Accountability Lab Liberia (ALL) has launched the 2018 edition of Integrity Idol that celebrates honest civil servants in corruption-plagued countries, like Liberia, and has grown to reach new audiences in other West Africa countries with the aim to enlist the public’s help in fighting corruption.
The 2018 Integrity Idol is the fourth edition of a nationwide campaign by Accountability Lab- Liberia in partnership with other organizations that also appreciate honest public servants.
Officially launching the initiative in Monrovia on Monday,
The coordinator for Accountability Lab Liberia, Lawrence Yealue, who launched the initiative on Monday in Monrovia, said this is another opportunity for Liberians to fame one of their best civil servants, instead of the usual naming and shaming, which has been the status quo in fighting corruption.
“I think by appreciating good people, we are also fighting corruption,” Yealue said.
The selection of the winner was a vigorous process that involved thousands of nominations of the civil servants at the stage of sorting and vetting by experts familiar with anti-corruption campaign.
“We have to unearth the best in our society, because they are diligently working for the better of their communities,” Mr. Yealue noted.
“ALL and its partners are endeavoring to celebrate excellence in the public service. This is why we are calling on you to nominate your heroes and heroines,” he said.
Initially launched in Nepal in 2014, it has since spread to Pakistan, Nigeria, Mali and Liberia, South Africa and other West African Countries. Liberia joined the effort in 2015, and has since gone on to implement the initiative successfully.
“Integrity Idol” asks the public to nominate model civil servants and then vote for their favorite by text message after the finalists appear on screens and radio. Three of the previous winners of the project were present at Monday’s launch.
Liberia ranks 90th in the watchdog Transparency International’s global corruption perception index out of 176 countries in 2016.
Integrity Idol draws from its successful implementation since 2015 in Nepal‚ Liberia‚ Mali and Pakistan. It was against this backdrop that Accountability Lab in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation‚ Corruption Watch‚ LifeCo UnLtd and Democracy Works Foundation launched the program in South Africa last year.
Since its introduction in 2015, there has been three winner, two females and a male of the Idol and these comes from the health and security sectors.
Yealue said winning idols have gone on to lead important reform processes in their countries based on the trust and credibility generated through Integrity Idol.
ALL is now working with the winners to expand their integrity networks to do everything from developing national policies to redesigning curricula for civil service training schools.
“It is a huge challenge to being a person of integrity in this country,” Rebecca Scotland, who won the award, last year said at the launch. She is a nursing teacher at the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts.
She plans to create a network with other winners to boost honesty and transparency in the public sector, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation following the award.