Shqipe Neziri via web
A former colleague of ours once wrote a post for this blog that asked a simple but pressing question:
Can you assess whether or not corruption-tracking websites will actually make a difference?
It’s been more than two years since UNDP in Kosovo* and Internews Kosova launched Kallxo.com.
This online platform works by encouraging citizens to report cases of corruption in Kosovo via a Ushahidi-based platform.
Since its launch in April 2012, the site has shown significant results.
To date, the tri-lingual platform (Albanian, Serbian, and English) has received more than 3,500 citizens reports, approximately 70,000 page viewers per month, more than 44,000 “likes” on Facebook, and over 300 articles and TV reports produced based on citizens’ claims.
As Tiago Peixoto noted on the Democracy Spot blog, complex problems benefit from a variety of skills.
The Kallxo platform, which is implemented by a consortium of civil society representatives and the media, has truly benefited from diverse skills of its partners.
Through tech solutions, investigative journalism, conducting perception surveys, and publishing articles based on reported cases, the platform has been equipped with the ingredients essential in tackling an issue as complex and multi-faceted as corruption.
The uniqueness of the platform lies in transforming data into knowledge to encourage civic action and engagement.
Experience shows that citizens that are more aware of their rights are more likely to hold their public officials accountable, and seek access to and transparency of public information.
Furthermore, Kallxo enables the mapping of corruption in public service delivery. This information is then spread to promote public administration reform and raise citizens’ awareness on where key problems lie.
Hence, trust and social infrastructure come before IT: Key to Kallxo’s success is the trust of citizens that consider the platform a reliable tool where they can safely report corruption.
Kallxo combats corruption to fill the gap where traditional methods have been less successful. A recent opinion poll reveals that it is the fourth most trusted source to report corruption in Kosovo (Kosovo Police leading, followed by EULEX, and Anti-Corruption Agency).
Since its inception, Kallxo.com aimed to become a tool to mobilize and facilitate intervention of public officials. Though reluctant at the very beginning, we have managed to get the relevant authorities on board.
Kallxo now has a coordination mechanism comprised of representatives from the technical level from: Prosecutorial Council, Judicial Council, Anti-Corruption Agency, police, Customs, Bar Association, Office of the Disciplinary Prosecutor, Office of the General Auditor, Financial Investigation Unit, Agency for Sequestration and Confiscation of Seized Assets, and EULEX.
The Kallxo team has regular monthly meetings with these officials to update them on cases received, and ask for feedback from institutions on the progress of the cases reported.
If you are in Kosovo, keep spreading the word! Engage and help us tackle corruption.