After a flurry of voting we are pleased to announce the winners of the Global Integrity Impact Challenge. Each of these projects represents a novel and locally created strategy for translating the insights in the Global Integrity Report into direct policy change.
Our winners are:
Voies Nouvelles (Cameroon)
Romanian Academic Society
…and a tie for the third spot between LEVSKI (Bulgaria) and Transparency International – Lithuania.
You can read about the finalists here.
The winners receive US$1000, or US$500 each for the Bulgaria and Lithuania projects. This is prize money, not a grant, and can be used as unrestricted support to the sponsoring organization.
All four winners also get an introduction to our friends at the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF), who have followed this contest with some interest. PTF gives small grants to local projects just like this, and we hope that these ideas will indeed be implemented with their support.
A bit about online voting in poor countries
There were two ways to win this poll. The obvious one was the survey questions that we used to generate a quality score; all of our readers had a chance to read and vote on which entries they thought were best.
But we also wanted to recognize the project that was backed by the best grassroots mobilization. To do this, we looked at the Web traffic on our voting page, which give us stats on how many voters were from each project’s home country. Not surprisingly, the countries with the most Internet users got the most votes. But if we control for the percent of the population that uses the Internet, we get a sense of which countries performed better or worse relative to their opportunity to do so.
And here it get’s interesting: In Cameroon, a country where only 2 percent of the population uses the ‘net, the Cameroon project drove just slightly less traffic than the European entries in countries with 26, 36 or 54 percent of people are online. We have no idea how they managed this. It’s an impressive grassroots turnout, and when adjusted for the infrastructure disparity, it’s a clear win. Well done!
Our intent was to recognize the grassroots winner, and let the scoring pick the other two winners. Romanian Academic Society was solidly ahead of the scorecard here (thanks in part to an impressive Romanian voter turnout), with one spot remaining. The only problem with that was a tie between Lithuania and Bulgaria.
And then the tiebreaker was a tie…
We really didn’t want a tie, but didn’t have a lot of choice. These two projects earned the same score in our online poll (down to a tenth of a point). Our tiebreaker was local mobilization, and that too was too close to call — within a one percent margin. This caused some head scratching in the office. Both of these projects are solid, worthwhile endeavors. So we could more or less arbitrarily give the win to one or the other, or we can call it a tie, split the prize money between them, and recommend both to Partnership for Transparency Fund for follow up funding.
So instead of three great projects, we have four. Congratulations to our winners and our hats off to everyone who participated. Everywhere we look there are smart, dedicated people working to improve governance and fight corruption. It is your work that keeps us here at Global Integrity inspired and engaged. Thank you again for participating.
— Jonathan Eyler-Werve and Global Integrity