2nd International Youth to Youth Summit Krakow, Poland, 21st-25th April 2016
Why should I care? Understanding implications of corruption, transparency & accountability on our lives
The 2016 Summit will be the second thematic event focused on Accountability, Transparency and Good Governance. The aim of the event is to bring together the brightest students, youth activists, leaders in the society, entrepreneurs, professors and businessman to start a dialogue on implications of corruption, transparency and accountability on our lives.
Have you ever wondered why have you not been selected for the grant that without a doubt you were the strongest candidate for? Have you ever felt cheated that you did not get the internship/job that you were applicable for?
The problem of corruption, lack of transparency and accountability is really cross-disciplinary and it cuts across the themes of good governance, institutions, public business, entrepreneurship, provision of public services, public procurement, development, humanitarian aid, health, water, international conventions, intergovernmental bodies, access to information. Corruption is a global phenomenon found in all countries. Corruption erodes corporate identity, undermines development, weakens confidence between business partners and can destroy the reputation. Many people think that the theme has nothing to do with them. People must realize that corruption influences the life of each and every citizen.
Our Summit will help to understand the facets of this very important issue on our daily life. The project focuses on delivering the information and coming up with new tools and creative means to crack corruption, lack of accountability and transparency. We often hear about corruption scandals and intrigues concerning nepotism amongst officials, or senior representatives, but rarely realize that the problem starts on lower levels and that needs to be faced right from the roots. This is why youth needs to be equipped in tools to fight corruption and lack of fairness.
On 21st-25th April 2016 Youth to Youth Initiative, in partnership with AEGEE Krakow will bring together about 100 bright young leaders together and offer meaningful discussion on following 6 topics:
1. Corruption and the private sector
Private sector companies and individuals have a huge degree of influence in many areas of public interest. Corruption in the private sector particularly damages developing countries, and often involves businesses corrupting public officials with bribes and kickbacks. Corruption can, of course, also be conducted between private sector actors.
Corruption in the private sector creates unfair competition, and can involve manipulating public procurements. This directly effects the public of countries in which the corruption takes place, as public money is siphoned away to line the pockets of directors and owners. This can also lead to public infrastructure being poorly constructed, requiring further public investment which is again extracted by private companies. As private sector interests have influence over public sectors, from education and health care to power, corruption in the sector has huge potential to effect all areas of society.
Private sector actors can also seek to manipulate political decision making, abuse legal loopholes and hide their corrupt acts and gains behind strings of shell-companies that often offers complete impunity to the corrupt.
Over the past two decades, a number of mechanisms and corporate reporting standards have been developed which are helping to identify and reduce the impact of private sector corruption.
2. Corruption and civic empowerment (civil society)
Civil society has a major role to play in uncovering, monitoring, and fighting corruption, and is often on the front line of the battle against corrupt politicians and private companies.
Civil society groups can get together to monitor public budgets, offer insight and local knowledge into new environmental projects, observe and monitor elections, and report corruption to governmental institutions or investigative journalists.
Working together gives the public a stronger voice with which to fight back against corruption. Alone, individuals can be easily ignored by a country and its bureaucracy. However, with the committed voices of other members of the public in support, civil society can work together to get their voices heard and their complaints addressed.
However, in many countries civil society is cracked down on, seriously limiting the ability of the public from countering corruption. In such circumstances, assistance from international civil society movements, and intuitive use of what rights are permitted can allow for civil society to make effective anti-corruption changes happen. International groups such as Transparency International and Global Witness can make a big difference by supporting grass-roots level civil society find its voice.
3. Corruption and youth
The youth of today represent a large portion of society. The world’s youth have a huge part to play in countering corruption and fighting back in sectors and countries where it has become entrenched. Given their unique position within society, young people offer the opportunity for traditional norms to be challenged – they have a far lower vested interest in preserving the corrupt status quo.
Young people are presented with the issue of corruption on a daily basis, and it has the potential to damage the futures of those who it affects. They are also more vulnerable to corruption as they exist in a perceived position of weakness in relation to their superiors. Corruption in the education sector can prevent an individual’s progress; corruption in the health sector can lead to medical care being unavailable, or only at a high cost, therefore leading to young people being forced to look after their families at home rather than progressing their lives and careers.
Young people can bring innovation and new technologies to the fight against corruption. Moreover, they are more likely to engage in activism as opposed to simply attending trainings and listening to lectures.
4. Corruption and culture
Corruption is viewed differently by different people around the world. What to some may seem like an unacceptable example bribery may to others be just an example of good hospitality, and therefore not an issue. There is, therefore, no cut-and-dry solution to fight corruption. There is no silver bullet.
Anti-corruption efforts are widely seen as context-specific; something that may work in one context may be totally unsuitable for the issues faced in another.
5. Corruption and education
Corruption affects all aspects of education, from the first day of school onwards, and can effect students, families, and whole communities and countries. A lack of fair access to education can seriously impair the development potential of individuals, and wastes the potential of new generations for the countries that need them the most.
This can include corruption that directly affects students and their families; from parents having to pay a bribe to ensure their children gain a place at a school, to students having to pay bribes to their teachers in order to receive a fair (or unfair) grade. Corruption can act as an additional tax on the poor, who can be forced to choose between education and food. Such bribes may not always have a monetary value, and sexual ‘favours’ can be exchanged or solicited as part of the bribe.
Corruption can also be found in the governance of schools and universities, and can see education budgets reduced by teachers and administrators looking to gain for themselves. Furthermore, corruption at the government level can result in schools not even being built, as construction and education budgets disappear into the pockets of corrupt government officials.
6. Revealing corruption (Initiatives and actions)
The media and technology play a vital role in uncovering corruption. It plays a key role first in monitoring and investigating corrupt politicians and the actions of private companies, and then relays this information to the public, informing those who are often most affected by the corruption.
Investigative journalism in particular is important, as it often uncovers facts that could not have been discovered by any other means. Linked to this, the rise in new media outlets, such as blogs and 24-hour news, means that there is a wealth of information. This heightened level of scrutiny that corrupt officials or actors are placed under can directly lead to corruption being uncovered, and may indeed play its own role in the reduction of corruption levels overall, as the corrupt realise that they are more at risk of discovery.
New and innovative technologies can also help in the fight against corruption. Hackers can use their computer skills to get access to the files of the corrupt and share them with the world. At the same time, new technologies can be introduced which make getting away with corruption much harder; for example electronic vote counting machines or electronic public procurement platforms. These innovative uses of technology still require the people operating them to act with integrity, but also offer many more ways in which to uncover and prevent corruption.
The event will include various activities such as:
- Panel sessions
- Interactive workshops
- Role model games and simulations
- Drawing the declaration of the Y2Y Summit
- Development and creation of scenarios and strategies for real youth involvement in solving local and global challenges
- Exhibition of cultural and traditional things
- Cultural performances (participants, embassies, etc.)
- City tour
The organization team of the summit!