Business Anti-Corruption Portal for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises operating in Emerging Markets.

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Business Anti-Corruption Portal for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises operating in Emerging Markets.

Denmark
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

When small and medium-sized companies do business and invest in emerging markets they are often exposed to the risk of corruption. They do not have the market power or internal integrity systems of large companies, but are subject to the same demands from legislation, business partners and civil society on combating and avoiding corruption. Many companies do not have the necessary knowledge and tools to handle this dilemma.

The Portal www.business-anti-corruption.com is constructed as a “one-stop-shop” with information and tools on anti-corruption for companies operating in emerging markets.

The central elements are:
• Country Profiles with detailed information about corruption in the Danish development program countries categorized according to sectors and levels. Facts about public and private anti-corruption initiatives and ratification status on international conventions. 24 countries are currently covered.
• Due Diligence Tools for identifying and avoiding corruption risks in typical business situations such as agent agreements, joint ventures and consultant contracts
• Integrity System on how to integrate anti-corruption policies and practices in the existing company procedures
• Contact Network - an entry point to public and private organisations in the countries covered
• About Corruption section on relevant legislation, public and private initiatives and a business corruption vocabulary
• Links to business relevant national and international organizations, initiatives and tools that can help companies to combat and avoid corruption
• Training modules on business anti-corruption based on the portal

The primary target group is SMEs from Denmark and OECD-countries operating in developing countries. The portal aims to reduce corruption in developing countries by providing tools and informatio

About You
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Your idea
Focus of activity

Community Involvement

Year the initative began (yyyy)

2006

Positioning of your initiative on the mosaic diagram,
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Limited Information & Complicity

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Shift Power Outside the Corrupt System

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic:
Innovation
Description of initiative

When small and medium-sized companies do business and invest in emerging markets they are often exposed to the risk of corruption. They do not have the market power or internal integrity systems of large companies, but are subject to the same demands from legislation, business partners and civil society on combating and avoiding corruption. Many companies do not have the necessary knowledge and tools to handle this dilemma.

The Portal www.business-anti-corruption.com is constructed as a “one-stop-shop” with information and tools on anti-corruption for companies operating in emerging markets.

The central elements are:
• Country Profiles with detailed information about corruption in the Danish development program countries categorized according to sectors and levels. Facts about public and private anti-corruption initiatives and ratification status on international conventions. 24 countries are currently covered.
• Due Diligence Tools for identifying and avoiding corruption risks in typical business situations such as agent agreements, joint ventures and consultant contracts
• Integrity System on how to integrate anti-corruption policies and practices in the existing company procedures
• Contact Network - an entry point to public and private organisations in the countries covered
• About Corruption section on relevant legislation, public and private initiatives and a business corruption vocabulary
• Links to business relevant national and international organizations, initiatives and tools that can help companies to combat and avoid corruption
• Training modules on business anti-corruption based on the portal

The primary target group is SMEs from Denmark and OECD-countries operating in developing countries. The portal aims to reduce corruption in developing countries by providing tools and informatio

Innovation

Small and medium sized enterprises often lack the resources, information and market power to avoid corruption. There is currently much information available on corruption, but this is usually difficult to access for SMEs. There are also many anti-corruption tools and guidelines available, but these are targeted at larger companies with more resources and capacities to create and enforce comprehensive corporate governance policies. Furthermore, SMEs are very dependent on contacts and partner in their operation and therefore need an entry point for building a network of pro-integrity partners. The Business Anti-Corruption Portal is the only free tool directed at SME that connects a networking dimension with country and sector specific information delivered in an easy-to-access format in addition to generic tools to implement anti-corruption policies in the existing company procedures and conduct simple due diligence analyses. By providing these tools, SMEs can become active partners in the fight against corruption in developing countries by having the necessary information, policies and procedures, and by working in networks with organisations working to reduce corruption.

Delivery Model

The Portal is delivered free of charge on the Internet (<a href="http://www.business-anti-corruption.com">http://www.business-anti-corrup...), a medium widely used and available to SMEs from OECD-countries engaging in business and partnerships in developing countries, and it is linked to by international organisations, business associations and NGOs. The impact of the delivery model is measured through usage statistics, where information in referring sites is available. The Portal has between 1500 and 2000 unique users per month (approx. 125 000 to 190 000 hits).

Key Operational Partnerships

- The Danish International Development Agency: Co-finances the Portal and uses it in business-to-business programmes
- Transparency International: Links to the Portal as a <a href="http://www.transparency.org/global_priorities/private_sector/links_priva... tool to implement TIs business principles for countering bribery</a> and provides data through research and local chapters
- U4: <a href="http://www.u4.no/document/otherguides.cfm">Links to the Portal as a private sector tool</a>
- UN Global Compact: The portal is a <a href="http://www.globalcompact.org/Issues/transparency_anticorruption/index.ht... tool in implementing the 10th principle on anti-corruption</a>
- Danish SMEs with experience in emerging markets through business-to-business programmes: Guidance on needs and experiences of SMEs operating in developing countries helps to develop and improve the tools
- Network of Danish Development NGOs: Provide knowledge on business-NGO cooperation in developing countries
- BIAC and TUAC, the OECD Business Industry and Trade Union Advisory Committees have <a href="http://www.tuac.org/statemen/communiq/06-08%20BIAC-TUAC%20on%20Anti%20Co... the Portal in a joint statement</a>

The Portal will be expanded to cover at least 50 countries within the next 6 months with the assistance of additional donor agencies. This will increase the relevance and outreach and engage the business communities of the new donor countri

Impact
Financial Model

The Portal is co-financed by the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) and Global Advice Network. The continued finance will be provided by Danida and a group of other donor agencies. The Portal is provided free of charge to the beneficiaries, as focus has been on ensuring maximum outreach and impact, which is secured through a high level of usage. Furthermore, data used in the Portal stems from publicly available sources and such information should be kept public and openly available. The Portal is continually improved through input from a variety of users (business, NGOs, academics, government agencies), focus on a wide user base helps to keep the informational up to date and increase the number of organisations in the networks.

What percentage, if any, of the total operating costs does earned income (from products, services, or other fees) represent?

100

How is the initiative financed? Is it financially self-sustainable or profitable? How much do beneficiaries contribute?

In order to enhance the use of the Portal, and thereby give the as many users as possible access to the information and tools to avoid corruption, the Portal is provided free of charge. The funding for running the Portal is provided by the Danish International Development Agency (Danida). The Portal is non-profit and the beneficiaries do not directly contribute, although the development funds from Danida come from Danish tax money.

Effectiveness

A side effect has been increased cooperation and dialogue between donor agencies, business and NGOs. Although the Portal was primarily aimed at SMEs from OECD-countries, many companies from developing countries use the Portal tools and networks to get information on their own or other countries. Furthermore, larger and multinational companies use the Portal as well and some have integrated it into their intranets and use it as an information system when assessing the operating environments on their subsidiaries and partners.

Which element of the program proved itself most effective?

The Country Profiles is the element most widely used and has attracted most attention and proved useful for other groups than the direct target group of SMEs.

Number of clients in the last year?

Number of visits 2006 (Portal launched August 25th): 9113
Number of visits 2007 (Jan-April 19): 8522

What is the potential demand?

Anti-corruption and business strategies in development contexts are gaining momentum and the demand for tools to engage private sector in the fight against corruption and overcome the limitations that SMEs face is rising. With increased focus on implementation of anti-corruption legislation and the increased number of countries ratifying the UNCAC convention, pressure is rising on companies to conduct their business in a transparent and corruption-free manner. The potential demand for the Portal is thus larger than the current outreach and could include larger enterprises, more SMEs than are currently using it, additional donor agencies who have private sector initiatives and international organisations who have already expressed interest in the tools.

Scaling up Strategy

The strategy is to make the Portal more visible through additional partnerships with relevant stakeholders and through the expansion of the coverage by engaging more donor agencies in the project.

Stage of the initiative

1

Expansion plan

The plan is to expand the Portal with more country profiles and tools. This will be done through the involvement of additional donor agencies. Additional tools for due diligence and integration of integrity systems will be developed on the basis of feedback from users.

Origin of the Initiative

The idea originated from Global Advice Network and was proposed to the Danish International Development Agency (Danida). The idea came through a dialogue with SMEs who were frustrated by the lack of simple tools, information and contact networks to avoid corruption when operating in developing countries. Furthermore, Danida needs practical tool to implement their recent anti-corruption policies towards the private sector.

Sustainability
Main Obstacles to Scaling Up

- Limits in the technical platform of the portal (the content management system) could limit future expansions
- Financial limits to development of new tools

Main Financial Challenges

- Finding a sustainable financing scheme without donor involvement while keeping the portal content available free of charge.
- Coordinating donor interests as the number of financial partners grow.

Main Partnership Challenges

- Identification of relevant partners
- Verification of partner input
- Making partners actively involved in the project

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