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Effects of Transparency & Mobile Technology on Anti-Corruption – More Work Needed

 

September 26, 2013

Doug Hadden, VP Products

There are some interesting observations from the Transparency International blog on the use of technology for anti-corruption. The entry makes the observation that mobile technology is very much enabling citizen-centric transparency. And, the entry gives some examples. 

I'm not really sold on the demonstrating the value of technology for anti-corruption activities based on anecdotes. For one thing, 1, 2 or 10 examples do not a trend make. And, there is the problem on applicability. Observers, for example, could see the specifics of the example (i.e. "I paid a bribe") to something general.

More analysis of these cases are needed because technology is an asymmetric anti-corruption tool under certain circumstances. Mobile is particularly powerful because it provides immediacy – sometimes real time. It also provides credibility through pictures and video (although not perfect given the ability to "photoshop" things). Mobile-enabled social media does help sort the wheat from the chaff. It's not perfect, as we have seen from twitter streams. But, social networks tend to fact check – as long as you're following the right sources.

There has been work about the nature of transparency and the linkage to improved governance. Less so on the impact of mobile and social media. Perhaps this is about to change:

 

 

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Doug Hadden

Doug Hadden

Executive Vice President, Innovation at FreeBalance
Doug is responsible for identifying new global markets, new technologies and trends, and new and enhanced internal processes. Doug leads a cross-functional international team that is responsible for developing product prototypes and innovative go-to-market strategies.

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