Archive for the 'Innovation' Category

Time to Open Up Contracting

By Felipe Estefan

Many of us at the IACC fight against corruption not just because we must eradicate corruption. We fight against corruption not just because it is what we should do or what we need to. Ultimately, the fight against corruption goes beyond corruption itself; it is a fight for a better life for citizens around the world.

Contracting is central in this mission of improving the everyday lives of citizens.

Quite simply: every time goverment has to fulfill one of its responsibilities, every time government delivers a service, it must do so through contracts.

Building roads requires contracts. Providing medicines to citizens requires contracts. Building public schools requires contracts. Developing natural resources requires contracts. Contracting is at the core of how government conducts its business. > Read full story

An Egyptian’s Optimism against Corruption

“I am optimistic in spite of all the hurdles and difficulties,” declared Mohamed ElHossien in reply to pessimistic comments from some participants and panelists at the “Corruption and Transformations in the Arab Region: Changing Landscapes and New Horizons” session. This session, which kicked off the second day of the 15th IACC featured advocates and leaders from the Arab world and the international community.A young Egyptian activist

For this young Egyptian, age 33, corruption affects almost everything, from society to government, but he says that things are going in the right direction. Mohamed, who is a political science graduate, adapted his website elsyasi.com to support the difficult transition in his country and in the region. His website, created in October 2010, was previously devoted to political awareness, but since the uprising the website now features issues that were, 19 months ago, strictly prohibited. At the top of the list: corruption. The site explains this scourge that pushed young people in his country to revolt in January 2011, discusses transparency, prosecution and asset-recovery as well as providing a space for citizens to report cases of corruption.

> Read full story

Filipinos give Lessons in push for Openness

Filipino parents unhappy with the way their children’s schools are being run now have a ready remedy: sending an email or text to the website checkmyschool.org.

The site has a scrolling list of user complaints, ranging from a computer shortage in an elementary school to allegations – supported by a photo – that another institution is putting pupils’ health at risk by allowing rubbish to pile up.

“[The site gives] real-time feedback on whether teachers and textbooks are showing up in schools – and it’s putting pressure on government to respond,” said Sanjay Pradhan, a vice-president of the World Bank, which is supporting the project run by the education ministry and civil society groups.

In its simplicity, accessibility and exploitation of the raw power of information, the checkmyschool.org initiative reflects a growing enthusiasm internationally for grassroots approaches to tackling graft. Aided by social media, activists are using revealing data to harness a widespread public frustration with governments manifested in events ranging from Arab world revolts to the Occupy protests.  > Read full story

IACC APP Lab – Fix my street

This time we had a closer look at the fix my street website. Fix my street was developed by UK charity mySociety. If you do not know mySociety yet – then check them out. They have two main missions: the first is to be a charitable project which builds websites that give people simple, tangible benefits in the civic and community aspects of their lives, the second is to teach the public and voluntary sectors, through demonstration, how to use the internet most efficiently to improve lives. > Read full story