CiFAR has an international board of experienced project managers, networkers and campaigners with a background in anti-corruption and asset recovery, who are committed to and passionate about fighting the theft of state assets.
Through previous work on asset recovery, our board members have a network of contacts already in place in civil society, government and international organisations, alongside a solid understanding of the challenges for civil society in working on asset recovery and the ways civil society can be empowered to work more effectively in this field.
At CiFAR we work collaboratively with civil society from across the globe against the systems that allow stolen assets to be moved internationally and the individuals that profit from these systems.
Civil society often needs support when a new case of asset theft is identified in their jurisdiction - both in international asset recovery processes and in building connections to other organisations and actors to campaign for a return of assets that is fair, transparent and participatory.
CiFAR's projects span both sides of this equation - we campaign as an organisation to close loopholes allowing asset theft and for justice for those who steal public goods, and we provide training, education and network building for civil society groups and activists to become better at fighting asset theft in their jurisdiction.
The Civil Forum on Asset Recovery (CiFAR) will aim to act as the voice for civil society worldwide on stolen assets and close the gap missing in global civil society asset recovery work. We want to be a civil society resource, with the skills, knowledge and network to help civil society new to the topic to understand how they can be active nationally and internationally to fight public asset theft and help to return stolen assets. We want to convene and support civil society in transnational campaigning, advocacy to institutions and in bringing those responsible for asset theft to account. Our idea is to become a network without formal organisational membership, but bringing together civil society with academic experts, journalists, and officials, to understand, address, investigate and prevent asset theft and campaign for its return.
Our main projects are to:
- Develop the expertise of civil society organizations across the globe to be strong voices on the theft of state assets and to play their role effectively in the asset recovery process
- Enable stronger cross-border civil society cooperation through identifying, building and sustaining connections between civil society organizations in multiple jurisdictions
- Build multi-country civil society campaigns to challenge the impunity individuals and the structures that enable asset theft
1.Training for civil society to advocate to and support governments on asset recovery
2.Training on investigative journalism. It could be directed to civil society, journalists,...
3.Assessment on the capacity of civil society to work with governments on asset recovery (with recommendations)
4.Assessment on the current efforts of the government on asset recovery (with recommendations)
5.Public awareness campaigns by providing brochures, radio programs, special web pages and informative videos in order to promote international cooperation on preventing the theft of state funds and returning stolen assets
6 Facilitating learning between civil society organisations around the globe on asset recovery through networking and meetings
The theft of public assets and their removal from the country of origin is a global phenomenon – both occurring in every country of the world and global in terms of the systems used to illicitly remove and hide state wealth. It a phenomenon that often is carried out by those whose populations are in a situation of relative or extreme poverty and with the explicit or tacit complicity of legal and financial service professionals and public officials in a number of jurisdictions.
Civil society is a vital player in ending the theft of public assets and securing the return and proper use of stolen assets. Across the globe, civil society has been increasingly playing their role, from bringing cases to court, to campaigning to close the legal loopholes that allow assets to be removed, to overseeing funds of returned assets.
Despite this, civil society is not being as effective as it has the potential to be. Currently lacking is coordinated, peer-to-peer, innovative and multi-jurisdiction civil society action on the theft of state assets and support for civil society to play its role in the asset recovery process. Too often civil society organisations work separately or through informal contacts, on what is a by nature a transnational and global issue. Frequently civil society is new to the topic of asset recovery and does not have the experience or contacts to play its part in the process. This leaves organisations fragmented, too often unaware of work happening or developments in other jurisdictions, weak in technical expertise and failing to work on campaigns which really address the transnational aspect of this issue.We have worked in civil society networks and are ideally placed to build a strong and effective civil society coalitions.
For this reason, we believe that it is necessary to empower civil society to work more effectively in this field. CiFAR aims to fill these gaps. Our idea is to become a network without formal organisational membership, but bringing together civil society with academic experts, journalists, and officials, to understand, address, investigate and prevent asset theft and campaign for its return.
The theft of state assets and their recovery is a complex process. However, beyond this process it is also one with little citizen oversight.
Despite the need for civil society to push for greater accountability and to work across borders, to date there has been no space for civil society to cooperate transnationally on asset recovery and no way to amplify their voice to the international level.
With the support of ALF Network we aim to remedy this situation by providing support to civil society to be effective and powerful at fighting the theft of state assets, challenging the systems that allow for them to be moved and campaigning for their accountable and transparent return.
Additionally, we could benefit from ALF large community (helping us build conversation and community); links (sharing news and info from their networks); introductions (connecting us to people you would like to meet or other organisations).