Civil society efforts to promote citizen monitoring are ongoing in such sectors as infrastructure, health and agriculture. Yet, efforts to mainstream procurement transparency and monitoring across laws and institutions are sporadic and often led by individual organizations or networks conducting their work in relative isolation, missing opportunities for impact.

 

The Uganda Contracts Monitoring Coalition (UCMC), an informal network of 25 CSOs, is confronting the mismanagement of public resources. The Coalition brings together organizations from across health, extractive industries, education, agriculture and water and works.  Since June 2012, UCMC developed and piloted a methodology to monitor the construction of secondary schools. It is also working with communities in Uganda’s oil producing regions to pilot community based monitoring of production sharing agreements.

According to UCMC, there is a lack of a united, cross-sector effort to improve access to information and institutionalize disclosure and third party monitoring. Therefore, a new aim of the Coalition is to increase its constructive engagement with Parliament and such government bodies as the Office of the Prime Minister, the Interagency Forum on Anti-Corruption and the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity.  It plans to write a series of issue papers to sensitize these entities, in addition to the public, who is showing signs of apathy and disillusionment in the wake of a surfeit of corruption scandals.  This advocacy effort will be welcomed by government champions who are convinced of the potential benefits for increased citizen engagement, but are missing the support of constituents through which they can push reform forward.

From the Open Contracting Community