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Crowdsourcing in the Anti-Corruption System: practice of foreign countries

An integral part of the successful fight against corruption is an active participation of civil society. At present, with the development of the global communication environment, the process of interaction between society and the state has undergone significant changes. Thus, in foreign practice, most projects related to the anti-corruption activities of social activists are formed on the basis of crowdsourcing.

The term crowdsourcing is formed from two English words crowd (crowd of people) and sourcing - "use of resources" and in a broad sense it means solving socially important tasks with the help of the forces of many volunteers who often coordinate their activities with the help of information technology. The merit of crowdsourcing is that it is called upon to ensure the interests of various social groups, to create a dialogue between the state and society, and to enhance public control over the actions of state bodies. With the help of crowdsourcing, many bills will not just be criticized by the public, but various constructive solutions to improve performance will also be offered.

In addition, anti-corruption crowdsourcing enables citizens to evaluate the performance of civil servants regardless of their rank and position, express their consent or discontent with respect to their activities.

Crowdsourcing platform on anti-corruption is launched in the following countries:

1. K Monitor – an anti-corruption platform for crowdsourcing in Hungary.

2. I Paid a Bribe – a report on the fight against corruption in India.

3. Manoseimas – finance transparency for election campaigns in Lithuania.

4. FixMyStreet – an anti-corruption crowdsourcing in the UK.

5. SeeClickFix – a public control in the US.

6. I Paid a Bribe Kenya – a report on corruption in Kenya.

7. Mamdawrinch - a report on the fight against corruption in Morocco.

8. Citizen Feedback Model – an increase of government accountability in Pakistan.

9. CCDI – an application for information on corruption in China.

10. Draw a Red Line – a report on the fight against corruption in Macedonia.

11. Bribe Market – a report on corruption in Romania.

12. Check My School - transparency of the budget in education and involvement of civil society in the Philippines.

Let’s consider several anti-corruption crowdsourcing platforms, identify their aims and objectives, and determine who is the subject of anti-corruption crowdsourcing.

The most interesting crowdsourcing platforms include the Internet portal "I Paid a Bribe", developed in India. The users of "I Paid a Bribe" report on the cases of corruption that face, indicating where and when it happened, and what was the name of the civil servant who asked for a bribe. In addition, they also report on refusals to take bribes. Similar platforms in Macedonia and Kenya practice this effective model of corruption detection. The most sophisticated part of the process is the transformation of this information into real anti-corruption measures. According to the owners of platforms, the government should acknowledge these resources and include them in the justice system, and the public should see the results of their initiative.

In Kenya and Uganda, a crowdsourcing project "Not in my Country"  has been developed, which registers cases of corruption in universities. In addition to gathering facts, the platform will appeal to the court with complaints. Many platform users prefer to remain anonymous, but Roy Rosenblit, the executive director of Not in my Country, encourages citizens to give as much concrete information as possible. At the same time, the platform promises to take care of the safety of informers. In the near future, the young platform will file its first lawsuit.

The next promising platform is “Citizen Feedback Model", supported by the government  which operates in Pakistan. The system practices a simple and effective method of increasing government accountability. After visiting public services, citizens are invited to answer questions during a phone call. Every day an automated system makes tens of thousands of calls, revealing instances of corruption.

In Indonesia, the government has opened the Internet portal "Lapor" , through which citizens can leave complaints about unlawful actions of officials. All messages are processed by a special monitoring department under the President. In real time, citizens see the responses of government agencies about all the measures taken in response to a specific complaint.

In the Philippines there is an anti-corruption crowdsourcing platform "Check My School" , of which the goal is to improve the quality of educational services by attracting citizens and society to the management of public schools in the country. This practice helps identify and solve problems in school education more effectively, starting from corruption, ending with a lack of educational materials and restrictions in obtaining educational services. This shows that public education is open and accountable to the whole society.

Crowdsourcing platforms were widely spread in China, where a "CCDI" application  was launched in 2015, allowing users to upload photos and video evidence of corruption. On the first day of the application, about 700 messages on corruption were submitted. Such an anti-corruption platform is designed to build a convenient and easy-to-use platform, to receive instant messages about the problems that arise in society, including manifestations of corruption (abuse of power, misuse of public funds, bureaucracy, etc.).

In the post-Soviet countries, there are also specialized crowdsourcing platforms aimed at combating corruption. The most famous is the Russian projects of the NGO "Anti-Corruption Fund" created by public figure Alexei Navalny. So, one of the projects of "RosPil"  is aimed at controlling the spending of budgetary funds in the sphere of state and municipal purchases, as well as purchases of state companies. The documentation is carefully studied by volunteers for any manifestation of corruption. 70 billion rubles were saved in prevention of corruption.

In addition, recently, in Russia, to use the platform of crowdsourcing as an expert site for conducting anti-corruption expertise of regulatory legal acts has started. In the opinion of the professional community, this practice will not only reduce the number of corruption-related factors in regulatory acts, but it will also raise the status and quality of independent expert opinions.

As the practice of foreign countries shows, the use of crowdsourcing in the system of counteracting corruption makes it possible to expand the possibilities for citizens to participate in solving many problems related to the corruption behavior of public servants.

Along with this, crowdsourcing can contribute to ensuring transparency and openness of the normative policy of the state, involving the general public in the study for the presence of corruption-related norms in legal acts.

Published on: 21.09.2017
Updated on: 27.08.2018

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