About the program

AMAN strategy 2017-2020 (strategy 2020)

Introduction:

At times of political transition and building states, corruption tends to spread due to lack of legislations and firmly established institutions in addition to weak rule of law and lack of separation of power as well as weak political will. This is true in the Palestinian case. Principles and systems of transparency and accountability are still under developed and are thus hindering the establishment of a national integrity system. The consequences of corruption on the country’s democratic process, its political system, and its economic growth are widely known. The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and its successive governments have failed to implement promised reforms. Opportunities to mitigate corruption will be further jeopardized by the flow of the 7.4 billion dollars pledged to the PNA at the Paris Donors Conference in December 2007, if no substantial reforms are introduced.

An enabling environment for corruption is still in place, two Palestinian governments are in power, one in Gaza and one in the West Bank. The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) is still paralyzed and not functioning. Laws are issued as decrees by the President and not ratified by the PLC. Israel launched an unprecedented attack on Gaza during December 2008/ January 2009, which continues to be under siege. The West Bank continues to be under Israeli occupation and full control.

The Legislative Council lost its capacity for oversight in holding the executive authority accountable. This applied in the domain of control and management of public funds, General Budget, appointment of key public positions, and review of reports submitted by the monitoring and control authorities. Furthermore, the PLC failed to utilize standard parliamentary control tools such as holding ministers and other public figures accountable or form investigative committees. Moreover, it has created a legislation issuance gap and as a result several anti-corruption legislations covering important areas are yet to be approved. The arbitrary use of power and merging powers under the Executive Power gives the corrupt leverage on the remaining powers. An exaggerated red tape, along with centralized authorities and contravention of financial and administrative rules are among the fledging symptoms.


It is not uncommon that corrupt elites retain power on all institutions of the government, with its three apparatuses (the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary). Their influence can further reach as far as the mass media and professional and cooperative associations, and at some cases, will converge, even overlap, with the private sector’s elites. They monopolise the government and support it by a paralysed judicial power making a change of the status quo an impossible matter if to be pursued by conventional tools.
Despite improvements in raising community awareness of corruption and its forms, AMAN believes that anti-corruption efforts remain sporadic due to the absence of a unified national plan. In addition to, the lack of official oversight due to the absence of the Legislative Council leads to reduced respect for the rule of law and perceptions of impunity exist among the majority of the public.
Despite the progress made by the Palestinian Anticorruption Commission – PACC in developing and approving its second anti-corruption strategy, the strategy is still lacking a participatory national implementation plan to be developed by all relevant stakeholders, including civil society organizations, private and public sectors and to be adopted and approved on the national level identifying the commitment and role of all relevant stakeholders. In addition to adopting monitoring and evaluation mechanism measuring the extent of commitment by all relevant stakeholders in implementing the plan with the PACC assuming the role of general secretariat in implementing the plan.

AMAN therefore needs to play a more effective role in focusing on the prosecution of corruption. This requires a shift in AMAN’s work strategy. AMAN will move gradually from focusing on capacity building and awareness raising to assume more supervisory role (watchdog) as a civil and public custodian of national integrity, in addition to, shift attention from working with the elites to work with people and partnering with civil actors.


National Integrity System assessment 2014:


This NIS 2014 assessment presented the national integrity system across Palestinian public, private and civil society institutions. It comes within the context of a number of NIS assessments being carried out by Transparency International, including many Arab countries.

The aim of the assessment is to evaluate the effectiveness of Palestine’s institutions in preventing and fighting corruption and in fostering transparency and integrity. In addition, it seeks to promote the assessment process as a springboard for action among the government and anti-corruption community in terms of policy reform, evidence-based advocacy or further in-depth evaluations of specific governance issues. This assessment should serve as a basis for key stakeholders in Palestine to advocate for sustainable and effective reform. Main Priorities and recommendations of the Palestinian national integrity system assessment were:

• The first priority is to encourage political will of those in power within the PNA, security officials’ forces and Palestinian political parties to adopt the principles of transparency, integrity and combating the corruption that is prevalent in public work.
• The second priority is to build on what the PNA has achieved in international recognition after joining United Nations organization and signing the United Nations Convention against Corruption- UNCAC. This includes the adaptation and enforcement of regulations and systems to combat corruption, including international and regional laws and regulations, with particular focus on the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and national plans against corruption.
• The third priority consists of completing and strengthening the effectiveness of the internal and external monitoring institutions within the Palestinian National Authority.
• The forth priority is the importance of strengthening the independence of the Palestinian judicial system, as well as paying special attention to strengthening the work of the public prosecution.
• The fifth priority consists of completing the construction of the administrative and financial organ of the PNA on the basis of integrity and transparency, through control of the system of appointments and promotions in the senior ranks of the civil service, and putting an end to appointments on the basis of; political membership, intermediaries, nepotism and favoritism, as well as the completion of the procedures for reform of the financial system putting an end to the misuse and squandering of public funds, and the perception of them as a concession or personal possession of government officials.
• The sixth priority is that there is a need for action to build a system and culture of values that rejects the use of intermediaries and nepotism, and raises the level of awareness of citizens in safeguarding public property. This include the need to expand tools of social accountability among citizens including youth and women and civil society organizations and media. Highlight cases of corruption for prosecution, and contribute to eliminating impunity.
• The seventh priority is to promote the adoption of codes of conduct and ethics, and to implement them within the NIS pillars, as well as implementing registrations of interests through interest declarations of politicians and senior employees of the PNA. This would include gifts, hospitality, travel and privileges they obtain, in addition to highlighting real or possible conflicts of interest at employment and when a case arises by virtue of their position. Rules for the post-employment movement of state employees to the private sector also need to be put in place.
• The eighth priority is a need for action to complete the amendment of legislations to bring it into line with the United Nations Convention against Corruption, especially the access to information law.
• The ninth priority is the need to support local government units with experience, tools and systems to enhance integrity protecting them against all forms of corruption since they are the closest to the public as they are the day-to-day providers of services and serve diverse local requirements.

 

Linkage of AMAN’s strategy 2020 objectives, results and the aforementioned priorities and how they will contribute towards the desired change in combating corruption:


Within the framework and intellectual reference of AMAN’s work, AMAN seeks to perform its national role of mobilizing popular efforts to combat corruption in Palestine and prevent the drain on resources. Mobilization involves partnerships and working with people and civil representative institutions. It includes engaging people in managing their affairs to achieve the goals and values they believe in, and to be self-reliant and make decisions or influence -individually or collectively- decisions that affect their lives. This process produces an environment that fosters favorable conditions for the achievement of transparency, integrity, and accountability.


The entry at this stage to the anti-corruption movement which is led by AMAN as the spearhead of the movement of the civil society organizations, assuming its role as a Watchdog, required a review of its strategy and work mechanisms   in monitoring and advocacy campaigns towards community accountability. Concrete results can be achieved in combating corruption and preventing impunity in spite of the gravity and magnitude of the responsibilities and the negative local, regional, and international circumstances that surround us. Greatest number of people needs to be engaged in anti-corruption efforts through networking and building alliances with civil society institutions. This will give direction to AMAN’s task of advocating for transparency and integrity, which are now in the official agenda declaring the importance of adhering to these values and principles and applying legal system de facto. AMAN’s role has now extended from preventive activities to assuming the role of Watchdog and advocacy.
AMAN work will focus on community participation and promoting the role of civil society organizations and the media. We will focus on creating a work environment in local government and public institutions that contributes to detecting corruption and limiting its scope. This work will take the form of intensive monitoring, lobbying, advocacy, work on legislation, capacity building of civil and official acting parties in this area, and providing research and reports to decision-makers as part of AMAN’s work as a resource of Palestinian expertise nationally and globally in combating corruption.


AMAN will move gradually from focusing on capacity building and awareness raising to assume a supervisory role (watchdog) as a civil and public custodian of national integrity system. We will also shift attention from focusing our work with official institutions to focus the work with people and partnering with civil actors.

The strategy perspectives

• AMAN’s Strategy is contributing and in line and with TI strategy2020 (People engagement, Networking, Justice), and contribute to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 16).
• AMAN’s 15 years of experience and expertise, including the National Anti- Corruption Strategy.
• National Integrity System study
• UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)
• Organizational and programmatic assessment 2015 (COWI assessment)


Strategic Objective 1:

“Citizens, civil society and media institutions are all engaged in social accountability and in promotion of national integrity system and efforts to combat corruption”.

Aim: leading a responsible social movement that promotes integrity and combating corruption in the Palestinian society.

Among the main obstacles that weakened citizens’ participation in the culture of whistle blowing is the lack of citizens’ knowledge of their role and the know how in protecting public funds from waste as well as the lack of enforcement of whistle blowing protection laws due to absence of its bylaws.

Despite the progress in media engagement in the fight against corruption through the preparation of a number of investigative reports tackling daring corruption cases and organizing more hearing and accountability sessions. There is a lack in the institutionalization of these efforts within the media institutions. Thus, these efforts remain disorganized, unstructured and not sustainable.

AMAN through it outsourcing program, assisted 36 partner institutions in WB and Gaza to work in combating corruption. These organizations were AMAN’s right hand in implementing activities and initiatives that empowered thousands of youth on ITA through the whole geographical areas in Palestine including the Gaza Strip. AMAN is willing to expand the professional organizations working on enhancing integrity and combating corruption through providing technical assistant to certain NGOs to integrate ITA programs and activities within their strategies and annual plans.
This objective will contribute towards achieving the Palestinian NIS assessment first, fifth and sixth priorities by:  The implementation of the new strategy will contribute in building a responsible social movement that promotes integrity and combating corruption in the Palestinian society through the following means:

- Encouraging and empowering citizens to report and lodge complaints to AMAN’s ALAC (Advocacy and Legal Advise Centre) about incidents involving corruption and facilitates communication with officials for legal advice. Moreover, ALAC protects citizens from corruption when necessary. On the institutional level, the ALAC contributes to the empowerment of public institutions and NGOs to respond to citizen complaints and take necessary steps to enhance accountability in their work.

- Empowerment: assist CSOs in building their capacities in integrating the issue of combating corruption in their programs and projects, as well as provide these institutions with knowledge and technical support. In addition to, engaging school and university students in carrying out social accountability initiatives and raise their awareness on values of integrity and transparency.

- Mobilizing, networking, and motivating:  coordinate and consolidate efforts of individuals, movements, networks, representative bodies, those with potential to fight corruption, including youth, women, and academic etc. to bring about societal impact in the field of combating corruption.  This means involving them in planning, lobbying and advocacy campaigns and social accountability.

Strategic Objective 2: “Disclose corruption and the corrupt, and deny them impunity within the framework of the national anti-corruption plans and international anti-corruption conventions”.

Aim: Activating AMAN’s role of being a Watchdog

This objective will contribute in achieving the Palestinian NIS assessment second, third, fourth and seventh priorities by drafting proposals to amend procedures and systems regarding the disclosure and prevention of corruption and the ending of impunity, including preparing position papers on the impact of legislation on financial disclosure and impunity, on the appointment and impunity of the president of the State Audit and Administrative Control Bureau, forming coalitions to advocate the adoption of policies and procedures that limit conflicts of interest and bribery, that organize the reporting process, deal with the receipt of gifts by the judiciary, Enhancing the independence and effectiveness of judicial oversight and organize advocacy campaigns to enhance access by the public and the media to judicial information and placing institutional and policy challenges and gaps in the existing integrity and anti-corruption matrix on the agenda of decision-makers and advocacy groups through.

Adopting policies and measures to support combating corruption and ending impunity by the relevant parties will lead to push decision makers to have the political will to combat corruption and promote the culture of curtailing corruption among all relevant parties.

The implementation of the new strategy will promote and enhance the role of CS in monitoring as well as in combating corruption and in preventing the corrupt from impunity. AMAN, being the institution which has earned credibility and legitimacy due to the many long years in combating corruption, will lead CSOs in this regard. 

- Monitoring/Watchdog: Through regular monitoring, analyzing and documenting developments on corruption and combating it in the Palestinian society; submitted citizens’ complaints; production of the annual corruption report, diagnostic and monitoring reports; opinion polls; investigative reports; and record all reports and circulars issued by related institutions.

Analysis: Through regular cooperation with AMAN’s pool of experts, researchers, think tanks, etc.

Interventions: Based on analysis results, AMAN will carry out pressure and advocacy campaigns, as well as awareness raising campaigns in cooperation with AMAN’s stakeholders mentioned in objective one.


Strategic Objective 3: “The local government environment is protected from corruption and is responsive to social accountability”.

Aim: Since local government units are the closest bodies to citizens due to the services provided by them, it is vital to arm representatives of these bodies with knowledge and tools that will enable them to strengthen the national integrity system (NIS) in these institutions
Local governments are the closest to the public as they are the day-to-day providers of services and serve diverse local requirements. Over the past three years, reports by the State Audit and Administrative Control Bureau indicate the existence of some forms of corruption inside local authorities, such as job exploitation and favoritism in appointment processes and tenders, poor communications between local authorities and the public, the existence of favoritism or partisan/clan intervention in services such as building licenses, the payment of bribes to receive services, inefficient complaints and accountability systems in some municipalities, the failure to hold the president of the local authority accountable, and other problems that weakened public confidence and satisfaction in local authorities.

This objective will contribute in achieving the Palestinian NIS assessment fifth, sixth and ninth priorities by ensuring that local government units- LGUs adopt policies and measures to combat corruption through supporting LGUs to diagnose its work environment linked to integrity and anti-corruption matrix and empowering local community groups to be aware of the dangers of corruption and the importance of monitoring public funds and performance within LGUs, and to be able to implement advocacy campaigns to improve the offered services.

By adopting ITA measures by LGUs and promoting ITA concept among citizens and enhancing the culture of rejecting and unmasking corrupts, citizens will believe in their role in social accountability and practice social accountability in their communities and officials will be aware that they will be accountable in front of their communities leading to limiting corruption at the level of LGUs up to the level of central government.

This objective will contribute in achieving the Palestinian NIS assessment priorities by:

• Ensuring that local government units- LGUs adopt policies and measures to combat corruption through supporting LGUs to diagnose its work environment linked to integrity and anti-corruption matrix and empowering local community groups to be aware of the dangers of corruption and the importance of monitoring public funds and performance within LGUs, and to be able to implement advocacy campaigns to improve the offered services.
The implementation of the new strategy will contribute in arming representatives of LGUs with knowledge and tools that will enable them to strengthen the national integrity system (NIS) in these institutions, which can be achieved through:

- Raising awareness and promoting social accountability:  Alerting and stirring the interest of the local community, including members of councils and executive staff, regarding the NIS and combating corruption. In addition to empowering the local community by participating in planning and monitoring of services provided, as well as holding providers accountable.
- Producing references: preparing manuals on procedures that promote and strengthen the NIS and combating corruption.

Strategic Objective 4: “AMAN achieves its strategy and fulfills its commitment to Transparency International”.

Aim: Empowering AMAN in order to carry out its role sufficiently given that it is the national chapter, in Palestine, accredited by Transparency International (TI).


New forms of corruption emerge and preventive and anti-corruption strategies and tools are constantly developed. Therefore, AMAN’s staff must keep abreast of these issues and as a national chapter of TI, it must continue to build its knowledge, skills and competencies in promoting ITA towards building a national integrity system and combating corruption as well as sharing and exchanging experiences locally, regionally and internationally.


AMAN is improving both its capacity as an organization and its impact in the Palestinian Society. Result Based Management & Evaluation (RBME) and theory of change became the main approach. Even though AMAN has developed MEL system, the system has not been fully operated in the organization.


Objective 4 will contribute in achieving the Palestinian NIS assessment second priority in addition of being the enabling environment for achieving all other priorities, by participating in preparing and publishing national integrity system, defense index report, and reports of official anti-corruption commissions, participating in implementing regional advocacy campaigns related (assets recovery, UNCAC, grand corruption and no immunity) and enhancing AMAN’s staff knowledge and skills in their role to promote integrity, transparency, social accountability, manage their relationships with partners and local networks, analyze surveys and reports, prepare specialized papers, prepare fact sheets and interventions and prepare research and technical reports.
The forth objective will contribute in achieving the Palestinian NIS assessment second priority in addition of being the enabling environment for achieving all other priorities, by

 Participating in preparing and publishing national integrity system, defense index report, and reports of official anti-corruption commissions.
 Participating in implementing regional advocacy campaigns related (assets recovery, UNCAC, grand corruption and no immunity).
 Enhancing AMAN’s staff knowledge and skills in their role to promote integrity, transparency, social accountability, manage their relationships with partners and local networks, analyze surveys and reports, prepare specialized papers, prepare fact sheets and interventions and prepare research and technical reports.


In order to implement the main recommendations of the organizational and institutional assessment which has been conducted for AMAN early 2015. A follow up plan to meet these recommendations were prepared. During this strategy duration, AMAN will focus on implementing those recommendations that will strengthen AMAN’s capacity to implement its coming strategic goals efficiently as the house of expertise in the anti-corruption field. This will also include forming Advisory Groups at two levels:  Strategic and technical level.


Given that it is the national body, in Palestine, accredited by Transparency International (TI), the implementation of the new strategy will strengthen AMAN as a learning organization through exchange of experience in the regional and international levels, in particular, in contributing to the implementation of regional and international campaigns, and regional initiatives relating to the Arab region and in developing related literature such as manuals, studies, reports, and methodologies. On the other hand, AMAN will continue to comply with its responsibilities as TI’s national chapter, which includes contributing to the implementation of TI’s strategy which will enhance AMAN’s institutional and programmatic capacities towards achieving its coming strategy.

Figure: Vision, statement of mission, strategic goals and mid-term outcomes for 2017-2020

 

 

Strategic Objectives (SO) and Mid-Term Results

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