Changemakers: Joseph Mansilla, David Riveros
Philippines and Paraguay are two of the most corrupt countries in the world(ranking 129 and 154, respectively, according to the 2011 edition of Transparency International’s widely cited “Corruption Perception Index). Additionally, both countries have a significant youth demographic, which we want to mobilize in order to fight corruption. We want young people to realize that corruption is not only in the high levels of pubic and private institutions, but also in the grassroots. We aspire to erode corruption from the ground up by working with youth and by inspiring them to value transparency and accountability. As a result, these two principles would become their guiding values to change the institutions that have made corruption their norm.
As means to achieve our objectives, we will try to engage youngsters in anti-corruption activism by using the GCM-WBI anti-corruption toolkit. First, we will conduct peer training through workshops, school symposia, and the like to motivate, empower, mobilize other young people to do something about corruption using the toolkit. We want to get the toolkit out and apply it to reality. By doing this we would be able to evaluate its effectiveness and improve it by allowing feedback from the people we work with. Furthermore, we want to get young people to voice and share their own anti-corruption experiences and stories by using paths of action suggested in the toolkit (or providing new ones to the document).
In order to inspire the youth to take initiative and come up with their own anti-corruption project, we will showcase existing anti-corruption projects within our countries (i.e., Paraguay and the Philippines) and those that have an international scope. For instance, iPaidaBride.com, Checkmyschool.org, CorruptionTracker.com, etc. We will also harness, as much as we could, the potentials of using social media. Finally, in the long-term, we hope to reflect our lessons learned unto the toolkit, which we envision to be a truly organic document.
Indicators of success for our project will be evaluated in the form and quantity/quality of new community and school-based action plans created out of the toolkit. Also we will consider ourselves successful by creating a sense of refreshed empowerment in young people; by making them feel capable of actually doing something about corruption; and thus, getting a higher number of young people involved in anti-corruption causes in our areas of impact. Lastly, we would like to see initiatives to adapt the toolkit to certain sectors of community and increase participation in online knowledge-sharing platforms for anti-corruption advocacy.