COVID-19 and Corruption: The Rapid Responders

6.24.2020, 9:00AM

This event is part of an ongoing series, COVID-19 and Corruption, organized by the Anti-Corruption & Governance Center.

As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, speed is essential to saving lives endangered by the pandemic. Yet speed is also a multiplier of opportunities for corruption as ordinary procedures are cast aside for expediency. With that in mind, some of the world’s more nimble anti-corruption NGOs have been moving quickly to meet the challenge head on and mitigate the growing risk of corruption that has been accentuated by the current health emergency.

Globally, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) has taken the lead in quickly facilitating the dissemination of resources that are being created and curated by practitioners around the world. Their comprehensive Open Response + Open Recovery campaign provides an open forum to highlight the ways in which transparency, accountability, inclusivity, and public participation can make a difference. In Africa, CIPE responded swiftly by launching a small-grant competition for CSOs and CIPE Africa Anti-Corruption Compliance Network (AACN) Partners ready to tackle corruption issues exacerbated by the emergency. In Nigeria, a fast-moving civil society organization, Connected Development (CODE), is pushing for increasing levels of transparency and accountability in the Covid-19 context with programs such as the “Follow The Money” initiative, which has resulted in thousands of anti-corruption volunteers using a social mobility platform to effectively track and visualize government coronavirus spending.

Please join the Center for International Private Enterprise for a conversation and Q&A with experts from the three organizations. They will discuss their existing efforts and resources, as well as upcoming projects designed to increase transparency and limit the risk of corruption in the wake of COVID-19.

Joe Powell is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Open Government Partnership. He leads OGP’s global engagements in 78 countries, including working with the OGP Steering Committee, OGP Summits and linking OGP with other multilateral processes. He previously worked for the ONE Campaign, where he was managing ONE’s global campaign for increased transparency in the extractive industries. As Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager at ONE, Joe also led global advocacy on the G20 and policy development for the 2013 G8. Prior to working at ONE Joe launched an online current affairs platform called ‘Uganda Talks’ for the Independent, a weekly East African news magazine, and worked for Action Aid Uganda. He studied at Makerere University. Joe holds a BA from the University of Cambridge.

Lola Adekanye leads the Business Integrity and Anti-Corruption Program in Africa at CIPE, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Her specialty is in public policy on anti-corruption, business ethics and compliance in value chains in emerging markets, and the intersection between technology and public sector accountability. Adekanye oversees programs in over 13 countries designed to strengthen governance systems and promote business integrity. A licensed attorney, member of the New York State Bar and the Nigerian Bar with experience as a corporate attorney and compliance consultant, prior to Joining CIPE, Adekanye consulted for the World Bank. She holds two LL.M degrees; in Securities and International Financial Regulations from Georgetown University and in International Economics from the University of Warwick.

Hamzat Lawal, is an accomplished advocate in Nigeria, with a track record of holding governments accountable to deliver on commitments to social programs and has successfully led grassroots campaigns in over 40 African countries. He is the Founder & Chief Executive of Connected Development (CODE). Founded in 2012, CODE is the largest social accountability and transparency organization in Africa. To date, they have built 50 community governance structures’ capacity to monitor the implementation of $10 million budgeted for social infrastructures in 191 communities and their “Follow The Money” program was awarded the United Nations SDG Action Award in 2019. Hamzat has been recognized for his leadership in numerous ways including by Apolitical which named him one of 2018 and 2019’s world’s 100 most influential people in digital government. He was also recognized amongst the 100 most influential Africans in 2019, joining the ranks of Amina J Mohammed, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Aliko Dangote.

This event, to be introduced by CIPE Executive Director Andrew Wilson, is part of an ongoing series, COVID-19 and Corruption, organized by the Anti-Corruption & Governance Center.