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Mobile-mapping Corruption

Shanthi Kalathil's picture

Here's an interesting example of anti-corruption work in the mobile realm: a new application called Bribespot helps ordinary people report on instances of corruption they witness in their daily lives. According to this piece on, users can download a mobile app for Android, which they can then use to submit specific instances of bribes. (Users can also submit through a website). A central office checks the submission and removes identifying information before posting to a database. According to the developers of the app, it is not intended to identify specific individuals, but rather to help visualize the extent of corruption, and to provide a basis for anti-corruption agencies and others to follow up. So far, the app is being used mainly in Lithuania and Romania.

It is interesting that the application came out of an event called Garage48, which is designed to promote a culture of entrepreneurship by helping developers quickly turn ideas into working services. The World Bank and other development agencies are now beginning to pay attention and get involved in these types of activities (and in fact, the developer of Bribespot is a former UNDP employee). While it may require a shift from the typical development mindset, funding this type of activity seems like a great way to harness creative thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship to help solve thorny governance issues. 

Photo Credit: whiteafrican (on Flickr)

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Submitted by Dmytro Derkach on
Launched in ECA it might go beyond the region borders if marketed and communicated properly. The Bank should definitely support and promote these types of activities.

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