Public servants often get a bad reputation in South Africa but one organisation is working hard to change unfair perceptions
Accountability Lab is a global non-profit that launched a behavioural change programme called Integrity Idol in the country last year.
Integrity Idol is a campaign run in several countries including Mali, Nigeria and now South Africa. It aims to “generate debate around the idea of integrity, build a network of honest government officials who can push for positive change and inspire a new generation to be more effective public servants”.
The platform collects nominations from citizens for hard-working public servants who deserve recognition. Citizens can vote for their choice through SMS short-codes and through a website. The winner in each country is crowned in a national ceremony in the capital. Nominations for the Integrity Idol South Africa 2019 are still open, with a national call for people to nominate government employees who show exemplary integrity in their work. The campaign then ‘names and fames’ these people for the work they do in their communities.
South Africans can nominate their Integrity Idols by sending the name and contact details of nominees via a WhatsApp line, 063 311 8397.
“Accountability Lab is building the next generation of active and engaged citizens and responsible leaders around the world,” says Accountability Lab’s global communications manager Sheena Adams. “It supports change-makers to develop and implement positive ideas for integrity in their communities, unleashing positive social and economic change.”
The overall aim of the campaign is to inspire a national movement to encourage and connect honest civil servants. The Integrity Idol movement started in Nepal in 2015, and after its success, has grown to include Liberia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mali, and Mexico.