These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Space for Transparency
Latin American Elections: How to Use Social Media to Promote Transparency
“Several presidential, regional and municipal elections were held between October and November in Latin America: In Argentina, Cristina Kirchner won by an overwhelming majority; in Guatemala, for the first time after the dictatorship a former member of the military was elected; in Nicaragua, Ortega was re-elected amid accusations of irregularities; and in Colombia, voters endorsed the position of President Santos.
As part of these electoral processes, TI chapters have implemented various strategies based on the use of new technologies and social media to engage citizens and ensure fairness and greater transparency of campaigns and elections.In Argentina, Poder Ciudadano waged the campaign Quién te Banca (Who is supporting you?) to provide information to citizens on election campaign spending, such as how much funding is received by candidates, the origin of the funds, etc. Citizens were asked to send photos of election campaign posters via sms, Twitter or Facebook. Poder Ciudadano processed the data received and submitted requests for information regarding the origin and allocation of the funds.” READ MORE
CIPE Development Blog
A New Way of Measuring Corruption in Kenya
“Transparency International last week released its annual report, which suggests that Kenya is losing the battle against corruption. According to the report, Kenya ranked 154 out of 182 countries surveyed, indicating that both Kenya and Zimbabwe, who are tied, are at the bottom of the scale of countries worldwide combating corruption. The plague of corruption in developing countries has consequences. Corruption scares away foreign direct investment, creates poverty, leads to unemployment, limits the ability of governments to raise tax revenue, results in a misallocation of resources, poor economic development, and a lack of competition. Against a 19% inflation rate and high unemployment, Kenya can little afford the consequences of corruption.” READ MORE
Journalism takes to the sky with drones
“What's in your journalism kit? A notepad? A laptop? A smartphone? A video camera? How about a remote control aeroplane...?
Crazy as it might sound, The Washington Post published an article at the beginning of this month about reporters using unmanned aircraft, or drones, to collect footage for news stories.
The idea seems to be taking off. Last Friday the BBC College of Journalism published a piece about drone journalism, showing some impressive images of protests in Russia captured by an unmanned aircraft. Just yesterday, the International Journalists' Network and Mashable published a story detailing the ‘5 things you need to know about drone journalism’.” READ MORE
Open Government Partnership
Summary of the Open Government Partnership
“All 42 new OGP member countries were invited to participate in the peer exchange working meeting on December 7-8, 2011, in Brasilia, Brazil. In addition to government officials from new OGP member countries, this meeting included OGP Steering Committee members and a small group of civil society and international experts. The objective of the meeting was to provide new participating countries with a clear sense of the OGP process and expectations, along with a more concrete sense of how their peers have approached different challenges in developing their draft action plans.” READ MORE
Gulf in the Media
Anti-corruption reforms will test the Arab Spring
"Corruption fuelled the Arab Spring's anger, but as Badhi Aida knows, old habits die hard.
“We need to change people's mentality," says Ms Aida, 28, whose native village of Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia saw a lone fruit vendor spark a revolution with a desperate act of self immolation. "When a person is asked to do something in a crooked way, he needs to just learn to say 'No'".
Democratic change, on the surface at least, came quickly to parts of the Arab world. But whether this change will be lasting depends on whether calls to root out endemic corruption, bribery and nepotism are heeded. And there is reason to be sceptical." READ MORE