Awareness raising and research

Raising awareness

  • about the importance of asset recovery, its role in the fight against corruption and in development efforts; across society, key institutions in the public sector and the private sector, including the financial sector and designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs))
  • about the importance of asset recovery, its role in the fight against corruption and in development efforts;
  • generating demand (across society and key institutions) for asset recovery;

Research

  • about practical asset recovery work
  • about policy dialogue
  • about enhancing general understanding of asset recovery

Caution: CSOs need to approach asset recovery awareness raising strategically to ensure sufficient pressure is on governments to act, whilst not raising expectations in society regarding the speed at which assets can be returned to an unrealistic level.

Methods

Objective: Raise awareness about and generate demand for asset recovery

Method of engagement

Informing society about the importance of asset recovery and system weaknesses that cause assets to be lost/stolen

Possible actions

  • Use blogging and social media to disseminate messages
  • Conduct research and publish results, including in the local language(s)
  • Create and provide information about asset recovery on your website
  • Make announcements about your work and governmental actions regarding asset recovery
  • Maintain a journalist/media contact person database for your press releases

Best practices to increase success and mitigate risk

  • Only use and disseminate information from credible and verifiable sources
  • Assess the accessibility of the media you use to disseminate information (i.e. assess whether the internet is widely accessible, or whether people are more likely to watch TV, listen to radio or read newspapers, etc.)
  • When applicable, involve the local community in research
  • An awareness campaign, and particularly the dissemination of information, is expensive – be aware of your cost limitations and target your efforts accordingly.
  • If possible, use follow-up evaluations to determine what awareness raising techniques are successfully conveying messages to your target audience.

Resources

CSO example 1: Yemeni National Authority for Recovering Stolen Assets (AWAM) – Yemen.

AWAM emerged from the popular Youth Revolution in Yemen in 2011. AWAM seeks to raise awareness of the importance of recovering stolen assets across society and its structures, as well as the negative effects of corruption and the smuggling of assets outside Yemen. It further engages and assists the anti-corruption organisations of Yemen. To achieve its goals, AWAM makes use of media channels to carry out its work and message on the need to uphold transparency and integrity, highlighting the importance of recovering stolen assets and drawing the attention of society to it. It furthermore holds workshops and conferences to achieve the aforementioned objectives, and liaises with governmental authorities to track stolen assets.

CSO example 2: Global Youth Anti-Corruption Network (GYAC)

GYAC is a global network of young leaders, journalists, artists and ICT experts from civil society who work to improve transparency and social accountability for better governance. Members share experiences, ideas and resources via an online social network, videoconferences, and face-to-face events. GYAC also works with musicians to create global songs against corruption and supports journalists in their fight for Arab Forum on Asset Recovery – Guide to the Role of Civil Society Organisations in Asset Recovery greater transparency and accountability. Since the Network’s launch in 2010, GYAC counts over 60 member NGOs from over 45 countries, and more than 1,500 members on its various web platforms. Their website offers various innovative anti-corruption toolkits on how to implement and measure projects as well as how to use Right to Information acts.
More information at: http://voices-against-corruption.ning.com/

Objective: Raise awareness about and generate demand for asset recovery

Method of engagement

Helping CSOs and other key stakeholders better understand their roles and responsibilities in Asset Recovery

Possible actions

  • Hold targeted trainings, conferences and workshops
  • Work with or encourage government to publish (and regularly update) a practical guide to asset recovery in their jurisdiction (including information on key institutions, key legislation, key processes, and key information sources)

Best practices to increase success and mitigate risk

  • Address expectation management and capacity requirements during CSO asset recovery trainings
  • Whenever possible link research to policy engagement to strengthen the vision, strategy and activities undertaken by the CSO.

Resources

CSO example: Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism

Founded in 2005 and based in Amman, Jordan, ARIJ’s mission is to enhance excellence in investigative journalism. ARIJ understands investigative journalism to be a key component to a transparent and accountable society and government. They support investigative journalists from the region through training, resources and providing a community of support; by promoting high professional standards; and protecting the rights of investigative journalists. Through this work, ARIJ contributes to a growing awareness and greater understanding of journalists in the Arab region regarding their role in relation to combating corruption and, as part of this, promoting the recovery of stolen assets.
More information at: http://en.arij.net