Online vote decides which anti-corruption projects get funded

By Jonathan Eyler-Werve for the Global Integrity Commons

The Global Integrity Impact Challenge asked for ideas that fight corruption, and we got them: project ideas from 16 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. Our jury of Global Integrity staffers scored and discussed each proposed project; there were many worthwhile ideas here, and it was tough to pick our finalists. But we’re confident these are solid projects, submitted by some impressive local organizations.

Each finalist project used Global Integrity’s assessment tools to identify and prioritize potential anti-corruption reforms. They then applied our information to a locally relevant, bottom-up strategy to address that governance challenge. We believe that lasting change comes from empowered local stakeholders; these projects look like a pretty good start.

We’ll introduce each of our finalists below, but first some housekeeping: three of these finalists will win this competition, receiving a prize of US$1000 and a chance to pitch the Partnership for Transparency Fund for funding to implement their ideas. You, dear readers, will decide who wins by rating the five projects here.

Global Integrity Impact Challenge: The Finalists

Click on the titles to read the full entries, then vote here:

Bulgaria (LEVSKI)
A project to establish local citizen councils that invite diverse stakeholders to discuss governance issues, and directly question local officials on corruption concerns. The project aims to scale up a partial implementation of these councils that had successfully increased citizen participation.

What we liked: Wide range of stakeholders invited to contribute; potential to transform citizen relationship with government.

Cameroon (Voies Nouvelles)
A project to enable citizen dialogue and oversight of government development projects funded by the Budget d’Investissement Public. Voies Nouvelles will train local civil society groups to monitor this new government agency and facilitate engagement with government by citizens.

What we liked: Bottom-up approach empowers citizens to speak for themselves; specific, well-defined objectives.

Lithuania (Transparency International – Lithuania)
A project to protect whistleblowers who report corruption. TI-L aims to publicize existing whistleblower protection mechanisms via mass media partners, and provide concrete guidance to citizens who want to report corruption.

What we liked: Increasing effectiveness of existing governance mechanisms directly addresses the “implementation gap” identified in the Global Integrity Report: Lithuania.

Philippines (Transparency International – Philippines)
A project to engage with government watchdogs to improve integrity systems. TI-P will coordinate directly with the Presidential Commission on Good Government to increase access to information and address governance weaknesses identified in the Global Integrity Report and other metrics.

What we liked: Builds on existing collaborative relationship with government; focus on measuring outcomes.

Romania (Romanian Academic Society)
A project to monitor and publicize the actions of two agencies regulating energy and procurement. The project aims to narrow the “implementation gap” between written law and actual practice (as highlighted in the Global Integrity Report: Romania) by making citizen oversight of government agencies the rule rather than the exception.

What we liked: Narrow, carefully targeted project can be scaled up to other agencies if successful.

Click on the titles to read the full entries, then vote here:

Notable project:

Macedonia (Informal group of journalists)
A project to reform campaign finance laws to bring campaigns into compliance with existing law and close loopholes that allow “black donors” to push hidden money and influence into the election process.

What we liked: This project doesn’t meet the requirements for follow up funding from PTF, so we didn’t make it a finalist. But we feel it is worthy of recognition here for being the only project taking on campaign financing, which our work has identified as a crucial governance challenge worldwide for three years running. It’s a tough, neglected issue that impacts rich and poor countries alike. Global Integrity hopes to provide advice and introductions to the applicants if they develop this idea further.

We want to thank all of our applicants for their efforts, and our friends at PTF for encouraging this contest. This contest is sponsored by Global Integrity, an independent nonprofit monitor of corruption and governance issues. To learn more about the Global Integrity Report findings that provide the research backbone of these projects, click here.

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— Jonathan Eyler-Werve and Global Integrity