Action against corruption.

Twenty Four organizations and initiatives were represented in the workshop, coming from countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Malawi, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, South Africa, Ethiopia, UAE, Lebanon, and Turkey. The workshop further included a variety of international organizations to bring in a global perspective and to identify ways in which regional and international initiatives can foster mutual learning.

On Day 1, participants convened in joint discussions on the status of Collective Action globally as well as to discuss regional implementation. Subsequently participants broke out into action-oriented clinics to discuss some key implementation challenges and success factors in more detail. The clinics were held in cooperation with the Basel Institute on Governance and covered the following areas:

1.      Setting up a Collective Action

2.      Building Multi-Stakeholder Alliances

3.      Creating Sustainability and long-term engagement

Among the topics identified as crucial was building trust among, and engaging with, different stakeholder groups – especially in terms of dealing with a lack of capacity or willingness to engage among crucial stakeholders. Further areas discussed, among others, were communication strategies and incentive schemes to encourage engagement over time and the question of financial sustainability.

The Integrity Network Initiative will work on developing and sharing the main outcomes of the workshop and would like to thank all participants who contributed tremendously to its success.

Participating initiatives and organizations:

1.      Basel Institute on Governance, Switzerland

2.      Cairo University, Egypt

3.      Care International in Egypt, Egypt

4.      Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Egypt

5.      Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) Ethiopia, Ethiopia

6.      Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) Malawi, Malawi

7.      Convention on Business Integrity, Nigeria

8.      Ethics and Reputation Society of Turkey / Turkish Integrity Center of Excellence, Turkey

9.      The Ethics Institute, South Africa

10.  Fatma Abassi, Independent Consultant, Tunisia

11.  Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Ghana

12.  HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform, Germany

13.  Integrity Network Initiative, Egypt

14.  International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), Austria

15.  Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform, Egypt

16.  Organisational Development Support (ODS), Belgium

17.  Pearl Initiative, UAE

18.  PwC Egypt, Egypt

19.  Saafah Foundation, Saudi Arabia

20.  Transparency International Italy, Italy

21.  Transparency International Ukraine, Ukraine

22.  United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Anti-Corruption and Integrity in the Arab Countries, Lebanon

23.  United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), USA

24.  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Middle East & North Africa, Egypt