The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN)
AMAN was established in 2000 upon an initiative by a number of Palestinian civil society organizations working in the fields of democracy, human rights, and good governance. Their goal was to initiate a national program to combat corruption, and enhance the values of transparency and accountability in Palestine within a national system of integrity. In 2004, AMAN received its certification from the Palestinian Ministry of Interior as a Palestinian non-profit civil organization under the name “The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN)”. Transparency International (TI) endorsed AMAN in 2006 as its national chapter in Palestine (Transparency Palestine), and renewed its endorsement in 2010, 2013 and 2016 following an external reviews and evaluations supervised by the membership board of Transparency International.
AMAN is governed by a general assembly of 29 representatives of public bodies and Palestinian figures interested in good governance, the rule of law and fighting corruption. The Board of Directors is composed of nine members, elected by the general assembly, to conduct the affairs of the coalition and directly supervise the executive staff, which comprises 27 employees: 22 work in the office in Ramallah and 5 employees work in the Gaza office.
In addition to the Executive Director’s office, AMAN has four departments: i) Operations which include three units (Advocacy and social accountability unit, Raising awareness and outreach unit, studies and monitoring unit), ii) Finance and administration department; iii), Media and communication; and iv) Planning, monitoring, Evaluation and Learning.
AMAN Membership in Regional and International Networks: UNCAC Coalition, No Impunity Task Force Campaign, Affiliated network for social accountability (ANSA), Arab Parliamentarians Against Corruption (ARPAC), Arab Anti-Corruption and Integrity Network (ACINET)
In order to meet AMAN’s vision and mission, we rely on a consortium of donors comprised of Netherlands, Norway Governments (since 2003) and Luxembourg government (since 2013) that fund AMAN’s core program “Promoting integrity, transparency and accountability in the Palestinian society. In addition to other donors that fund other supporting projects such EU, UNDP, DFID and Oxfam.
Vision: A Palestinian society free from corruption.
Mission: “Mobilize community efforts to immune Palestinian society from corruption and influence adopting the principles of transparency and the values of integrity and accountability in the Palestinian institutions in the framework of the national integrity system in accordance with the laws, conventions, and best practices of administrative and financial rules and procedures.”
AMAN seeks to perform its national role of mobilizing popular efforts to combat corruption in Palestine and prevent the drain on resources. Mobilization involves partnerships and working with people and civil representative institutions. It includes engaging people in managing their affairs to achieve the goals and values they believe in, and to be self-reliant and make decisions or influence -individually or collectively- decisions that affect their lives. This process produces an environment that fosters favorable conditions for the achievement of transparency, integrity, and accountability.
AMANs’ work focus on community participation and promoting the role of civil society organizations and the media. In addition to focusing on creating a work environment in local government and public institutions that contributes to detecting corruption and limiting its scope. This work takes the form of intensive monitoring, lobbying, advocacy, work on legislation, capacity building of civil and official acting parties in this area, and providing research and reports to decision-makers as part of AMAN’s work as a resource of Palestinian expertise nationally and globally in combating corruption.
AMAN’s guiding principles
- Co-Ownership and partnership
AMAN believes that it can best achieve its objectives by ensuring that the broadest possible range of stakeholders can be fully involved in common cause. Thus the Coalition is committed to facilitating the inclusion and involvement of people and institutions at all levels in Palestinian society.
AMAN will play a key role as a capacity builder with its Palestinian stakeholders. It believes that ownership is the objective of participation.
- Integrity and Accountability
The struggle for accountability and integrity in Palestinian society will be reflected in every aspect of the Coalition’s internal systems. The highest standards of management, leadership and governance will provide an institutional framework of excellence within the Coalition itself, and it will ensure that its programming is designed, monitored, evaluated and reported according to these high standards.
AMAN will use a variety of delivery methodologies in order to ensure the optimum impact of its program.
AMAN will apply the principle of sustainability in both its programs design and implementation as well as in its internal systems. Thus AMAN will always be mindful of the need to design programming that yields enduring impact for the benefit of the Palestinian people. It will also ensure that its internal systems are designed and operated in order to diversify its dependence on funding, and to mobilize the involvement of society in sustainability of effort, and as well as sustainability of results.
- Relations with CSOs
1) We will consult actively with other civil society organizations in the development and implementation of policies and activities that have an impact on them.
2) We will Endeavour to respond to all requests from CSO’s partners and colleagues fairly and expeditiously.
- Confidentiality and Transparency
1) We will treat information obtained in the service of AMAN with confidentiality, when its nature calls for it or when this is explicitly requested, and will not use any such information or materials to further a private interest. This obligation continues after the staff’s separation from AMAN.
2) We will be as open as possible about all decisions and actions we take, taking into account the above-mentioned needs for confidentiality.
- Financial Transparency
1) We will provide and publish audited financial statements in easily accessible form. Financial reports will be provided and published as appropriate.
2) We will publish annually our sources of funding and account accurately and promptly to donors in accordance with the terms of their grants.
- Financial Independence
We will act in line with the Board policy of not accepting funds that might impair the independence of the organization to pursue its mission.
- Gender and equal rights
AMAN is aware of the gendered experienced of corruption in the Palestinian society; women and other vulnerable citizens are drastically impacted by corruption. Palestinian women and men have different attitudes and reactions towards corruption. AMAN’s programs entail identifying and reflecting needed interventions to address gender gaps in sector and local government policies, plans and budgets.
AMAN’s Anti-corruption groups and networks:
- Civil society team for enhancing public budget transparency (CSTPBT)
AMAN, the secretariat of the (CSTPBT) which monitor, analysis the public budgets periodically, and provide recommendations for expenditure rationalization and lobbying for reform within the framework of national needs and priorities, carry voices of and lobby for marginalized and vulnerable groups’ needs.
- Civil Platform to Enhance Good Governance in the Security Sector
This platform which was established by an initiative by AMAN late 2014 included 13 NGOs interested in monitoring the performance of the security sector focusing transparency in appointments and promotions of public personnel and their salary disbursements. Rationalization of the security sector spending. Activation of complaints systems opened for the public and followed up effectively. Establishments of systems of control and codes of conduct and improving managerial capacities of the administrative and financial personnel in each security apparatus.
- Palestinian Parliamentarians against Corruption
Is the national chapter of Arab Region Parliamentarians against Corruption (ARPAC) – the Arab Chapter of GOPAC. Main objective is encouraging and supporting the governments to implement the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
- The civil society coalition for monitoring elections financing campaigns:
This coalition which is under the establishment process by AMAN will be established and equipped with the advocacy and monitoring skills on elections financing campaigns and will include 30-40 NGOs.
- Coalition for civil control over the legislation
This coalition (AMAN is a member of it) is a coordinating body comprising a number of civil and trade union organizations in order to monitor the legislative process in the absence of the PLC. The coalition is active in reviewing draft laws and regulations and in suggesting modification on current legislations.
AMAN-Regional and International presence
- Transparency International (TI): AMAN (Transparency Palestine) has been the national chapter of TI since 2006. AMAN has been considered a successful model for anti-corruption work and has contributed to anti-corruption efforts in the region by sharing expertise and experiences.
- AMAN as a member at the UNCAC Coalition
The UNCAC Coalition is a global network of hundreds of CSOs from over 100 countries, committed to promoting the ratification, implementation and monitoring of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). It mobilizes civil society action for UNCAC at international, regional and national levels.
- AMAN as a member of Arab network for social accountability ANSA
The Affiliated Network for Social Accountability – Arab World (ANSA-AW) is a regional network of practitioners on participatory governance and social accountability targeting civil society organizations, government officials, media and private sector. At the World Bank, it is under the umbrella of the Arab World Initiative (AWI).
- Arab Parliamentarians against Corruption (ARPAC): established by Arab parliamentarians aware of the key role they have in anti-corruption, and with a belief of unifying their efforts against corruption to control corruption. This organization is the only Arab organization in enhancing the capacity of parliamentarians in anti-corruption. The eight board director members represent 8 countries including: Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen and Bahrain. AMAN’s BoD advisor is the head of ARPAC. AMAN is leading the Palestinian branch of this organization “Palestinian Parliamentarians against Corruption”.
- Arab Anti-Corruption and Integrity Network (ACINET)
ACINET is a leading platform in the region for knowledge networking, capacity development and policy dialogue in its field. It brings together governmental anti-corruption institutions from across 16 countries in the Arab region, in addition to prominent non-governmental actors, organized in the form of a non-governmental group functioning as an independent component of the Network. ACINET builds on the positive results of the joint UNDP/OECD Initiative on Good Governance for Development (GfD) in the Arab Countries, and is a product of regional and national consultations launched under the umbrella of the second Dead Sea Declaration, with the support of UNDP and its partners.
Programmatic: AMAN’s programs, activities and impact
AMAN’s role in the Palestinian society
Within the framework and intellectual reference of AMAN’s work, AMAN seeks to perform its national role of mobilizing popular efforts to combat corruption in Palestine and prevent the drain on resources. Mobilization involves partnerships and working with people and civil representative institutions. It includes engaging people in managing their affairs to achieve the goals and values they believe in, and to be self-reliant and make decisions or influence -individually or collectively- decisions that affect their lives. This process produces an environment that fosters favorable conditions for the achievement of transparency, integrity, and accountability.
AMAN developed its strategy 2016-2020 which includes four objectives:
Objective 1: “Citizens, civil society and media institutions are all engaged in social accountability and in promotion of national integrity system and efforts to combat corruption”.
This objective will contribute in building a responsible social movement that promotes integrity and combating corruption in the Palestinian society through the following means:
- Encouraging and empowering citizens to report and lodge complaints to AMAN’s Advocacy and Legal Advise Centre (ALAC) about incidents involving corruption and facilitates communication with officials for legal advice.
- Empowerment: assist CSOs in building their capacities in integrating the issue of combating corruption in their programs and projects.
- Mobilizing, networking, and motivating: coordinate and consolidate efforts of individuals, movements, networks, representative bodies, including youth and women to bring about societal impact in the field of combating corruption. This means involving them in planning, lobbying and advocacy campaigns and social accountability.
Objective 2: “Disclose corruption & the corrupt, and deny them impunity within the framework of the national anti-corruption plans & international anti-corruption conventions”.
This objective will contribute in preventing of corruption and ending of impunity. AMAN will lead CSOs in this regard to.
- Monitoring/Watchdog: Through regular monitoring, analyzing and documenting developments on corruption and combating it in the Palestinian society; submitted citizens’ complaints; production of the annual corruption report, diagnostic and monitoring reports; opinion polls; investigative reports; and record all reports and circulars issued by related institutions.
- Analysis: Through regular cooperation with AMAN’s pool of experts, researchers, think tanks, advisory group, etc.
- Interventions: Based on analysis results, AMAN will carry out pressure and advocacy campaigns, as well as awareness raising campaigns in cooperation with AMAN’s stakeholders mentioned in objective one.
Objective 3: “The local government environment is protected from corruption and is responsive to social accountability”.
This objective will contribute in ensuring that:
- local government units- LGUs adopt policies and measures to combat corruption through supporting LGUs to diagnose its work environment linked to integrity and anti-corruption matrix and empowering local community groups to be aware of the dangers of corruption and the importance of monitoring public funds and performance within LGUs, and to be able to implement advocacy campaigns to improve the offered services. This objective will contribute in achieving the above through by:
- Raising awareness and promoting social accountability: Alerting and stirring the interest of the local community, including members of councils and executive staff, regarding the NIS and combating corruption. In addition to empowering the local community by participating in planning and monitoring of services provided, as well as holding providers accountable. In addition to, producing references: preparing manuals on procedures that promote and strengthen the NIS and combating corruption.
Objective 4: “AMAN achieves its strategy and fulfills its commitment to Transparency International”.
AMAN’s staff must continue to build its knowledge, skills and competencies in promoting ITA towards building a national integrity system and combating corruption as well as sharing and exchanging experiences locally, regionally and internationally. In addition to implement the main recommendations of the organizational and institutional assessment 2015. AMAN will focus on implementing those recommendations that will strengthen AMAN’s capacity to implement its coming strategic goals efficiently as the house of expertise in the anti-corruption field. This will also include forming Advisory Groups at two levels: Strategic and technical levels.
Objective 4 will contribute in enabling environment for achieving all other objectives, by
- Participating in preparing and publishing national integrity system, defense index report, and reports of official anti-corruption commissions.
- Participating in implementing regional advocacy campaigns related (assets recovery, UNCAC, grand corruption and no immunity).
- Enhancing AMAN’s staff knowledge and skills in their role to promote integrity, transparency, social accountability, manage their relationships with partners and local networks, analyze surveys and reports, prepare specialized papers, prepare fact sheets and interventions and prepare research and technical reports.
Achievements by AMAN over the last few years are as follows:
- A change in the Palestinian condition and an acceptance of the concepts of integrity, transparency and accountability: AMAN, from its very early days, spread awareness related to the concepts of integrity, transparency and accountability through workshops, media campaigns, trainings, publications, awareness meetings, etc. These concepts have been incorporated over the past few years in the official and popular rhetoric, and through the pressure placed on civil society organizations and institutions to embrace these concepts. Corruption cases have caught the interest of the public, which indicates that social awareness towards the importance of combating corruption has changed.
AMAN succeeded in placing issues of integrity and combating corruption at the top of the priority list of national institutions, AMAN succeeded in getting leaders from official and non-governmental institutions at the national and local level and at the local government level to seriously consider legislations and practices related to systems of integrity, transparency and accountability
- At the policy, influential level, AMAN brought up many recommendations to Palestinian decision makers and pushed towards taking reformatory actions in term of policies and legislations, employees conduct, and institutional structure to fortify public institutions against corruption and hold the corrupted accountable and avoid impunity. The achievements included: issuance of several governmental decisions to enhance the financial policy of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) related to rationalization of public expenditures and enhancement of the financial policy of the PNA, and positive improvement in transparency in the provision of governmental services.
- In term of behavioral change: AMAN succeeded in motivating CSOs, citizens including youth and women, media, private sector to join anti-corruption efforts, and enhancing the culture of social accountability. More expansion of scale of societal contribution by civil institutions, including media and citizens in holding government official accountable. Change of trend of citizens contacting ALAC from a majority of victims to whistleblowers. Increase in the media outlets addressing corruption through preparing bold investigative reports on anti-corruptions. AMAN efforts in engaging CSOs resulted in CSOs integrating ITA and anti-corruption on their work strategies. AMAN efforts in engaging youth resulted in increasing the numbers of initiatives undertaken by youth in form of accountability sessions and youth debates on anti-corruption issues.
- Institutionalization of combating corruption at the national and official scale: this is through AMAN’s efforts in developing the Illicit Gain Law later approved by a presidential decree entitled the Anti-Corruption Law, the Anti-Corruption Commission was established. Also, the UN Convention against Corruption was signed and a national strategy to combat corruption was developed. This indicates to a change in the political will to combat corruption, and the provision of tools for official action in this regard after combating corruption used to mainly depend on efforts from civil society, namely from AMAN.
- Building local expertise in relevant fields: Since its inception until today, AMAN has worked on capacity-building of academics, researchers, trainers and leaders from civil society and public institutions in the field of building systems of integrity and combating corruption. AMAN now estimates that the number of Palestinian experts interested in these relevant fields exceeds 80 experts.