12 senior education officials attend consultative workshop in Kinshasa to discuss accountability and anti-corruption issues in the education sector

As part of the “Students Acting for Accountability and Quality Education in DRC” project, CERC held a second consultative workshop with 12 senior officials of the Ministry of Primary, Secondary and Technical Education to discuss the challenges of transparency and accountability in the education sector.

Embedding Integrity clubs in secondary schools as well the integrity education manual in the national curriculum were at the heart of discussion with these senior officials, who supported and praised this innovative approach to instilling integrity values in school-age children.

Diverse other topics were discussed, including the deployment in the coming months of our mobile application “EduCheck” allowing students to collect data on transparency, on students and parents participation in school management and on education services delivery challenges in their own schools.

Closing the session, participants praised the integrity building project implemented by CERC in South Kivu since 2017 and its extension in Kinshasa schools where corruption has taken up residence. They also recommended broadening discussions with other government bodies such as the Ministry of Budget and the Ministry of Finance, stressing that they are much more concerned with the financing of the education sector.

A consultative workshop with non-state actors to discuss the transparency and accountability challenges

CERC held a consultative workshop on 26 July 2021 with state and non-state actors, including parents’ organizations, teachers’ unions and schools’ management bodies to discuss transparency and accountability issues in education sector.

This consultative workshop was organized as part of the project “Students Acting for the Accountability and quality of education in the Democratic Republic of Congo” to:

  • assess the understanding of key actors and their capacity to implement anti-corruption and transparency measures in the education sector.
  • discuss the transparency and accountability challenges, and
  • discuss innovative approaches to transparency and accountability in the Congolese education sector.

19 participants representing organizations such as the National Parents Association (ANAPECO), Catholic Schools Parents Association (APEC), Protestant Schools Parents Association (APEP), National Teachers Union (SYECO), the League of the African Zone for the Défense of the Rights of Children and Students (LIZADEL), the National Coalition of Education for All (CONEPT DRC) , Catholic Schools Teachers Union (SYNECATH) and Protestant Schools Teachers Union (SYNEP), among others, took part in this consultative workshop.

On July 27, 20 senior education officials are expected to attend the second day of this consultation to discuss student participation in education policy and budget development.

CERC met with the Ministry of Justice officials to discuss UNCAC implementation and Civil Society participation in the review process in the DR Congo

The Executive Director of the Anti-Corruption Research Centre, Mr. Heri Bitamala, and his Executive Assistant in charge of Advocacy and Policy Engagement, Mr. Musa Nzamu Jonathan met with the Ministry of Justice officials, on Friday 14 May 2021, to discuss UNCAC implementation and Civil Society participation in the review process in the DR Congo.

Several issues were at the heart of this meeting, including the participation of civil society in the review process and the production this year of the shadow report on the implementation of the UNCAC by the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Note that CERC has been an ordinary member of the Coalition for the implementation of the UNCAC since 2020, and as such will represent civil society in the production of the Civil Society Parallel Report on the implementation of the UNCAC by the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which entered into force on 14 December 2005 and has been ratified by the DRC since 23 September 2010, is the most comprehensive and respected global anti-corruption convention. As of January 2013, the UNCAC has been ratified by 165 countries. The Convention obliges States Parties to implement a wide range of detailed anti-corruption measures that affect laws, institutions and practices, including international cooperation, in their respective countries. The UNCAC Conference of the Parties is the instrument for the implementation of the Convention.

CERC, Transparency International and other civil society groups call on the UN General Assembly to act on globalised corruption

To tackle transnational, large-scale and high-level forms of corruption, UN member states should task a special intergovernmental expert group with the development of concrete solutions, say 96 organisations in a joint letter. The urgent request comes at a time when governments are preparing for the first-ever UN General Assembly Special Session against Corruption (UNGASS 2021), taking place in June.

The signatories include prominent national and global civil society organisations working to curb corruption, organised crime, human rights abuses and environmental crimes. Private sector and professional groups such as the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Bar Association’s Anti-Corruption Committee have also signed the joint appeal.

The UNGASS 2021 is mandated to adopt an “action-oriented” political declaration that should set the course of global anti-corruption efforts for the years to come. The letter urges governments to use this historic occasion to start to address the gaps and weaknesses in the current international framework. In particular, signatories call for the creation of a multi-stakeholder expert working group that would develop technical proposals for new arrangements.

Gillian Dell, Head of Conventions Unit at Transparency International, said: “The current systems are failing when it comes to deterring large-scale and high-level corruption, often stretching across borders. The international anti-corruption community has been actively discussing areas for reform. What is needed now is for the UN to work on concrete new frameworks and structures for ensuring accountability and justice.”

Adopted in 2003, the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the only legally binding international anti-corruption treaty with a global scope. In recent years, many governments, expert groups and UN bodies have highlighted its shortcomings and called for systemic improvements. In 2019, 140 experts from around the world made over 60 recommendations for enhancing the international framework to prevent and curb “corruption involving vast quantities of assets,” also known as grand corruption. This year, the UN’s FACTI Panel concluded that the “widest possible range of enforcement tools are needed to prevent impunity” for corruption and other financial crimes.

Mathias Huter, Managing Director of the UNCAC Coalition, said: “As corruption schemes evolve, it is crucial that the international framework to tackle corruption also responds to new patterns and trends we see around the world. Discussions on gaps and weaknesses in the current anti-corruption mechanisms, and on what could be done to address them, need to be conducted in a truly inclusive manner. This means involving experts from Member States as well as from international organisations, civil society, academia, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders in order to ensure we are making meaningful progress.”

Notes to editors

See also:

Proud to be member of Catalyst 2030

The Anti-Corruption Research Center is proud to be a member of the Catalyst 2030 – global movement of social innovators to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). Its aim is to build a broad, self-organising movement of social enterprises, NGOs, funders and other innovators to come together to transform entire systems that hold back millions who live in poverty.

At the current rate of progress, the SDGs will not be achieved until 2094 according to the Social Progress Index. This is 64 years after the deadline set by the UN. The effects of this delay will be devastating for all 17 goals, especially for the climate. In response to this imminent crisis, Catalyst 2030 was conceived.

 What is a systems approach?

A systems approach to change addresses the root causes of social problems and injustices. There are many definitions of systems change. A system is anything organised for a purpose. This could be the human body, a forest, a hospital, a government department, a corporation, a culture, a religion, or a refugee camp.

Systems change is both a process and an outcome. These problems often seem intractable and are embedded in thorny networks of cause and effect. Therefore, systems change is an intentional and thoughtful process designed to fundamentally and profoundly transform the mindsets, power dynamics, customs, rules and structures that cause a system to behave in a certain way.

Stay tuned for more updates on the progress of Catalyst 2030.

CERC established integrity clubs in 20 selected secondary schools in Uvira

Le Centre de Recherche sur Anti-Corruption “CERC” has established Integrity Clubs in 20 secondary schools in Uvira territory in the South-Kivu Province. This effort forms part of the activities under the “Student acting for Honesty, Integrity and Equality (SHINE) Project funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through Integrity Action and its being implemented in 5 countries, including DRC, Nepal, Occupied Territory of Palestine, Afghanistan and Kenya..

This Project aims to promote among school children a civic character that will result into positive civic engagement that promotes integrity and good governance.

This year, In DRC, the project is being implemented in 20 schools across Uvira city within South Kivu province. In all the selected schools 300 trained students are expected to become Community monitors in championing accountability, competence, ethic, inclusion as well anti-corruption behaviours in their schools and their community as whole.

Since April 2017, CERC has been conducting activities in schools and in community benefiting young people between the ages of 14–19. Young people in schools set up Integrity Clubs that are referred as an independent students forum that engage in various activities that include but are not limited to public speaking, mentoring sessions and public services delivery monitoring. The Integrity Club comprises of not more than 18 pupils.

The clubs are led by a commettee of 5 members elected democratically by others students. The IC leaders use the Integrity Club manual that was developed by the Integrity Action. A brief perusal of the manual shows that it contains assignments that the club is expected to conduct. Amongst these assignments is the Community Integrity Building, where the students invite a role model in monitoring transparency and effectiveness of public services and development projects implemented within their community.

Indeed, Integrity Clubs represent an ideal platform for youth empowerment and character building in nurturing an integrity culture. It is hoped that the 20 established ICs in secondary schools will contribute in fostering a corrupt-free society.

To attain more effectiveness in our endeavor, it is a prerequisite that all stakeholders engaged in this venture (such as Head-teachers, IC facilitators and IC members) join forces together for more coordinated and impactful actions.