Corruption Watch is one of the organisations supporting the Integrity Idol South Africa initiative, which has arrived in our country and will launch on 16 January in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The Accountability Lab and partners, including the Nelson Mandela Foundation, LifeCo UnLtd and Democracy Works Foundation, are driving the programme.

Like its predecessors, Integrity Idol South Africa aims to inspire a national movement to honour, encourage and connect honest civil servants, using positive reinforcement. We want to move away from “naming and shaming” the corrupt and towards “naming and faming” those bureaucrats that are working with integrity and doing the right thing even when no-one is watching. In short, Integrity Idol wants to find South Africa’s most honest civil servant, one who is truly committed to excellence in their job.  Tweet This!

This project will draw upon the successful implementation of Integrity Idol since 2014 in Nepal, Liberia, Mali and Pakistan – which garnered millions of viewers.

Details of the launch are as follows:

Venue – Women’s Jail, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg
Date – 16 January 2018
Time: 10h00 for 10h30

The launch will include a short discussion with the lead partners, followed by a Q&A session.

Paying attention to the good civil servants

Integrity Idol generates debate around the idea of integrity, builds a network of honest government officials who can push for positive change and inspires a new generation to be more effective public servants.

In Nepal, the first edition, held back in 2014, produced five worthy finalists from more than 300 nominations. They included a school principal who has devoted 35 years of his active life to improve the educational standard of his community, and a social worker who works in such a remote district that she has to walk for three days to reach some villages. The winner was Gyan Mani Nepal, a district education officer who, under his watch, has seen the student pass rate rise from 14% to over 60%. Nepal shares his phone number with students so they can tell him when their teachers are absent, arrive late or leave early.

More recent winners include Issa Cherif Dia from Bamako, Mali, the 2016 winner in that country. Although his career is in the military, he was inspired to start LAYIDU, a community initiative dedicated to educating young people by engaging them in sports. In the same year in Pakistan, the winner was civil servant Rai Manzoor Husain Nasir who works long hours and allows the public to contact him at any time, ensuring their voices are heard.

And in 2016 in Liberia, Rebecca Scotland was chosen because besides her day job as a physician’s assistant instructor at a medical institute, she teaches health classes at her church.

The winning Idols have now gone on to lead important reform processes in their countries based on the trust and credibility generated through Integrity Idol; the Accountability Lab is now working with them to expand their integrity networks to do everything from developing national policies to redesigning curricula for civil service training schools.

How does Integrity Idol work?

The South African programme for 2018 will run between January and May.

16 January – end February 2018 Using their phones South Africans nominate an Integrity Idol working for the government in health, education or safety and security.
March 2018 An expert panel of respected South Africans narrow the nominees to the top 10 candidates.
March – April 2018 Working with an Emmy award-winning film-maker, young South African film-makers develop short films of the finalists doing their jobs with integrity.
May 2018 Short films will be shown on TV and social media platforms, with audio on community radio stations. We will ask South Africa to vote for their Integrity Idol through SMS, social media, WhatsApp and online.
20 May 2018 The Integrity Idols are crowned in a public ceremony during a special event with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and LifeCo UnLtd and BMW Foundation Herbert Quant.

For more information, contact:

Jean Scrimgeour                                                                   Faith Pienaar
Strategy and Operations Manager                                   Non-Profit Management Fellow
Accountability Lab                                                               Accountability Lab
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