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Hunger striker wins battle to get charity report published

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WATER ENGINEER Sohrab Baghri has succeeded in his hunger strike campaign to force a children's charity to publish 'damning' documents on its water and environmental sanitation (WES) work.

After 10 days on hunger strike outside Plan International's Woking offices, the charity caved in to Baghri's demands to make public a critical review of its work along with an action plan to address the issues raised.

The report, produced by Loughborough University, exposes a lack of policy, accountability, consistency and planning which has led to poor value for money on Plan's projects.

'The whole programme planning process is often poorly managed? When projects go wrong there appears to be very little accountability. Corporate accountability seems to focus mainly on income and expenditure and there is little review of why things have gone wrong or what should be changed, ' says the report.

As Plan's global water, environmental and sanitation adviser for seven years Baghri reported to his seniors on the problems within the charity.

His reports formed the basis for Loughborough University's review, carried out in April this year.

Baghri said: 'I am not saying I achieved all the points that I wanted to, but it is a step in the right direction in promotion of downward accountability and transparency among international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to the communities in the developing countries.' Baghri called for the establishment of an independent body to regulate international NGOs on both their nance and their programme.

Plan is currently circulating the action plan to its regional offices to draft up how and when it can be achieved.

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