Transparency International begins integrity assessment next month

POSTED: 01/15/14 11:56 AM

Vacancy lead-researcher open for five more days

St. Maarten – Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) has all of its ducks but one in a row to begin with the National Integrity System assessment in St. Maarten. The organization issued a press release yesterday stating that it will “carry out its research in the coming months.”

Before the work begins however, TI needs to find a lead researcher. On its website the organization has opened a vacancy that closes five days from today, on January 20.

From the vacancy, it appears that the work will begin in February and that it will conclude in December of this year. “The lead researcher is responsible for delivery of the key research component of the National Integrity System – the NIS country report,” the text on the website reads.

The researcher will work closely with the Americas department at the TI-secretariat that coordinates the project.

TI wants to sign a contract with a lead researcher before the month is out and an initial kick-off meeting is scheduled for February. The first advisory group meeting will take place in February or March and the desk review and key stakeholder interviews are on the agenda for April until July. The first draft of the country report must be ready in September. After validation of the findings and updates, the final report will be ready in November, and it will then be ready for presentation in November or December.

The lead researcher proposal contains nine requirements the right candidate will have to meet. He does not necessary have to live in St. Maarten but during the project he (or she) will spend at least 25 days on the island for research. Among the requirements are a relevant background in political science, public administration, law and other related social science disciplines. Proven expertise in political institutional analysis and a strong knowledge of the country’s governance system are another requirement. The candidate must also have a proven commitment tom practical policy reform and evidence-based advocacy in the field of anti-corruption and good governance.

In its press release, TI points out that the purpose of the study in St. Marten is “to identify the weaknesses and risk factors that foster corruption” as well as “to produce medium and long term recommendations to help reduce those risks and to promote practices and reforms that prevent corruption.”

The National Integrity System assessment will “evaluate important state institutions and non-state actors, including all branches of the government, as well as the media, the public and private sectors, and civil society, and the role they play in stopping the abuse of power, secret deals and bribery in St. Maarten,” the press release states.

“We look forward to starting to work on this assessment and finding ways for St. marten to shut down corrupt practices at the source while paving the way for greater accountability across the island,” said Alejandro Salas, Transparency International’s regional director for the Americas.

Apart from analyzing corruption risks, the assessment will also offer credible solutions that work in practice, TI stated in the press release. “Dialogue on good governance and transparency reforms should help create a commitment across all sectors of society for institutional reform leading to better policies and more efficient practices,” Salas said.

The final report will “generate anti-corruption recommendations for key institutions and actors to work together to put in place long-term defenses against corruption which, ultimately, will also help them plan for a more just society and a better future for St. Maarten,” the press release states. It concludes with an explicit statement: “Please note that the National Integrity /system assessments do not investigate specific corruption scandals or allegations. They rather look at the underlying causes of corruption.”

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