Nick Brown, head of Global Distribution for Mobimedia International, contributes the following Guest Post. [Ed. note: Data from UNDP on the project’s operation received June 2022 added at end of post.]
Persuading corruption victims to complain remains one of the great challenges to combating corruption. Policymakers can’t prioritize prevention efforts or know where to deploy enforcement resources if they don’t know who is demanding bribes where and from whom. But getting citizens to blow the whistle is no mean feat. Citizens must be convinced it is worth the effort, that something will happen if they do speak up. Citizens must also be assured they will be safe if they do, that the corrupters will not harm them or their loved ones, financially or physically.
With its “Phones Against Corruption” initiative, the Government of Papua New Guinea has hit upon a way that citizens can easily and safely report corruption complaints, and since its launch in 2014, with technical support from Mobimedia International and financial backing from UNDP and Australia, it has taken off. Critical to its success is that it makes no technological or financial demands on PNG’s limited capacity. It requires no more technological sophistication from citizens than the ability to send a text message, a form of communication widely used throughout the country. How does it work? Continue reading