There was a general feeling of excitement and optimism about the new role of technology to promote transparency and accountability at the Transparency International SpeakUp! event which I attended in March 2013. There was quite a buzz about online denunciation tools in particular, and different Transparency International chapters are looking into ways to embrace new tools or improve existing ones to encourage citizens to report corruption cases.
In February 2012, Transparency Morocco launched the online platform Mamdawrinch.com (which means “We will not bribe”). The aim was to provide a tool for anonymous denunciation to encourage people to speak up and discuss corruption in public. Today, corruption is becoming a mainstream topic and even the government claims to be ramping up the fight against corruption. We are considering moving Mamdawrinch’s mission beyond anonymous reporting to enable interaction with legal advice centres and educate the public on empirical cases and practical tools to fight corruption.
This blog post shares some of the thoughts exchanged on Transparency Morocco’s online reporting tool.
Technology cannot fight corruption. People can.
An online site is not a solution. It is merely a tool. One cannot iterate this statement enough. Technology can empower citizens, raise awareness and pressure authorities. Yet, technology cannot fight corruption; it cannot change cultures, detect problems, propose solutions or amend laws. People can. As we are building online tools, we should remember their raison d’être: they should be part of a broader strategy of engagement and participation.
Read more at transparency.org