Civil society empowerment



Civil society has a key role to play in fighting corruption, from monitoring public services, denouncing bribery and raising awareness of all economic and political actors. Since most cases of corruption involve public officials and private companies, civil society as an independent actor representing the interests of the general public is uniquely positioned to investigate and bring to light cases of corruption. Governments therefore have to take measures to enable and strengthen civil society participation and civil society has to be aware of its role and make use of its potential leverage.


Priority checklist

The role of government - these questions address the duty of governments to provide an enabling environment to engage civil society in building integrity:

1. Are the relevant anti-corruption bodies known to the public?

2. Are decision-making processes transparent and open for contributions from the public?

3. Does the government provide effective public access to relevant information of political affairs?

4. Does the government undertake public information activities that contribute to the non-tolerance of corruption?

5. Does the government undertake public education programmes, including school and university curricula related to corruption?

6. Do public authorities respect and protect the freedom of activists to seek, receive and publish information concerning corruption, within the limits of national law?

The role of civil society - these questions address the effective action civil society organisations (CSOs) can take to intensify the fight against corruption and build integrity:

7. Are CSOs conducting surveys on corruption and service delivery or diagnostic assessments to raise awareness of policy-makers and the general public?

8. Are CSOs formulating and promoting action plans to fight corruption through seminars, conferences, and workshops?

9. Are CSOs lobbying for new institutional devices to prevent or penalise corruption?

10. Are CSOs monitoring the actions and decisions of governments in potential risk areas such as privatisation plans, procurement reforms, housing allocation, public expenditure, elections and legal reforms?


Launched in October 2011, the CleanGovBiz Toolkit is still at an early stage. Practical guidance on how corruption can best be tackled in different policy areas will be published as soon as it becomes available.



UN Convention Against Corruption, Article 13



Transparency International Corruption Fighters' Tool Kit

Further Transparency International Tools and Initiatives

U4 Expert answers: UNCAC and the participation of NGOs in the fight against corruption

World Bank: Civil society participation in anticorruption






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