MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Accountability Lab in Liberia has nominated five finalists for its 2015 Integrity Idol award, as part of its campaign to recognize public servants who exhibit integrity and accountability.
“Integrity Idol Liberia is a national movement – on the ground, online and through the media- to celebrate and encourage honest government officials across the country,” the Lab said in a statement.
The top finalists are Daniel Gbety Nyenkan, a Court Clerk in Maryland County; Jugbeh Tarplah Kekula, a Nurse in Grand Bassa; Seorweh Dlayee Jaycheneh, a lawyer from Maryland; Oliver K. Kuson, a District Education Officer in Maryland; and Comfort Nimely, a caretaker at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Grand Kru County.
They were selected from over a thousand nominations received from across the country and verified by a respected expert panel.
Accountability Lab in a release disclosed that the five nominees have also proven to be committed and accountable in the discharge of their respective duties. They are currently being filmed on their jobs, talking about the importance of integrity and interacting with others who can testify to their good works.
“The 20 minutes episodes will then be shown on national television and syndicated on national and community radio stations in prime time across Liberia while being posted on YouTube and social media,” the release explained.
The Lab said citizens will be made aware that they can vote for their “Integrity Idol” through a dedicated SMS short code, e-mail, and phone. After a public voting period of two weeks – through which we expect tens of thousands of votes- the Integrity Idol will be crowned in a televised public ceremony in Monrovia.
It said the Integrity Idol is a four-month campaign that began in September. The campaign was aimed at bringing Liberians across the country to talk about integrity and accountability.
The Lab said a lack of accountability that leads to corruption, inequality, and insecurity remains at the very heart of Liberia’s political challenges.
“Ordinary citizens feel helpless to change these dynamics, with little to do except complain about the graft and mismanagement in government. With national elections on the horizon, it is essential that they feel a sense of positive agency and engagement with those in power,” the statement read.
This project will draw upon the successful pilot of Integrity Idol in Nepal in 2014, which garnered over 4 million viewers. According to Accountability Lab, Integrity Idol Nepal fundamentally changed the conversation in Nepal around issues of corruption, integrity and personal responsibility for change. The credibility and trust it generated has also allowed the winner to push through a whole series of reforms, creating a positive circle of accountability.
“The value of Integrity Idol is the process, not the outcome. It is a way to create positive conversations locally about what it means to be a public servant, what the role of government is in a society such as ours, and how we should think about an inclusive, fair society. Integrity Idol provides an outlet for a national conversation in positive terms that can help all of (us) think about the role we’d like to play, the life we’d like to live and the social change we’d like to see in Liberia,” the Accountability Lab said.
Featured photo shows Integrity Idol-Liberia 2015 Panel of Experts. Credit: Accountability Lab, Liberia