08/07/2020

Strengthening civil society organisations

Our work with CSOs aims to build stronger capacity for civil society action on asset recovery. We provide support to NGOs, especially in the Global South, to work on cases of asset recovery and the systemic causes of public asset theft. We also support cross border collaboration and provide support on security challenges.

Background

Lack of capacity is still the major issue for greater involvement of civil society organisations in engaging on asset recovery, particularly those from the Global South for whom a major case may be the first time they work on the topic. While more organisations have become involved in the issue in the last four years, numbers are still too few relative to the size of the issue. There are also large knowledge gaps in several civic actors, particularly in understanding how and when to advocate for government action on individual cases and in how to use asset recovery for systemic change.

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The past four years have seen civil society organisations come together for the Global Forum for Asset Recovery and other international conferences and events, as well as part of case-specific advocacy groups. It has also seen us lead a coordinated effort to develop Global CSO Principles.

Despite this, there are still barriers to cooperation between civil society organisations, where there is still a big over-representation of civil society from financial centres in events and in coordination groups. There are also still too often CSOs working on the same case from two different jurisdictions without cooperating with each other, potentially undermining any gains they could make by acting cooperatively.

What we’re doing

Our work with CSOs includes: capacity building in the Global South for NGOs that need it, support for cross-border strategizing, advocacy and campaigns on cases and on our Global Priorities and building stronger links across actors working on asset recovery to enable more effective prosecution and recovery.  A priority of this work is on using asset recovery to transform governance in the countries of origin and destination.

We are also supporting activists to improve their when working on this topic, supporting civil society actors to build their networks through meetings and events, and expanding our databases of engaged actors and individuals.

Projects

Strengthening the role of civil society in sanctions and asset recovery

Working across Kenya, Mexico, Moldova, and Mozambique, this project aims foster debate and cross-regional exchange on combating transnational corruption, as well as build the capacity of civil society in those countries on sanctions and asset recovery.

Civil society and asset recovery: global scoping

This project is our mapping and assessment of civil society organisations working on asset recovery from the countries currently involved in stolen asset cases. The objective is to build a ‘who-what-where database’ that  accessible to civil society organizations working in this field.

Fighting illicit financial flows: Youth activism

Our youth projects work with early-career professionals and students to engage them in the issue of illicit financial flows and asset recovery and provide them with the skills and experience to take this knowledge forward into their careers.