GovLab Blog GovLab Digest

Smarter Crowdsourcing Against Corruption

“Introducing the Smarter Crowdsourcing Against Corruption Initiative,” reposted from The Smarter Crowdsourcing Blog by Dinorah Cantu and Beth Simone Noveck
The GovLab: “To identify and implement innovative approaches for fighting corruption, we at The Governance Lab (GovLab) are partnering with Mexico’s Secretaría de la Función Pública (Secretariat of the Civil Service) and the Inter-American Development Bank
One in every three times a Mexican citizen interacts with government a bribe is paid (read more here or here). The real cost of such a problem goes beyond the billions of diverted taxpayer pesos. It also hinders the delivery of essential government services, harms public safety, and reduces public trust in government. In a recent survey, corruption was named as the second most relevant problem in Mexico behind only crime and ahead of unemployment.

In 2016, the challenge of corruption spurred an unprecedented legal reform process, driven by civil society. The passage of the National Anti-Corruption System calls for reforms across the federal government. The new legal framework –which has been widely heralded– creates, for example, a specialized court on corruption crimes and it expands and improves the ethics obligations of public servants. Although the Sistema Nacional Anticorrupción (National Anti-Corruption System) has propelled Mexico to global leadership in the reach and strength of its anti-corruption laws, most of the battle still lies ahead, as government agencies, the judiciary, and civil society put this law into practice…

We are applying the Smarter Crowdsourcing methodology to the pressing challenge of corruption in an effort to help Mexico rapidly identify practical reform strategies that have worked elsewhere. The goal is to harness the momentum created by the passage of the National Anti-Corruption System to go beyond legal principles and, in addition, to implement new practices…

The method we employ marries the agility and diversity of crowdsourcing (also called “open innovation”) with curation to target those with relevant know-how and bring them together in a format designed to produce effective and implementable outcomes.

This more targeted form of crowdsourcing, which quickly matches the demand for expertise to the supply of it, is what we call “smarter crowdsourcing.”…

This model has five phases, as outlined below (figure 1):

First, we break a big problem down into a set of specific, core challenges that need to be addressed.

Second, we work with our government partners to conduct background research on each challenges and ensure that we understand its root causes and, particularly, how those manifest themselves in each context.

Third, we solicit the participation of leading experts to address these core challenges. We both put out an open call for volunteers and hand-select the list of guests who can contribute most to helping governments to identify practical solutions.

Next, we hold online conferences on each challenge to identify potential innovative approaches to solving them.

Finally, in order to enable implementation of what is learned during the conferences, we complement the online dialogues with research and write up detailed implementation roadmaps in order that our partners can put the best ideas into action quickly….(More)”