Parliamentarians from Burkina Faso assess their own performance in preventing corruption
30 April 2012, Governance Assessment Portal
A parliamentary self-assessment tool has been developed to help
parliamentarians in Burkina Faso play a stronger role in the national
implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC),
and more generally in the design, implementation and monitoring of
national anti-corruption strategies, laws and action plans in Burkina
Faso. The UNDP Global Programme on Governance Assessments worked closely
with the BURKINDI network (a coalition of MPs engaged in the fight
against corruption) and UNDP Burkina Faso to organize a workshop on
January 12-13, 2012 (workshop report) during which the parliamentary self-assessment tool on the prevention of corruption was piloted for the first time. The interest generated by this exercise in Burkina Faso is a hopeful sign of the relevance of the tool for the region.
The parliamentary self-assessment tool was developed in response to
similar pleas expressed by other legislatures around the world, and
communicated to UNDP through the UNCAC Working Group of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC).
Over 65 of the 111 Representatives from the National Assembly
participated in the workshop. Also in attendance were representatives
from the Court of Auditors; the National Commission for the Fight
Against Corruption; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of
Finance; civil society organizations involved in the fight against
corruption; independent experts, and media covering parliamentary issues
or who having made requests for information from the National Assembly.
The value of undertaking a parliamentary diagnostic in an open and
participatory manner, in consultation with ‘like-minded actors’ with
whom MPs seldom interact with, was also acknowledged by all.
The Burkinabe assessment was a pioneering initiative – indeed, the first pilot in Africa, and worldwide – in several respects:
First, the ownership of the assessment
process rests firmly with parliamentarians: MPs themselves invited other
actors to take part in the exercise, adapted the methodology to the
local context, and collected data to substantiate their ratings. This is
a marked departure from other international parliamentary assessments
produced by external actors, geared towards the production of global
rankings that achieve little impact on local reform processes.
Second, with regards to the scope of the
assessment, this is the first assessment tool which focuses specifically
on the role of parliamentarians in the fight against corruption, and
more specifically on Chapter 2 of the UNCAC (on the Prevention of
Corruption). MPs appreciated the value of the tool as a means to call
attention to their important role in this regard, and more specifically,
to the structural, political and operational impediments which prevent
them from playing this role effectively.
Third, with regards to the methodology, this tool proposes an innovative approach – a ‘self-assessment with the peers’
– whereby the self-evaluation by MPs is discussed and validated by
other actors (state & non-state) involved in the fight against
corruption. Furthermore, a strong focus is placed on the gathering of
robust evidence to substantiate the ratings (yes/no), based on detailed
Fourth, with regards to the outcomes of this
process, the Burkina exercise enabled the identification of key actions
that must be taken to strengthen the effectiveness of parliament with
regard to corruption prevention, and the identification of key areas
where new coalitions of parliamentarians, oversight institutions and
CSOs can create political demand for full compliance with the UNCAC. A
key outcome of the workshop was the development of a ‘Parliamentary
Barometer on Anti-Corruption’, to help track progress in delivering on
parliamentary commitments to fight corruption.