The Faith and Public Integrity Network held its third global gathering (FPIN3) in January 2020. FPIN3 was held concurrently with the building inauguration by the Association for a More Just Society in Honduras (Asociación para una sociedad más justa, ASJ), one of FPIN’s founding members. ASJ is a Honduran NGO made up of brave Christians who are working to make government systems work, especially for the most vulnerable. For the past 20 years, ASJ has developed a relational, data-first approach to denouncing corruption and supporting the implementation of systemic government reforms.
It was incredible for FPIN members to meet in person, with the ten attending members coming from Brazil, India, Mexico, Nepal, South Sudan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, representing a range of anticorruption work from Christian discipleship, to policy-making, financial transparency, social auditing government programs, and more. FPIN3 provided technical resources to advance our members’ anticorruption programming, but more importantly, this gathering built up relational connections between like-minded brothers and sisters – and that was deeply refreshing to the soul.
Person-to-person connections provide the strong foundation where we can build the difficult, technical, long-term strategies for fighting corruption.
At FPIN3, members listened to presentations together, then discussed how the content affected them personally, with sessions constantly filled with prayer, sharing, and encouragement. The face to face connections between friends fighting in this same fight, with the same grit, with the same passion, enabled each of us to go back home knowing we are not in this alone.
FPIN’s attending members were deeply impressed by the brave and strategic auditing programs developed by ASJ that improve the effectiveness and transparency of government.
Seeing ASJ’s work first-hand inspired network members to imagine how churches could play a stronger role in educating, organizing, and mobilizing its members to participate in such powerful work. Throughout the 4-day visit, FPIN members were privileged to dig into various aspects of ASJ programming:
- ASJ’s organizational strategy that uses a data-first approach to advocacy and change, by Kurt Ver Beek (Board President) and Maribel Muñoz (Director of Programs) Watch an interview of Kurt and Maribel.
- Compliance auditing processes that compare actual performance of government institutions to legal and policy requirements, by Keila Garcia (Director of Governance and Public Management). Check out this article or video highlighting Keila.
- Electoral reform for fair elections, transparent political finance, and an improved electronic ballot system, by Lester Ramírez (Director of Transparency and Governance) See some of his writing (in Spanish) in online magazine Revistazo.
- “Brave Christians” a group of young pastors who are using social media to mobilize young people to think about, petition, and act against corruption. Watch their interactive campaigns on Facebook.
- Community visits to projects on health, land reform, and education
FPIN members also took the stage to share their own experiences in fighting corruption
Arpit Waghmare (India) Creating safe spaces and strong systems for financial transparency among church leaders
Elda Valim Fim (Brazil) Organizing community-based social accountability measures
Jean-Luc Krieg (Mexico) Building a change model for lasting change of urban slums