The TESTING 1 2 3 submissions are in! Visitors to the website have already begun to congratulate applicants on their great ideas, ask questions about them, and propose collaborations – we encourage those of you who haven’t already, applicants or otherwise, to check them out.
In the six-week submission window, we received 311 ideas from individuals and organizations across the globe. A big thank you to those who applied – we are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity and grateful for your interest.
In this first phase of review, we organized submissions according to the geographies and challenges they target, and the tools and approaches they propose to use.
Ideas came from innovators in 71 countries. About half of submissions focus on Africa (~30%) and Latin America & the Caribbean (~20%). Ideas targeting challenges in Asia (17%) and Europe (13%) make up the next 30 percent. Approximately 10 percent of all submissions propose ideas that have an international audience. Rounding out the final 8 percent is the United States & Canada and the Middle East & North Africa, with 11 and 10 submissions respectively. The results support a core belief at Global Integrity: that issues of poor transparency and accountability in government are not limited to a single area or a few areas of the world.
Challenges – Sector/Topic
Proposed ideas seek to address challenges that span the transparency and accountability spectrum – from legislative failures, to public procurement and contract issues, to problems of poor public service delivery.
Media-related reforms, such as open data for tracking conflicts of interest in media firms, and anti-corruption efforts, for example online public reporting of corrupt acts, represent 20 percent of submissions. Public expenditure and budgets (i.e. tracking budgets of Aid projects), education (i.e. assessing examination malpractice), and youth (i.e. youth integrity training) also received significant attention.
Although the high volume of proposals focusing on these areas was expected, less explored topics such as judicial reform and corporate accountability are also represented.
Approaches, Tools, Methods
Websites are a component of nearly one-third of ideas submitted. Another 20 percent of submissions involve other ICTs, namely mobile, video and radio. Collecting and publishing public datasets including with visualizations – maps and/or infographics – is a popular approach. On the other hand, a sizeable number of applicants present offline strategies, majorly advocacy or capacity building efforts.
Of all proposals, 20 percent highlight citizen engagement or civil society participation as a conduit to tackling the challenges they seek to address. For instance, this may be in the form of civil society monitoring of public services through SMS, or citizen evaluation of development projects through hyper-local (village or urban neighborhood) meetings.
It is clear that some ideas consist of popular tools, while others appear to employ one of a kind methods or approaches. The “brand newness” that we are looking for may track well with the latter, however, mixing and mashing known approaches, or adopting an existing method and applying it to a unique problem, can also result in fresh ideas. The jury is still out on what’s to come!