February 2018

A2JI members participate in training of trainers, increasing their capacity to raise awareness and promote advocacy in their communities

The Access to Justice Initiative (A2JI), with support from Tetra Tech’s USAID-funded Promoting the Rule of Law Project (PRLP), is working to combat corruption in Myanmar. A2JI, a consortium of more than 40 civil society organizations, is advocating for structural and policy reforms, including a focus on combatting corruption. Corruption, including bribes and stolen resources, amounts to an estimated 5% of the global gross domestic product, with developing countries losing up to 50% of public revenue to the “shadow economy.” Corruption undermines democracy, governance, and human rights, and perpetuates the inequities experienced by women, poor, and indigenous populations.

As a follow up to their recent roundtable discussions with Parliamentarians and two events on International Anti-Corruption Day, PRLP supported A2JI’s intention to roll out a series of trainings on community engagement against corruption with a training of trainers (TOT) for 13 focal points and steering committee members. A2JI members from various locations including Shan, Mandalay, Mawlamyaing, Rakhine, Taninthayi, Rangon, and Bagoee completed the 3-day TOT, led by an international expert, in January 2018. The training explored forms of corruption defined in the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and in the Myanmar context, examining recent reforms as well as gaps in the current legislative framework. Participants also learned how corruption disparately impacts women and other underserved segments of society, and developed approaches to promoting citizen engagement in combatting corruption.

Participants further learned how to strategically design and implement trainings that help citizens recognize corruption and motivate them to resist it through various approaches. Using a variety of hypothetical situations, participants developed a more nuanced understanding of corruption, distinguishing intentional abuse of power with inadvertent errors by public officials, legal loopholes, and how to adapt their responses to achieve the most productive and lasting solutions. Participants discussed techniques such as refusing to pay bribes and reporting incidents of corruption, conducting public information and/or advocacy campaigns, participating in public hearings, and promoting transparency through monitoring.

The TOT resulted in a model curriculum that the A2JI focal points can deliver in their respective regions, building society’s capacity to fight corruption, engage in public policy development, and promote more accountable justice sector institutions that protect human rights.

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