Vienna (Austria), 9 March 2023 – Organized crime and corruption are complex issues that require a comprehensive approach that involves not only government agencies but also non-governmental organizations, academia, and the private sector. It requires innovation and creativity on the part of all stakeholders to address these crimes. To facilitate networking, exchange of information and knowledge among non-governmental organizations, academia, and the private sector,UNODC developed in 2021 an online platform for non-governmental stakeholders under the Stakeholder Engagement for UNTOC (SE4U) project – WhatsOn multi-stakeholder database and knowledge hub. For interested governments, WhatsOn is a space where they can identify non-governmental stakeholders, they can work with in fighting organized crime and corruption.
Two years later, WhatsOn has been further developed to include new interactive features to facilitate stakeholders’ engagement, networking, and sharing. On occasion of the AHC's cybercrime 4th intersessional consultation the UNODC Civil Society Unit (CSU) presented the WhatsOn Phase II. Opening the launch event, Anders Frantzen from UNODC Civil SocietyUnit (CSU) explained that the new features will be a useful tool for relevant stakeholders to engage, network, and share knowledge among each other on their important work in countering organized crime and corruption. Currently, 446 members from 133 countries are registered on WhatsOn. CSU introduced the new interactive features, such as the WhatsOn Blog, Event Calendar, the new Focal Point administration function and profile management, and the WhatsOn Newsletter. The second phase of WhatsOn enables its members to connect and collaborate while providing access to UNODC resources and showcasing their impactful work, all combined in one place.
Usefulness for members
During the event, existing members of the WhatsOn shared the benefits of the platform. Gerson Nozea, country director for Haiti of Rapha International, which is one of the featured organizations in the WhatsOn ‘Impact stories’, informed about their engagement with the SE4U project and trainings organized by UNODC CSU. This experience has helped Rapha International to engage with Member States and contributed to advance their UNTOC policy approach. A private sector perspective was provided by Horacio Pacheco from Auditoria DC, Argentina, a long-term member of WhatsOn who joined the platform after taking part in one of the SE4U trainings. The platform allowed the consulting, intelligence, and corporate strategies company to interact with NGOs anywhere in the world when they are working on transnational organized crime issues. Pacheco believes that theWhatsOn platform also benefits the SE4U regional network for the Americas in which Auditoria DC is currently a memberalong with another 22 organizations. Finally, an academic account was presented by Eddy Nguiffeu from the University of Dschang, Cameroon, who stressed the importance of WhatsOn in their research work and mapping civil society organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa. The platform offers great opportunities for academia, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector to work together on many topics around organized crime and corruption, allowing them to improve collaborations through joint projects.
WhatsOn is a unique platform that brings together significant non-governmental stakeholders from all around the world, allowing them to collaborate in their efforts to identify and address the root causes of criminal activities, disrupt criminal networks, and protect communities from the harmful effect of organized crime and corruption. The second phase of WhatsOn will make these cooperation efforts more interactive and efficient, creating beneficial opportunities for all interested parties.
Online sessions to provide in-depth demonstration of the new functions of WhatsOnfor members and interested stakeholders will take place on 13 March at 4 pm CET; 16 March at 10 am CET; 21 March at 4 pm CET and 22 March at 10 am CET. Please register for the sessions here.