Civil Society Strengthening

Civil society engagement and participation are vital elements in the fight against corruption, as illustrated in Article 13 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). As a civil society
organization ourselves, ACT-SA recognizes and affirms the indispensable role of civil society in combating corruption. Civil society’s diverse contributions range from monitoring government activities to call for increased transparency and access to information, advocating for principles of transparency, accountability, and good governance, to implementing anti-corruption awareness campaigns and actively contributing to policy formation and monitoring the implementation of national, regional, and international anti-corruption frameworks.
Civil society have also been commended for contributing towards fast-tracking the implementation of the UNCAC.

The role of ACT-SA as a conduit for enhancing civil society collaboration and collective action in the fight against corruption is exemplary. By empowering civil society organizations to work together, in coalition, ACT-SA seeks to augment the influence of their collective contributions in tackling corruption.

 ACT-SA’s contributions to the strengthening of civil society in this critical endeavor facilitates opportunities for knowledge sharing, capacity building, and experience exchange among civil society organizations across Southern Africa to promote best practices and effective strategies in anti-corruption efforts

Examples of this impact

The following are illustrative examples of ACT-SA contributions to civil society strengthening:

1- Strengthening the Zimbabwe Civil Society Anti-Corruption Coalition (ZCSACC):  The formation of the Coalition was catalyzed by the understanding that corruption in Zimbabwe is a pervasive and far-reaching issue that requires a multifaceted and comprehensive approach. To effectively combat corruption, civil society organizations must work in collaboration, as opposed to operating in isolation. By joining forces and resources, the coalition can effectively avoid duplication of efforts, maximize the impact of their interventions, and optimize the utilization of available resources. As of October 2022, 22 civil society organizations had joined the Coalition in Zimbabwe, representing a commendable step toward a united front in the fight against corruption

2- Strengthening the Civil Society Organisations Initiative for Stolen Asset Recovery in Southern Africa (CSO-ISARSA): The establishment of the Civil Society Initiative on Stolen Asset Recovery in Southern Africa (CSO-ISARSA) was a milestone initiative driven by ACT-SA with the aim of promoting advocacy and awareness around the recovery of stolen assets in the Southern African region. Through concerted efforts, by 26th April 2021, the initiative garnered the endorsement of 15 civil society organizations, representing 10 countries in Southern Africa. This demonstrated a significant level of commitment by civil society organizations to collaborate and work together in this critical area, in order to effectively address the issue of asset recovery and prevent the concealment of stolen assets.

3- Southern African Anti-Corruption Network (SAACoN): ACT-SA chairs  SAACoN which is a collaborative effort that unites civil society organizations and some anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) in Southern Africa. These organizations have joined forces with the shared objective of eradicating corruption and ensuring the effective implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol against Corruption (SADC-PAC). The network currently consists of 15 members from various SADC Member States, encompassing both ACAs and civil society organizations. The chairmanship of SAACoN, ACT-SA bears a great responsibility, and as such, the organization is committed to ensuring that the network's objectives are achieved. As the chair, ACT-SA has the opportunity to take a leading role in coordinating the network's efforts and ensuring that progress is made toward combating corruption in the Southern African region. With its chairmanship, ACT-SA is aiming to steer the network's initiatives towards the realization of its objectives, thereby contributing to the overall advancement of good governance and anti-corruption efforts in the region. Read More


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