TI Asia-Pacific chapters meet in Bali

By Debbie Gee
TINZ Director

Chief Executive Officer, Julie Haggie and I represented TINZ for the mid-point review of Transparency International’s Indo-Pacific Partnership for Strong, Transparent, Responsive and Open Networks for Good Governance 2020-2023 (TI IPP STRONGG) in Bali from 3-5 November.

The aim of the TI-IPP STRONGG Programme, is to contribute to reduced corruption in the Indo-Pacific region by empowering a strong and independent civil society voice and network that can mobilise action in support of increased accountability of public and private institutions nationally and regionally. The Programme is funded by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

TINZ’s contribution to TI-IPP STRONGG to date is a research project, Corruption and Money Laundering in the Pacific: Intertwined Challenges and Interlinked Responses, written by Dr. Chat Nguyen and Professor W. John Hopkins and launched in July this year.

More than 30 delegates attended, representing TI Asia-Pacific Chapters in Cambodia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu and New Zealand, Integrity Fiji and the Berlin-based TI Secretariat. This was the first face-to-face meeting since the programme was launched, with the purpose being to take stock of progress to date, to share our outcomes so far, and to reflect on lessons learnt, challenges faced and solutions identified. It was also an opportunity to reflect on gender and inclusivity in the programme so far, and exchange experiences and insights.

Each chapter shared examples of their programme impact in a brief poster presentation and compared this against the TI Impact Matrix recently developed by the TI Secretariat, covering three areas of impact: Outreach and Awareness; Policy and Institutional Change; and Behaviour Change. We then discussed how we could further increase our impact in those areas and other areas, locally and regionally. 

Examples included calling government ministers to account in Papua New Guinea, training of youth groups to undertake public procurement monitoring in Indonesia, introduction of whistleblowing legislation in Mongolia and promoting digital rights in Cambodia. 

An example of gender-related corruption was the work of TI Sri Lanka in educating and providing legal support for low income women taking out microfinance loans  Lack of regulation in the microfinance industry in Sri Lanka has led to financial abuse and “sextortion”, with some lenders extorting sexual favours from women borrowers.  Thousands of women across the country have fallen into a vicious cycle of victimisation, lack financial literacy and awareness of their legal rights. 

In addition to these more structured sessions and presentations, there was ample opportunity for important informal discussion, exchange, feedback and opportunities for collaboration across chapters and the region. Face-to-face collegiality, the opportunity to forge new relationships, rekindle existing ones, and build strong effective networks after years of being able to meet only online, were arguably the most valuable outcomes of all.


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