Technology against corruption: the potential of online corruption-reporting apps and other platforms

2016:20

Around the world, civil society organisations (CSOs) and governments are experimenting with information communication technology (ICT) platforms that try to encourage and project citizen voice, with the goal of improving public service delivery and fighting corruption. The first section of this expert answer provides an overview of the many ways in which ICTs can help curb corruption: from improving access to information and reducing red-tape, to detection of potential cases of corruption and the identification of outliers and other anomalies. This section also identifies corruption reporting platforms as one of the most popular attempts to use technology to curb corruption. The second section provides a brief overview of different corruption-reporting tools in countries as diverse as Cambodia, India, Lebanon, Romania and Russia. This section also shows that while some of the platforms gained recognition due to their achievements, others failed despite the initial media buzz and popular excitement.The third section looks at the common challenges that online corruption reporting platforms face in order to succeed, including getting reliable data, reaching a critical mass of users and adapting to the local context, among others. The final section highlights some of the lessons learned so far.


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