Using a Creative Approach to Fighting Corruption in Indonesia

A photo from 2013's ACFFest, a film festival for Anti-Corruption Day.

A photo from 2013’s ACFFest, a film festival for Anti-Corruption Day.

Founded by the UN in 2003, International Anti-Corruption Day is December 9th.  Last year, MSI helped to showcase  progress in fighting corruption in Indonesia through a film festival and photo exhibition. This year, MSI’s Strengthening Integrity and Accountability Program 1 (SIAP 1) is supporting the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) in organizing Anti-Corruption Week. The week will feature a series of events, exhibitions and workshops which will take place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia from December 9th- 12th.

Anti-Corruption Week aims to continually build awareness and understanding and calls for the community to take a stand against corruption. The week’s events hope to build momentum and foster further collaboration with Indonesian ministries, the private sector, creative communities and media in the effort against corruption. Workshops and photo exhibitions will bring together local artists, expert speakers and initiators from several social movements.  Indonesian law enforcement agencies, government, and national artists will take part in several activities which consist of exhibitions, children and education zones, seminars, talk shows, art contests, and a SIAP 1-supported creative zone. In addition to these activities, KPK commissioners and Indonesian government representatives will give speeches and lead discussions on the Sarasehan stage. The stage is modeled using the Javanese cultural approach ‘sarasehan.’ In Indonesia, cultural formats are often used to circulate messages for the public.  Sarasehan is a type of informal public meeting that will give the public and government representatives the opportunity to discuss emerging issues and to voice concerns about anti-corruption efforts.

The event itself will be attended by Indonesian law enforcement agencies, government and national artists. It is expected that this cultural approach can strengthen the law enforcement agencies commitment to make concrete steps in combating corruption.

Read more about the SIAP 1 project here.

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USAID-Tarabot partners with Chevron to improve services to Iraq’s neediest citizens

A Celebration Marks the Opening in Dohuk

A Celebration Marks the Opening in Dohuk

In a landmark step forward for the way in which people access public services in Iraq, the nation’s first One-Stop Shop Service Center was opened recently in Dohuk on December 2nd. This particular center will address the long lines and complicated procedures that have previously impeded the dispersal of social benefits, making it easy for the country’s neediest citizens, including widows, disabled persons and orphans, to collect their modest cash stipends from the Kurdistan Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

The Dohuk One-Stop Shop was supported by  the MSI-implemented USAID/Tarabot project in collaboration with Chevron. Chevron is a significant donor supporting the initiative as part of its Iraq Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program.

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Chevron is a significant donor to the Tarabot project.

The opening sets a precedent for the One-Stop Shop model in Iraq, where interest is growing among key government entities. The event also marks the launch of the Tarabot-supported Social Safety Net system in the Kurdistan Region, which is now operational. It provides access to and oversight of social services. These integrated reforms mark a new era in the way citizens interface with their government.

The Tarabot project supports Iraq’s administrative development and civil service, from public policy to new governance methods.

Read more about the project here.

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MSI Wins Important Work in Lebanon to Stabilize Communities

Lebanon map

MSI recently launched a new project in Lebanon.

MSI was recently awarded a significant project in Lebanon to reduce tensions and build community among Lebanese and the Syrian refugees who have entered Lebanon as a result of the continuing civil war in Syria. This is MSI’s first win under the USAID/Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) mechanism known as SWIFT. Through SWIFT, USAID is able to provide fast, short-term assistance to countries.

Partners rapidly deploy initial start-up teams to countries in order to set up offices, hire staff, develop, award and administer small grants, and implement other activities to meet critical short-term needs in political and/or post-conflict transitions.

Initial focus of the work will be in the north of Lebanon and in the Bekaa valley. The MSI team is in place in Beirut and has begun to develop the first grants under this new initiative.


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MSI President Larry Cooley Appointed to Editorial Board of Public Administration Review

PAR JournalMSI’s Larry Cooley recently accepted an appointment to a three-year term on the Editorial Board of Public Administration Review, the flagship journal of the American Society for Public Administration. On the Board, he will bring his expertise in strategic management and public sector performance to evaluate and review manuscripts for the journal, as well as serve on committees.

Previously, he served as the Chairperson of the American Society of Public Administration’s (ASPA) Development Management Network for 15 years and received the National Award for Training Excellence for his work. In 2008, he was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

To learn more about PAR, visit their website or Twitter page.

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MSI Partnering with USAID to Promote Women’s Leadership

From a recent event on good governance, sponsored by USAID/Georgia and implemented by MSI.

Earlier this month, MSI facilitated a two-day workshop focusing on current programming and research on advancing women’s leadership in the public sphere. Topics such as violence against women in politics, building public awareness and support for women’s and youth leadership, more effective engagement with political parties, and building partnerships between academics and practitioners were discussed.

The event was held in partnership with the USAID Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG).

Representatives from MSI, USAID and from Cambodia, Georgia, Kenya, Jordan, and Mexico were on hand to discuss ways forward on women’s leadership programs. These experts and academics reviewed USAID programing to strengthen women’s leadership in politics, and new program directions taken by organizations such as the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute and the InterParliamentary Union. DRG acting director, Caite Lott, chaired the productive and lively workshop.

Data collection is needed to better understand women’s leadership in top levels across the public sector. Members from USAID, two UN agencies, the State Department, and other international organizations shared results of the current efforts to collect this data.

Over 80 experts representing organizations such as the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), the Global Fund for Women, Vital Voices, the Asia Foundation, and the World Bank contributed to discussions.  They gave valuable recommendations on increasing programs and research.

MSI has been actively engaged on women’s issues and projects for decades across a range of sectors including governance, health and education.

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