Civil Society Whistleblowing First Responder Training

Civil society organisations (CSOs) often enjoy a high degree of trust within the communities and societies within which they operate. This can be ascribed to the relationships they build with those in their communities and the services that they provide. As a result, people know of, and have trust in, various CSOs, without necessarily understanding their mandates or the scope of work they perform.

Various CSOs have reported that due to this high level of trust, members of the public approach them with reports of corruption and other wrongdoing or with complaints about service delivery, with the intention that the CSOs investigate such reports or take action to deal with the wrongdoing. While CSOs are not always able to assist to this degree, they are uniquely positioned to provide crucial support and information to whistleblowers (or potential whistleblowers) at this time. In other words, CSOs can play a vital role as “First Responders”.

The Whistleblowing First Responders Guide includes basic information such as how to conduct a meeting with a whistleblower, questions to ask, the applicable legal framework and referral organisations that the whistleblower can approach next. It provides an “at a glance” section that CSOs can use to orientate themselves towards relevant information while consulting with whistleblowers. It emphasises important aspects, such as advising CSOs not to provide legal advice. It also helps the CSO first responder to understand the difficulties that whistleblowers face, which can assist them to provide an empathetic ear and direct whistleblowers towards resources for psycho-social support.

Health Focus has been tasked by GIZ to:

  • Development of Course Content, that is, all the information that a trainer will use to conduct a day-long training session on the Guide
  • Development of a ‘Train the Trainer’ guide, that is, all the information and materials that will be used to train individuals to conduct the training based on the Course Content
  • Conduct one “Train the Trainer” training session and one training session for CSO First Responders in Gauteng, and one training session in one other province in South Africa to be determined.