The World Bank has been making increasing use of Apps to make its information and data more accessible via mobile devices. The launch of the Integrity App expands the World Bank’s open data universe, and - perhaps even more excitingly - enables users to engage as 'citizen corruption fighters' to help protect the integrity of its projects, and ensure that development funds are used for their intended purposes.
So what does the new World Bank Integrity App do? It enables users to report concerns of fraud or corruption in Bank-financed projects. As with all such reports received, these are handled by the World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency, a specialized unit responsible for investigating and pursuing sanctions in cases of fraud and corruption in World Bank-financed projects.
Users of the Integrity App can identify projects (by name, country, sector or key word) and submit a confidential report of their concerns. Other features include attaching an image or recording the location of the complaint through the optional use of GPS. Users can also view the World Bank’s integrity policies.
What makes this app more than a reporting tool, however, is the access it provides to the outcome of fraud and corruption investigations through a link to the World Bank’s Sanctions Decisions, and to the list of Debarred Firms and Individuals. To those not familiar with the concept of debarment and cross-debarment, this link provides a useful introduction. More access to this kind of information can only be a good thing, to help deter firms and individuals from engaging in corrupt practices and to alert others to the risks of working with partners who have been sanctioned.
The World Bank Integrity App joins the growing ranks of citizen-led or citizen-centered transparency initiatives that have sprung up around the world. NGOs, in particular, have taken a lead in leveraging the power of mobile data to take a stand against corruption. It is time for public institutions and government agencies to heed the call. Some already are and many more could learn a thing or two from these citizen innovators. The World Bank Integrity App is initially available to download for IOS devices through the ITunes store. Development is underway for other platforms and for a web App. To view other World Bank Apps click here. To view the Press Release for the Integrity App click here.