4 Governance and accountability |
Creating inclusive public institutions
56. The World Development Report concludes that "institutional
legitimacy is the key to stability."
When states cannot or do not provide basic security, guard against
corruption or provide access to justice, and when there are few
employment opportunities and communities lose social cohesion,
the risk of conflict increases. Helping to create better institutions
which can deliver security, justice and basic services in an inclusive
manner to the population is therefore an important component of
post-conflict state building. DFID has a role to play, along
with other donors.
57. The World Development Report also points out
that strengthening governance systems in fragile states is particularly
difficult because citizen expectations may be too low due to mistrust,
or too high, wanting immediate transformations. However, the changes
needed will take timeoften a generationif they are
to be durable. Expectations of change therefore need to be tempered
to recognise that results may not be apparent for many years.
There is an important balance to be struck between wanting to
see early results from donor funding and ensuring stability.
DFID's approach to strengthening
58. Strengthening governance and security in fragile
and conflict-affected states is one of the structural reform priorities
set out in DFID's 2010 Business Plan. DFID focuses on the institutions
responsible for supplying public services, and civil society or
public demands for more accountable institutions and better services:
We support better governance at the national level
by working on institutions, parliaments and service delivery,
and are increasing our focus on sub-national levels including
local governance structures and communities. We work closely with
civil society to help deliver services but also as an agent of
change and to help hold governments to account.
59. In general DFID allocates a significant part
of its assistance in country programmes to improving governance.
For example in the DRC governance and security will receive £25
million per year (or 12% of DFID's budget for the DRC) in 2011-12
rising to £30 million (or 11% of the budget) in 2014-15.
DFID plans to work increasingly towards reform and strengthening
capability at the local level to kick start reform of basic services.
In addition it will work to build state capacity in core state
functions such as civilian protection and strengthen accountability
through the media and civil society.
Support for elections
60. DFID views support for elections as one step
in a much broader process of building a more inclusive political
system. In the DRC DFID has been providing assistance to parliament,
political parties and the electoral commission as well as supporting
civil society organisations and the media to improve accountability
and transparency. Donor support of the 2011 elections will cover
37% of the costs compared to 90% in 2006.
DFID has provided £58.8 million through the UN Development
Programme to consolidate the democratic framework and increase
citizen participation in the political system. DFID says it will
ensure 31 million voters are registered for the elections.
61. We visited a voter registration centre in Goma.
It had a sophisticated system involving biometric data. The registration
process could be completed with an hour, although people could
expect to queue for many hours, collecting numbered tickets early
in the morning and returning later in the day. The voter registration
data was entered onto a computer, stored onto a disk and then
transferred to Kinshasa for "cleaning." This would allow
management of the central data to remove duplicates and false
registrations. DFID told the Committee that holding elections
in a country the size of the DRC was expensive, but not excessive
given the constraints. In particular the lack of infrastructure
meant some communities were hard to reach.
62. Human Rights Watch have welcomed the importance
that DFID has placed on "helping countries to build open
and responsive political systems, [...] and empower citizens to
hold their governments to account." However, they also stressed
that DFID should view elections as a starting point only in the
statebuilding process. Ensuring the rule of law, protection of
human rights and dealing with impunity were as important.
International Alert said that, in addition to the technocratic
aspect of organising elections, donors should be concerned with
"empowerment, inclusion and drawing groups in that traditionally
are not represented in these powerbroking elites?"
In particular, they pointed out that the percentage of women represented
in the national government decreased after the 2006 election from
12% to 8%.
63. A UN report on human rights in the pre-election
period in the DRC found that there were 188 cases of human rights
violations in the year leading up to September 2011. It noted
that the situation in the East was of particular concern. Political
parties were targeted and members locked up or subjected to ill-treatment.
Other political parties had not imposed restraints on their followers.
The report also highlighted a trend of manipulation of the police,
intelligence and justice sectors by political actors. It concluded
that "the continued repression of human rights and fundamental
freedoms in the pre-electoral period may increase the likelihood
of individuals and political parties resorting to violent means,
endanger the democratic process and lead to post-electoral violence."
64. As this report went to press, the results of
the election were not yet confirmed, although it seemed likely
that President Kabila would secure a second term with about 49%
of the votes. The main opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi,
obtained 32% according to the results and has disputed the outcome.
The risks of post-election violence were real. A mediation team,
formed with the backing of the election commission and the UN
peacekeeping force, MONUSCO, has held talks with President Kabila
and Mr Tshisekedi in a bid to defuse tensions.
for democratic elections contributes to better governance, but
it is only a starting point. We support DFID's efforts to assist
with the voter registration process in the DRC although we do
have concerns about using expensive biometric systems. DFID must
also ensure that wider issues of empowerment and inclusion, especially
for women, are discussed as part of the wider electoral agenda.
The rise in pre-election violence, especially in the East, was
worrying. However, events have overtaken us and the general election
has taken place. We expect the UK Government to make representations
to its political partners there to ensure such violence does not
also mar the local elections scheduled for 2013. The international
community must obtain guarantees from the DRC Government that
these less high profile elections take place as planned.
Impunity and human rights
66. It is widely held that the best way to strengthen
governance systems is by working with them. The Paris Principles
on Aid Effectiveness refer to this as alignment with government
systems. As discussed in the previous chapter, delivering aid
through government systems in the form of general or sector budget
support is one way of doing this.
67. However, concerns have been expressed about aspects
of governance in Rwanda. The NGO Human Rights Watch said:
"the Rwandan government's methods of governance
have accentuated public disillusion and frustration, cutting across
ethnic, regional and political lines. Although most Rwandans do
not express these feelings openly for fear of repercussions, private
conversations with Rwandans from a range of backgrounds reveal
that many people feel alienated by the political climate."
The organisation added that DFID tended to focus
too much on "the technocratic dimensions of building up state
capacity, and not enough on whether the Government is upholding
human rights, whether it is respecting the rule of law and whether
it is allowing journalists to operate freely."
68. Human Rights Watch also pointed out that the
UK was in a strong position to influence the Government of Rwanda.
Not only was the UK the largest donor, it also had a ten year
Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Rwanda which
included consideration of human rights and responsible government.
Good governance was a key component of many of DFID's programmes
in Rwanda and amounted to approximately 30% of DFID's budget there,
but according to Human Rights Watch this did not appear "to
have made any appreciable impact on the observance of human rights
or the responsiveness and transparency of governance in Rwanda.
[...]Indeed, with respect to freedom of expression and political
space, the situation may even have worsened in the last 10 years"
69. On our visit we met with human rights NGOs, lawyers
and journalists in Kigali. They explained how difficult it was
to have a mature discussion about human rights with the Government.
A recent "genocide ideology law" had made it difficult
for journalists or human rights groups to express any concerns.
Tensions were building up under the surface because people were
unable to speak openly. The press reported that the Government
of Rwanda was attempting to assassinate Rwandans in exile in the
UK and that the Metropolitan Police were investigating this.
70. We asked the Secretary of State his views on
the human rights situation in Rwanda. He said:
Certainly, on a number of occasions I have raised
with the President and his Ministers the issue of press freedom
and the issue of multi-party democracy. I think we need to respect
the views of the Government of Rwanda about the difficulty of
having political plurality in the aftermath of a genocide, where
there are great dangers with a population that are not as literate
as Western populations. We need to respect their concerns about
issues of genocide ideology and so forth, but equally we need
to see progress towards greater political freedom and plurality
understand the difficulties faced by the Government of Rwanda
in trying to forge a united country and make progress towards
the Millennium Development Goals whilst still recovering from
the genocide 17 years ago. Rwanda has made remarkable progress
on both fronts and the UK Government has placed great faith in
Rwanda's capacity to continue to do so. We appreciate the Government
of Rwanda has concerns about those who fled Rwanda in the aftermath
of the genocide and for whom there is no right of extradition
from EU countries. Nevertheless we believe the UK Government should
set out some indicators or benchmarks in its budget support agreements
about what type of improvements it expects to see in areas such
as freedom of speech and of association over the remaining period
covered by the Memorandum of Understanding. This might include
ensuring human rights organisations can operate freely and improving
freedom of the press.
Improving accountability and
transparency in the mining sector
72. Another area of concern brought to our attention
has been the management of the mineral sector in the DRC. This
sector accounts for approximately 70% of the country's exports
and 28% of its GDP.
According to Global Witness much of this wealth is being
used to fund and perpetuate conflict in the DRC when it is used
by armed militia groups to fund campaigns and prolong fighting.
Others argue that, while economic profit provides one motive for
fighting or prolonging conflict, longstanding tensions over ethnicity,
citizenship and land rights are also relevant, especially in eastern
DRC, and that the militarisation of trade in minerals has occurred
because of the weakness of the Government in eastern DRC.
73. The minerals in the DRC are a source of considerable
wealth. It is estimated that DRC holds 80% of the world's coltan,
used in mobile phones and other electronic equipment, 49% of its
cobalt and 10% of its copper reserves.
The mineral sector has the potential to contribute $1,184 million
per annum to government revenues between 2015 and 2020, based
upon improved effectiveness of tax collection and reasonable assumptions
of increased investment in the sector because of a more attractive
However, recent activities in the sector demonstrate that despite
some improvements in governance, transactions are not always transparent,
and mismanagement and corruption continue.
FIRST QUANTUM AND PROMINES
74. In the autumn of 2010 the World Bank suspended
new aid disbursements to the DRC following decisions in the mining
and forestry sector including the confiscation of assets held
by international companies. One of these was the KMT mining operation
in south eastern Katanga province. The operations were owned 65%
by First Quantumlisted on the Toronto and London stock
exchanges10% by the South African state's Industrial Development
Corporation and 7.5% by the World Bank's International Finance
Corporation. The DRC Government cited irregularities as the reason
for its action. The World Bank demanded that the rights to KMT
not be sold on as long as the dispute remained unresolved.
75. Global Witness claimed that, in early August,
the DRC announced publicly that it had sold on the rights to KMT
to a company called Metalkol, owned 70% by Highwind Properties
Ltd, a company owned by Dan Gertler, an Israeli billionaire who
is said to be close to President Joseph Kabila.
This, combined with other actions by the Congolese Government,
led the World Bank to freeze all new programmes, including Promines,
a project co-funded by DFID, to regulate the mining sector and
improve its transparency.
76. For the suspension to be lifted, the DRC agreed
to fulfil a number of conditions, including to publish all agreements
in the mining, oil and forestry sectors. The document in which
this is all laid out is called the "economic governance matrix."
Global Witness told us "The key thing [...]was that the Congolese
Government promised to publish natural resource contracts. All
contracts in mining, oil and forest would be published within
60 days of their coming into effect. This is a really big thing
and it is very unusual for any country in the world to promise
to publish natural resource contracts. That is a brilliant thing."
77. However, Global Witness pointed out that there
had been further secret sales of state owned companies and that
these represented sizable sums of money: "Based on what we
have seen so far, the recent secret sales amounted to well over
$2.6 billion$2.6 billion in a country with a GDP of around
$12 billion. They were not announced. We have no idea what these
Global Witness argued that DFID should suspend a portion of its
governance aid until the DRC made greater improvements in this
area. The Secretary
of State told us: "There are no easy answers to these issues.
There is a longstanding issue and problem with mineral extraction
in the DRC. It would be facile of me to think that any one particular
measure is going to remedy that."
78. There is
a long history of mineral wealth being used to fund and perpetuate
conflict and criminality in the DRC, especially in the East. The
Government of the DRC has taken some measures to regulate the
industry: however, it is clear that these remain insufficient.
The World Bank Economic Governance Matrix, with which the Government
of DRC complied, strikes us as a good example of a means of helping
to create greater transparency and accountability in the industry.
We commend the Bank for this approach. However, the Bank may have
been too hasty in resuming funding since the Government of DRC
has continued to permit secret sales of assets and First Quantum
has as yet had no redress. We recommend that DFID give transparency
and accountability in this sector greater priority, building on
its work with Promines. The mineral sector has the potential to
generate significant wealth which must be used for the benefit
of the people of DRC. Given the linkages between this sector and
conflict in the DRC the risks of not properly managing this sector
are that development gains made elsewhere will be forgone. DFID
must set out clearly for the Government of the DRC what it expects
in terms of transparency and accountability in the mineral sector
and withdraw assistance if these expectations are not met.
Improving the confidence of ordinary
citizens in their state
79. Improving governance involves helping citizens
and communities to hold governments to account for service provision.
This usually involves investing in civil society strengthening
programmes. We met with the recipients of one such programme,
Tuungane, in the DRC. Tuungane's goal is to ensure that community
priorities and well-being are supported by capable and accountable
local governance systems. Local communities, which were chosen
at random, were organised to identify a project. Some communities
chose a clinic or a school; others a meeting room or a water tap.
We visited two different communities benefiting from this programmea
secondary school and the Bunyakiri health centre, and a village
where the local village council, headed by a woman, had decided
they wanted to have a water pipe which delivered fresh water which
was easy to access and keep clean. It was clear that giving communities
an opportunity to prioritise how their village would develop created
a good sense of empowerment and ownership although at times there
was confusion over the communities' expectations. DFID will spend
17% (£25 million) of its annual DRC budget on such community
programmes in 2011-12 but this is projected to decrease to about
7% (£17 million) of the budget by 2014-15.
80. It is not always easy to defend significant investments
in governance which do not necessarily provide immediate measurable
results. Dr Wheeler of the Institute of Development Studies told
us: "It is very difficult to measure governance-related outcomes,
and there is a bit of a concern that sometimes the more important
things that happen in development are the least easy to measure.
If there is a really heavy focus on measuring, there is a risk
that we end up doing what is measurable, rather than what is actually
most important to do."
better relations between the state and society, increasing responsiveness,
responsibility and citizenship, should be a key component of governance
programmes. Increasing the degree of local ownership over programmes
helps to build bottom up accountability and increases political
legitimacya key component of peace building in post-conflict
societies. DFID should ensure that it does not focus excessively
on formal institutions at the expense on informal community-building
approaches. We recommend that DFID continue to invest at least
10% of its budget in the DRC on bottom-up community building programmes.
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