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Frontpage News 2010 Volunteering against corruption

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Volunteering against corruption

With support from the Hungarian NGO fund of the EEA and Norway Grants, Transparency International Hungary involves volunteers to build awareness and capacity to fight corruption.

From 2007 to 2009, Hungary's ranking on Transparency International's corruption index deteriorated from 39th to 46th place. Even though this is a matter of concern, only a small part of the Hungarian public is well informed about corruption and of anti-corruption measures.

One of the key players in the fight against corruption in Hungary is Transparency International. In order to raise public awareness of corruption and ways to fight it, the organisation strives to broaden their network by attracting and upholding a steady base of committed volunteer workers. The target groups are students, within legal and social sciences, experts from non-governmental organisations in the field of human rights and democracy and other politically interested people from public sector.

Providing self-help

Te support of EEA and Norway Grants has allowed Transparency International Hungary to recruit 20 students to a volunteer program, directly involving the volunteers in specific projects run by the organisation.

One of the projects in focus is to create a legal advice website providing self-help information and tools to help people exposed to corruption in their everyday life deal with the problems. The website, which is to be launched in May, will provide information on what kind of documents to fill out and how and where to turn for help.

Monitoring the election campaign

Another project, which has received considerable media attention, is the website Kepmutatas, which is a joint initiative by Freedom House Europe and Transparency International Hungary to bring more transparency and accountability to party- and campaign financing in the country.

According to law, the parties in Hungary are allowed to spend a limited amount of money on election campaigning. To monitor the actual spending of the parties, the volunteers join all campaign events related to the upcoming parliamentary election in Hungary to report on the campaign materials and possible expenditures related to the election campaign. The costs are checked and calculated by a team of experts before published on the website.

Photo credit: Transparency International Hungary