Transparency International has joined together with the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) to launch a Global Campaign for Participatory Urban Governance. In a Memorandum of Understanding (attached) signed in Bremen today by Peter Eigen, Chairman of Transparency International, and Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of Habitat, TI and Habitat agreed to campaign for greater transparency and accountability in local government, and to focus attention on the needs of the urban poor.
Peter Eigen welcomed the co-operation, saying: "Transparency and accountability to the population at large are the linchpin of good governance in local government, where corruption undermines the social fabric and deepens urban poverty. It is essential to build up an ethos of professional public service among both elected and appointed local officials."
The campaign will be launched first in Nigeria on 10 April. The campaign's draft norms of good governance are: sustainability, decentralisation, equity, efficiency, transparency and accountability, civic engagement and safety. Transparency International will contribute codes of conduct and best practices that will be part of a register of local government projects in TI chapters and examples from Buenos Aires, Bhaktapur, Malaysia, and other places, as well as Tool Kits describing best practices in Integrity Pacts for local government procurements, public awareness raising through coalitions, public hearings, monitoring, independent audits and ombudsmen.
The flagship projects of the Global Campaign for Participatory Urban Governance will include the development of: a Declaration on the Norms of Participatory Urban Governance; the revision and adoption of national legislation towards better urban governance; Inclusive Cities - nominating partner cities who are applying principles of participatory urban governance; a Participatory Urban Governance Toolkit to integrate processes, methods and tools developed by TI to promote good governance, and a Participatory Urban Governance Index, sharing TI's experience in building and promoting indices related to transparency and accountability.
Habitat will support the implementation of the Campaign by: providing a Campaign Secretariat; sharing its existing tools related to urban governance; sharing its networks of cities, global programmes and technical cooperation activities; providing policy support; and fostering collaboration with governments.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Global Campaign for Participatory Urban Governance
There is an emerging international consensus that good governance is a crucial pre-requisite for poverty reduction and sustainable development. UNCHS (Habitat), together with its partners, is launching a Global Campaign for Participatory Urban Governance. The goal of the campaign is to reduce poverty through improved urban governance. The objectives are to strengthen the capacity of local authorities and their partners to practice participatory urban governance and to raise awareness of and advocate for participatory urban governance. The campaign will focus attention on the needs of the excluded urban poor.
The campaign will produce the following flagship products as currently conceptualised: Guidelines on Intensified Dialogue on Decentralisation and Local Self-Government; Declaration on the Norms of Participatory Urban Governance; the Global Report on Human Settlements; State of the World Cities Report; Policy on the Role of Women in Governance; Revised National Legislation; Inclusive Cities; Participatory Urban Governance Index; and Participatory Urban Governance Toolkit.
The campaign will be governed and guided by the campaign's draft norms of good governance, namely: sustainability, subsidiarity, equity, efficiency, transparency and accountability, civic engagement and safety. These norms are subject to dialogue, debate and amendment, considering the views of campaign partners, particularly the Campaign Steering Group members.
This memorandum of understanding provides a framework for Transparency International's involvement in the Global Campaign for Participatory Urban Governance, setting out specific commitments and responsibilities.
Article 1: Collaborating Partners
1.1 The United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) is the principal body within the United Nations in the field of urban development. Mandated by the Habitat Agenda, it is dedicated to pursue the goals of adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world, with the overall development objective of reducing urban poverty.
1.2 Transparency International (TI) is a non-governmental organization dedicated to increasing government transparency and accountability and curbing international and national corruption. It is the only global non-profit and politically non-partisan movement with an exclusive focus on corruption.
1.3 UNCHS and TI are hereafter referred to as the "collaborating partners".
Article 2: Objective of Collaboration
2.1 The collaborating partners are committed to reducing urban poverty and improving for all citizens the quality of life in cities through improved urban governance. The collaborating partners are also committed to promote the application of norms of participatory urban governance, within the framework of the Global Campaign for Participatory Urban Governance.
2.2 The objective of the collaboration is to strengthen the Campaign's activities, to draw lessons from experience at the normative level, to jointly implement activities and to disseminate lessons learned to as wide as possible an audience, within the framework of the Global Campaign for Participatory Urban Governance.
2.3 The collaborating partners therefore enter into this Memorandum of Understanding to provide a framework for enhancing the coherence and continuity of their cooperation, thereby increasing its effectiveness and contribution to participatory urban governance.
Article 3: Promoting Transparency and Accountability
3.1 As Transparency International is particularly concerned with transparency and accountability, the emphasis of the collaboration will be on promoting the application of these normative values for participatory urban governance.
3.2 The collaborating partners agree that transparency and accountability of local authorities to their citizens are fundamental tenets of good governance. Similarly, there should be no place for corruption in cities. Corruption can undermine local government credibility and can deepen urban poverty. Transparency and accountability are essential to stakeholder understanding of local government and to who is benefiting from decisions and actions. Access to information is fundamental to this understanding and to good governance. Laws and public policies should be applied in a transparent and predictable manner. Elected and appointed officials and other civil servant leaders need to set an example of high standards of professional and personal integrity. Citizen participation is a key element in promoting transparency and accountability.
3.3 The collaborating partners are committed to encouraging, and where possible supporting the application of practical means of realizing transparency and accountability in local authorities, such as:
- Regular, organized, and open consultations of citizens on city financial matters and other important local issues;
- Transparent tendering and procurement procedures and innovative procedures to ensure integrity in the process;
- Internal independent audit capacity and annual external audit reports;
- Regular programs of testing public officials integrity response;
- Eliminating administrative and procedural incentives for corruption, including simplification of local taxation systems and reduction of administrative discretion in permit processing;
- Swift prosecution and adjudication of corruption cases;
- Promoting an ethic of service to the public while striving to put in place adequate remuneration for public servants;
- Instituting measures to reduce nepotism and any form of unfair favoritism through fair and transparent systems of public appointments and promotions within the local government;
- Establishing codes of conduct and provision for regular disclosure of assets of public officials and elected representatives;
- Creating local coalitions of communities and organizations that can effectively monitor the operations of local government;
- Encouraging the development of standards of accountability and service delivery that will transcend the terms of political office holders;
- Creating effective public feedback mechanisms including ombudsmen, hotlines, complaints office and procedures, citizen report cards, and procedures for public petitioning and/or public interest litigation;
- Encouraging open, timely, and free debate about local government and urban issues in the media.
3.4 The achievement of the normative goal of transparency and accountability can be greatly enhanced by progress made concerning other normative goals of the Campaign.
Article 4: Specific commitments and responsibilities
4.1 With the common objectives outlined above, Transparency International commits itself to contribute to the development of the following Campaign's flagship products:
- Declaration on the Norms of Participatory Urban Governance; to encourage normative debate on participatory urban governance through TI's network of national chapters and on the occasion of meetings convened by TI.
- Revised National Legislation; to promote and support, through TI's national chapters, the adoption of revised legislation towards better urban governance in countries where the Campaign will be involved in local or national capacity-building.
- Inclusive Cities; to nominate partner cities who are applying principles of participatory urban governance and are committed to make further progress towards participatory urban governance; to help building an illustrative cities network for sharing experience and testing tools with the aim to promote participatory urban governance. Participatory Urban Governance Toolkit: to integrate processes, methods and tools developed by TI to promote good governance, such as the "Guide on practical experiences to control corruption", in the Participatory Urban Governance Toolkit; to disseminate participatory urban governance tools through TI's national chapters. Participatory Urban Governance Index; to share TI's experience in building and promoting indices related to transparency and accountability with the view of building an overall Participatory Urban Governance Index.
4.2 Specific ongoing and planned TI initiatives, projects and events at the global, regional, national and local level where the above commitments to promote participatory urban governance will be pursued include the following:
TI's Local Government Program seeks to make accountability and transparency at the local government level a fundamental governance concern. This will be achieved primarily through the activities on local government issues being carried out by its national chapters, support from TI Headquarters in Berlin for the efforts of the national chapters, and collaborating with other organizations in international forums.
TI has a number of components in its approach. Under support for national chapters, there would be the development of tools and sharing of information and other support. Under the rubric of garnering of support, there would be participation in the global campaign on participatory urban governance and collaborating in international forums.
Specific activities to be undertaken by TI include:
- Best Practices that will reflect a permanently updated inventory/register of local government projects in TI chapters and examples from Buenos Aires, Bhaktapur, Malaysia, and other places;
- At least two Tool Kits that would describe Best Practices in much more detail, including Integrity Pacts for Local Government Procurements;
- Codes of Conduct and other Legal Models adapted to Local Governments;
- Checklist for Local Government Integrity based on TI experience and the Zimbabwe and Riga TI Declarations;
TI will, in addition, identify/select some chapters that can be enlisted as "hubs" or participants in the campaign. Chapters from Russia, Argentina, Malaysia, Romania, Serbia may be selected as well as other chapters that indicate interest.
4.3 With the common objectives outlined above, UNCHS (Habitat) commits itself to support the implementation of the Campaign by
- providing a Campaign Secretariat;
- appoint focal points for the campaign's flagship products;
- servicing of the Steering Group;
- sharing its existing tools related to urban governance;
- sharing its networks of cities, global programmes and technical cooperation activities;
- providing policy support;
- fostering collaboration with Governments;
- promoting the activities of partners; and
- maintaining and disseminating campaign information.
Article 5: Coordination Structure
5.1 A Global Steering Group of key campaign partners has been established to provide overall leadership and strategic guidance to the campaign. The collaborating partners are members of the Global Steering Group.
5.2 Regional Steering Groups will be established including representatives from regional offices of the collaborating partners.
5.3 UNCHS (Habitat) will provide a Campaign Secretariat to support the implementation of the campaign. The tasks of the Campaign Secretariat are spelled out in the Terms of Reference of the Global Steering Group.
5.4 Each collaborating partner will appoint a "focal point" to manage the implementation of the planned activities and for general coordination and review of this Memorandum of Understanding.
5.5 The collaborating partners will report to their governing bodies on their collaboration, as part of their reports on cooperation with partner organisations.
Article 6: Mobilizing Resources
6.1 Wherever possible, the collaborating partners will seek to leverage existing resources and activities to achieve the campaign's objectives.
6.2 The collaborating partners will undertake joint fundraising for the implementation of activities and products that directly support the achievement of the campaign's objectives.
Article 7: Use of Campaign Products and Services by Partners
7.1 The collaborating partners are encouraged to make full and unlimited use of Campaign products and services for non-commercial purposes. Typically, such usage includes use of tools, methods, case studies, etc. for training, capacity-building, leadership and policy development purposes.
7.2 All reproductions should acknowledge copyright and source and promote awareness of the Global Campaign for Participatory Urban Governance.
7.3 The collaborating partners recognize that each member maintains full and inalienable rights of the use and dissemination of its organisational name, logos, copyrighted materials, trademarks and any other present or future intellectual property and proprietary assets. Any distribution of co-ownership of such rights shall require the establishment of a separate contractual agreement between the relevant parties. Nothing in this document shall imply a general or specific endorsement of any policy of one of the members, excepting as defined in agreements or statements of endorsement issued by the governing body or the chief executive officer of the endorsing partner.
Article 8: Memorandum of Understanding Arrangements
8.1 Modifications may be proposed at any time by written mutual agreement of both partners.
8.2 This Memorandum shall become effective upon the signature of both parties and shall be in effect for initially two (2) years.
8.3 Progress in meeting the common objectives of this Memorandum of Understanding will be reviewed on the occasion of the campaign's Steering Group meetings.
8.4 This Memorandum may be terminated by any party with thirty (30) days written notice to the other party.
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