December 8, 2017

Action for Transparency – A4T

Coverage area: Lusaka district

Donors: Fojo Media institute, Zambia Institute of Mass Communication (ZAMCOM), TI-Uganda and the Uganda Media Development Foundation (UMDF).

Project Span: 2012-2015

Status: ended

Brief summary

The Action for Transparency (A4T) project is one initiative that aimed at contributing to an informed and open debate on corruption and mismanagement of government funds in Zambia. The project also sought to strengthen journalists, human rights activists, government officers and citizens in their capacity to monitor government spending, tracking suspected misallocation of government funding.

Objectives

  • To build Capacity among journalists, human rights activists and government officers to access and communicate information about government budgets and spending and capture of government funds.

  • To increase Innovative and catalytic tools and methods developed to facilitate for journalists, human rights organizations, government officers and citizens to monitor suspected capture of government funds allocated for schools and health care centers.

  • To decrease the diversion of government funds designated to schools and health care centers.

  • To encourages Journalists, human rights activists, government officers and citizens stimulated to report suspected corruption and capture of government funds allocated for schools and health care centers to authorities, media and the public.

ACTIVITIES IMPLEMENTED

  • Baseline public expenditure tracking survey (PETS)

A Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) was conducted to serve as a baseline for the project. The purpose of this study was to undertake the public expenditure tracking of funds allocated and disbursed to schools (primary) and health facilities within Lusaka district for the purpose of assessing usage of the funds

  • Development of an App and Data Collection

A smart phone application, Facebook page and a website were developed, to facilitate the monitoring and reporting the flow of public fund allocated to primary schools and health centres for journalists, civil servants, civil society activists and citizens. Data was collected form 1st quarter of 2013 up to 1st quarter of 2015. This information was on the grants and imprests released to primary schools and health centres in Lusaka and it was being fed in the app for the mentioned groups to manage and report flow of funds.

  • Training of journalists, civil servants civil society representatives, local leaders

There were 1,500 people who were trained, but not many have been active in accessing, assessing, and communicating information on government budgeting, primarily using on-line sources.

  • Public Awareness Campaign

Public Awareness Campaigns were carried out in 5 zones of Lusaka district to sensitize people on the project in collaboration with community animators, ZAMCOM and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Achievements

  • The response gotten form the community shows that sensitization was done very well and it broadened their knowledge base on corruption in terms of what it is, where and how to report. It was an eye opener as it them approach officers in public offices in the health and education sector.

  • Further, after the training people became aware that corruption is real and were able to alert and report it. The Project empowered members of the community to seek clarity over the monies given to institutions. The community also became aware that schools and health centers receive funds from the national treasury.

  • In this vein, 1,500 journalists, civil servants, civil society representatives, local leaders were trained, in accessing, assessing, and communicating information on government budgeting using on-line sources

  • In addition, the training of Ward Development Committees (WDC) went on well with the participants and there is need for more training in the community.

  • The project also developed Innovative and catalytic tools and methods to facilitate the monitoring of suspected capture of government funds allocated for schools and health care centers.