These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
International Center for Journalists
Digital Map to Track Corruption Launches in Colombia
“A new digital mapping tool to track and monitor corruption in Colombia on a national scale, launched July 24th a result of our partnership with the Consejo de Redacción, a country-wide organization of investigative journalists.
The "Monitor de Corrupción" (or "Corruption Monitor") will provide journalists and citizens a platform to submit reports that will expose and map incidents of corruption.
It’s a project I anticipate will contribute to making Colombia a more transparent and stronger society. The idea for this grew out of another similar project by Knight Fellow Jorge Luis Sierra.” READ MORE
Wall Street Journal
Get Ready for the Digital Money Revolution
“Last month, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Citi–where I serve as strategic advisor–announced a partnership aimed at accelerating mobile money adoption in developing countries. The partnership will initially focus its work in Colombia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, and the Philippines. Its efforts will later be extended to Peru, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The digital technology revolution that has been transforming just about every aspect of life around us–from the way we interact with each other to the way we conduct business–is now poised to usher the concept of mobile digital money to every corner of the world.” READ MORE
Center for Global Development
Massive Corruption Revisited: The Value of Portfolio Estimates
“Corruption in aid programs is a cyclical topic. Every scandal generates headlines, political reaction, tighter controls and then, usually, silence until the next scandal erupts. Such cycles are not helpful and we never really find out if such corruption is large and systematic or small and isolated.
Last year I commented on press exaggerations of a Global Fund investigation into the use of grants in Mauritania. The AP article made irresponsible allegations about the overall portfolio of the Global Fund on the basis of reports from a few small projects. (The Global Fund deserves credit for publishing its investigative reports with transparency). I argued that the only way out of this dysfunctional cycle was to have a way to judge how representative such investigations are of the Global Fund’s overall portfolio of projects.
Last week, we convened a workshop at CGD to ask whether it would be feasible for aid agencies to generate such “portfolio estimates” of corruption (or improper payments more broadly). This would require allocating investigative resources to a representative sample of projects on an annual basis instead of focusing investigations exclusively on cases where abuses were alleged. With a small group of high-level aid agency officials, inspectors general, researchers, and former police officers, we discussed examples of institutions that regularly produce such portfolio estimates and considered the unique features of foreign aid that might facilitate or obstruct such an approach.” READ MORE
Trickle-up: Innovation & Culture Musings
How to Start a Socially Connected Movement
“A few weeks ago I attended the always inspirational annual World Innovation Forum held here in New York City. One of the speakers was Russell Stevens, partner at SS+K, one of the most imaginative, innovative, and widely acclaimed marketing and communications agencies in New York. Stevens is an expert in generating creative social engagement. He's most famous for his role as the architect behind the social engagement strategy for both the Obama 2008 election campaign and Lance Armstrong's original Livestrong campaign. During his talk Stevens gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the thinking and structure of both campaigns and what made them viral. He outlined a simple methodology which could be used by companies and community organizations alike to create a viral movement in today's socially connected world. Here are the four phases of his new rules of engagement.” READ MORE
“New surveillance laws being proposed in countries from the United States to Australia would force makers of online chat software to build in backdoors for wiretapping. For years, the popular video chat service Skype has resisted taking part in online surveillance—but that may have changed. And if it has, Skype’s not telling.
Historically, Skype has been a major barrier to law enforcement agencies. Using strong encryption and complex peer-to-peer network connections, Skype was considered by most to be virtually impossible to intercept. Police forces in Germany complained in 2007 that they couldn’t spy on Skype calls and even hired a company to develop covert Trojans to record suspects’ chats. At around the same time, Skype happily went on record saying that it could not conduct wiretaps because of its ‘peer-to-peer architecture and encryption techniques.’” READ MORE
Why International Girls in ICT Day is Important
“If you think about people’s use of technology as a pyramid, as suggested by Wendy Hawkins, then you will find that “women and girls are underrepresented at every level of that pyramid.” This is the basis for the International Girls in ICT Day: to bridge the technology gender gap it is essential to support and encourage girls to learn and use technology, and also to help them engage in developing it.
International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of April every year, as backed by ITU Member States in Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Guadalajara, 2010).” READ MORE