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Strategy 2020 - Together Against Corruption

In 2015, we developed a five-year strategy which sets out our collective ambition for the years 2016-2020. Together against Corruption: Transparency International Strategy 2020 is a strategy by and for the Transparency International movement. We received more than 1500 contributions from within and outside Transparency International addressing both the corruption environment of today and the one we anticipate in the years ahead.

Today the Transparency International movement includes more than 100 independent national chapters and partners around the world, who work Together against Corruption.

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Our three strategic priorities

Our emphasis will be on enabling and facilitating a culture of anti-corruption action. We will support individuals and groups of people to act to demand accountability in a sustained and systematic way. We will focus on those who are strategically positioned to lead anti-corruption work, those who want to be a part of our anti-corruption movement, and those who are directly affected by corrupt practices and behaviour. Importantly, we will do more to make sure those who strive to stop corruption around the world are safe to pursue their efforts.

Where laws and standards remain weak, we will suggest ways they can be strengthened to bolster corruption prevention systems. Too often, even the best laws are not effectively implemented or enforced, allowing the corrupt to get away with their crimes. Given the persistence of impunity for corruption, we will promote institutions that adhere to the highest possible anti-corruption standards. These must be backed by law enforcement and justice systems capable of prosecuting and punishing corruption – especially grand corruption – to the full extent of the law.

To become even better at what we do, we must draw even more on our global reach, grow our influence and innovate in our work. Above all, by 2020, we will need to understand better what works to stop corruption. We will also lead by example in our work and to be present as a force for anti-corruption where it matters the most.

Why we need a new strategy

We have come a long way since we were established in 1993. We have:

  • driven recognition of corruption as a major global challenge
  • raised awareness of its devastating effects on human rights, economic development, social justice and political freedom
  • helped thousands of corruption victims address their grievances
  • influenced national and global agendas with our demands for systemic change
  • carried out innovative research and created a raft of anti-corruption benchmarks and standards
  • worked with a wide range of partners

Yet corruption retains its grip in too many parts of the world, despite being one of the highest priorities on the world’s agenda. And while corruption has been a rallying cry for citizen action in recent years, there remains a significant ‘implementation gap’ between anti-corruption rules and actual practice. As a result, there is a growing sense of impunity for corruption. And worryingly, the space for civil society is under threat from repressive governments or organised criminal networks in many places.

How to make change happen

To root out corruption, we need to hold those entrusted with power to account using both prevention and punishment mechanisms. The key to making prevention and punishment more effective is to work with people, as individuals and as part of collective action, to take part in anti-corruption efforts. Increasingly there must be a popular rejection of corruption – a refusal to bribe, vote for the corrupt or turn a blind eye to corruption – if we are to create sustained public pressure for change.

Long term results also require anti-corruption rules and the institutions that implement them to embody best practice. Laws must be enforced, loopholes closed, whistleblowers protected and justice delivered swiftly.

In order to take action against corruption, people need a better understanding of what they can do about it. To become and remain engaged, people need hope and evidence that getting involved in anti-corruption work can improve their own lives and those of others. Strong civil society is essential to tackling corruption. Partnerships across civil society and with reform-minded public and private sector actors strengthen the capacity of people working to stop corruption. Leadership from all sectors must inspire the will for change, and provide the necessary direction.

Transparency International will monitor and evaluate the impact of Together against Corruption. This will be a shared endeavour across our movement, rooted in our deep commitment to accountability and learning.

How we got here

Together against Corruption draws on a wide and inclusive consultation process across the Transparency International movement and key stakeholders in 2014 and 2015. Using surveys, meetings, interviews and written inputs, we evaluated our context, our organisation and our achievements. All told, we had more than 1000 contributions from within Transparency International and 500 from outside our movement, drawing on the worlds of government, international organisations, business and civil society.

This implementation plan sets out how the Transparency International secretariat contributes to the Transparency International movement’s strategy, Together against Corruption, in the years leading up to 2020.

While the implementation plan provides a road map for the secretariat’s work over the years 2015-2020, it does not describe everything the secretariat does. Rather, the implementation plan specifies how the secretariat will focus its efforts to help the movement achieve its collective ambition in the three priority areas of the Transparency International 2020 strategy: 1) People and Partners; 2) Prevention, Enforcement and Justice and 3) Strong Movement.