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Signaling Around the Post Ebola Recovery in Liberia

Mobile cinema in LiberiaBy: Marvin Tarawally, Winter Resident, Washington DC

Confronted with a finite budget and faced with harsh socio-economic realities, the government of Liberia and its international partners are at a crossroads as the Ebola outbreak is brought under control. Recently, the Liberian government reported that 12 counties (out of an affected 15) have reported zero cases for the past 21 days. The evidence shows that the efforts to combat the deadly Ebola Virus, by both the Liberian government, the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and other partners, have yielded substantial positive results. Read More…

Why Cameras are Not Enough

mike-brown-memorial-nora-rahimian (1)By: Nora Rahimian.

When Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old, unarmed, Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri was not indicted (indict: formally accuse of or charge with a serious crime; not try in a courtroom with jurors, but simply accuse), people got angry. Despite eyewitness testimonies that said Brown was not acting aggressively and had his hands up when he was shot, the case ultimately became a s/he said-s/he said of the police versus the people. Read More…

5 Reasons Why We Can Beat Corruption

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Image: A man holds out bolivar notes as he offers to exchange currency at the border between Colombia and Venezuela at Simon Bolivar international bridge in San Antonio in the Venezuelan state of Tachira July 23, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins.

By: Blair Glencorse, Executive Director of Accountability Lab. This blog post was originally published by the World Economic Forum.

“We have to do what our parents’ generation did not do…so that when they die, the corruption dies with them,” says Divine Anderson. Anderson is the young director of the Accountability Film School, which empowers Liberians to make documentaries about integrity issues in their communities and show these films to government officials at local video clubs and national film festivals. This helps them raise their voice, increase awareness, and generate demand for reform. Read More…

Latest News from the OpenGov Hub in Nepal

By: Suman Parajuli and Suresh Chand, Accountability Lab Nepal. This blog post was originally published by the OpenGov Hub.

“Whenever an idea pops into my mind, I can talk to people, I can discuss how we can collectively reach goals and, most significantly, I have a group of willing individuals on hand to immediately assist me. I get all these privileges within one building, the same room even.” Pavitra Rana, Coordinator at Open Nepal, reflected recently on the immediacy and positive work environment created by the OpenGov Hub Nepal in Kathmandu. Pavitra continues, “it is always good to have like-minded people around; it fosters hope and collective energy within the workplace.”

Read More…

Training Coaches to Give Corruption the Boot

By Hugh James, Accountability Resident, United Kingdom, with reporting by Francis Lansana, Resident, Liberia

2014 bore witness to two divergent faces of World football. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil yielded a wealth of competitive games throughout the competition, with many South American teams reveling in success against established footballing nations and past winners, including Italy and England. Eventual winners Germany embodied a compact, ruthless team, trusting in one another and hungry for success.

In contrast to such unity has been the ever-present FIFA corruption accusations. Read More…

The Ebola Opportunity

By: Blair Glencorse and Ashoka Mukpo. This post was originally published by Global Policy.

“A few weeks ago there were plenty of cases” says Mohammed, a trader from a bustling market neighborhood of Monrovia, “but now Ebola- it has dropped”. In Liberia, the country hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak, there are now hopeful signs that the virus is being brought under some level of control. The latest World Health Organization situation report indicates that the number of new cases has stabilized. NPR wrote last week that there were just 8 Ebola cases in Liberia’s biggest treatment center. This is good news, although experts warn that the country must continue to stay vigilant.

Read More…

Save Liberia Campaign Shifts into National Outreach Phase

By Francis Lansana, Accountability Resident, Liberia & Brooks Marmon, Accountability Architect, Washington DC

Just beyond the St. John River lies Buchanan- a small Liberian port city named after the cousin of a former US President. Buchanan is home to one of the few paved highways in the country, built with Chinese expertise, and a railroad, originally constructed by a firm with links to Sweden and recently rehabilitated by a company with ties to India. The history and economy of Buchanan, which serves as the outlet for much of the country’s iron ore deposits and palm oil, vividly illustrates the interconnectedness of today’s world and the mobility that makes the Ebola virus not just a challenge for Liberia, but for the entire globe. Read More…

2014 in Review and What to Look out for in 2015!

It’s been an exciting year for the Accountability Lab, from launching Integrity Idol in Nepal to playing a key role in addressing Liberia’s Ebola crisis to setting up an OpenGov Hub in Nepal. In addition, we consolidated our management and oversight structures, including a reorganized board and public quarterly impact calls (learn more here, and stay tuned for the next call on January 5th). We received great recognition of our work, including the World Technology Award, Echoing Green Fellowship, Social Media for Empowerment Award, Ivy Film Award, HiiL Innovating Justice Awards Popular Vote, BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Award, and more. Read More…

Integrity Idol 2014: Voting for the Most Honest Officials in Nepal

Integrity IdolBy: Narayan Adhikari, South Asia Representative

Ironically, the government of Nepal did not recognize its top civil servants as part of Civil Service Day this year, because the evaluation mechanism itself was deemed dysfunctional. The Chief Secretary of the country not only pointed to the need to improve the public system but also urged civil society and citizens to celebrate honest government officials themselves. This is no small feat, as the public sector in Nepal is highly politicized, corruption is rampant and trust is generally low. Bureaucrats with integrity are often shunned, largely under-appreciated and rarely recognized.   Read More…

Highlights from the Fall 2014 Social Impact Tour in Nepal

Cool photosBy: Narayan Adhikari, South Asia Representative

This September, Accountability Lab hosted its first Social Impact Tour here in Kathmandu. A group of international participants from Turkey, Chile, and the US spent an exciting and informative week meeting with Accountability Lab’s “Accountapreneurs” and other partners and friends who are working to build a more accountable society. The tour participants not only raised several thousand dollars to help fund important social initiatives in Nepal, but were also able to offer ideas and insights based on their combined expertise in business, law, and education. In turn, they also learned a great deal about grassroots social change throughout the course of the week, and were impressed with the initiative, creativity, and resourcefulness of the Lab’s various partners. Read More…