Posts Tagged ‘IACC workshop’

Changing the fight against corruption

2 October 2008

One of the key questions of the workshop will be how social media can change the way we fight corruption. We’ll have some interesting answers and examples, but as a general note a couple of directions can be distilled already.

Fighting corruption becomes:

1) Collaborative and crowd-based. It is much easier to link up with people and groups working on the same issue, and gather them in a bigger anti-corruption movement. But this is only one aspect to it, as it also has an effect on joining up with individual activists, a task usually difficult for bigger organisations, as well as for people to organise themselves. The dream is the old metaphor of the many little fish that eat the big fish. Also crowdsourcing as a tactic can be one of the options, especially when looking at datasets made available under the umbrella of transparency or interpreting data collectively (as an example see how mysociety.org asks their users to match up each speech with video footage), or in investigative journalism or for community-based reporting, as reflected by the NY Times and the People, Spaces, Deliberations-Blog.

One of the consequences, overseen sometimes, is that organisations will loose control over how people organise themselves and communicate externally, but also internally.

2) De-centralised. De-centralised action and organisation forms will be developed where necessary. One example is how global protests where organised on 4 February under the moto “A Million Voices Against FARC” via Facebook. Manifestations were organised all over the world. Especially under restrictive regimes, where civil society is challenged when organising itself, social media can be used to organise, meet virtually and work together without being together. Google maps can be used as a great tool to track and plan actions.

3) Empowering. Social media can empower people that want to change things. It becomes bottom-up by giving voice to the people affected most. By contributing their experience, easily done via blogs, twitter, or a wiki, they can become part of the movement and give faces to the issues. I have referred to this in my previous post.

Some of the traditional limitations of the fight against corruption that lie within the political environment of a country, such as a restricted civil society, can be overcome using social media. While knowing that new limitations such as lack and cost of access to the internet and mobile devices remain.

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Who are we and what is this blog about?

18 September 2008

The people behind the social media and anti-corruption workshop at this year’s International Anti-corruption conference (IACC) are: Georg Neumann, Dieter Zinnbauer, Editor of the Global Corruption Report and Conrad Zellmann. We are all strongly committed to our various professional responsibilities working for Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin, but this blog features exclusively our personal thoughts about matters of anti-corruption and beyond, not those of TI. This blog will accompany the workshop and we hope that it will help us gather additional ideas, interesting social-media based project examples and challenging questions for the actual workshop discussions on 1 November in Athens, Greece. In one of the next posts, we will start explaining in some more detail what our original thinking was behind the workshop proposal and who we’ve invited to enlighten and inspire the anti-corruption community about the potential of social media for the fight against corruption.

Start using social media

12 September 2008

With this blog, we will start gathering innovative and inspiring ideas around how social media and intelligent use of information technology can be used to make the fight against corruption more effective and sustainable.

Trying to gather ideas that have been put in place and that are employed around the world will allow us promote best practice, and synthesize new ideas and approaches with this blog. Finally, a workshop at the 13th International Anti-Corruption Conference in November will bring together anti-corruption activists together to see how social media can change how corruption is fought, and make our efforts more sustainable.

Naturally, many of the examples will not only be valuable for the anti-corruption community, but also for all the other areas where all our engagement is needed to make the world a fairer and better place. But many of the current anti-corruption initiatives are very high-level, addressing issues such as national legislation and international conventions. To be effective, everyone needs to be part of the solution. The involvement of people directly affected by corruption, but also engagement and conversations with all parties including the private sector are still rare.

Your input is very much welcomed and needed. Suggest initiatives that we haven’t covered, comment on projects that are mentioned. We will bring them and your comments to the workshop at the conference.

Hopefully, this blog will serve as a starting point for conversations, ideas, initiatives and projects. Let’s get started.