PNG’s “Phones Against Corruption” initiative recognized globally

Oct 3, 2016

Since its launch, "Phones Against Corruption" received more than 29 000 SMS

Port Moresby, October 2, 2016 - “Phones Against Corruption” initiative from Papua New Guinea received a global GovInsider Innovation Awards as the “best citizen engagement” project. The project was recognized as one of the most innovative public sector practices from across Asia. The award was presented at the Innovation Labs World, global event held in Singapore last week.

The Awards recognized public sector projects from across the region in seven categories: Best Adaptation; Best Citizen Engagement; Best Team Under 35; Best UI and UX Design; Best Use of Data; Best Drones Project; and Best Risk.

 “Phones against corruption” project from Papua New Guinea won the Best Citizen Engagement award. Implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Department of Finance, the project has been offering a safe space for reporting corrupt practices using free-of-charge text messages.

Since its launch in 2014, the service received more than 29,000 SMS from 8,827 different users, leading to several public officials arrests and more cases being under investigation.  The service has proved particularly popular in rural parts of the country, where 87% of the country’s population lives. 93.6% of cases under investigation have been reported from rural areas.

“We have been very pleased to see such inspiring work being done in the public sector in the region,” said Siim Sikkut, the Chair of the judging panel. “We hope these examples will inspire public servants across Asia to continue innovating, and push the boundaries of public service delivery.”

“We are happy that this initiative has been recognized internationally: this shows the potential of Papua New Guinea to drive positive change. Innovation is at the heart of UNDP’s work, and together with Government partners we hope to deliver more innovative projects that can contribute to real improvements in people’s lives and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals” said Roy Trivedy, UNDP Resident Representative in PNG.

“I am very happy to know that our efforts have been recognized worldwide, we will continue using innovative tools like this to improve compliance and accountability, strengthening our system and processes for minimizing the risk of corruption for the benefit of all Papua New Guineans” said Dr. Ken Ngangan, Department of Finance Secretary.  

 “Phones Against Corruption” is part of a wider Provincial Capacity Building and Enhancement Program, which aims to build capacity of the country’s treasury functions at national and sub-national levels. The program is supported by the Government of Australia, the Government of Denmark via the UNDP Innovation Facility, PNG Department of Finance and tech-partner from Mobimedia Ltd. 

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