How Civic Media can help citizens fight corruption

Last week I was honored to be a guest speaker at the Center for Civic Media at the MIT Media Lab in Boston (click to read the live blog from the event). You may be wondering what is civic media. Civic media is defined by this group as “any form of communication that strengthens the social bonds within a community or creates a strong sense of civic engagement among its residents.” The MIT Civic Media Center is focused on developing new technical and social tools for community empowerment. I was struck by the work they are doing and its high relevance to the social accountability based citizens against corruption programs PTF is supporting worldwide. The Civic Media tools can be used to raise community awareness about their rights and entitlements, collect information on corruption experiences of both individuals and communities, connect such information to action by amplifying the voice and advocacy of communities through visualization and multi -media and monitoring change and share the feedback. It seems to me that the civic media and social accountability programs are made for each other! PTF is keen to expand use of ICT in the programs it supports and we have began to explore how the civic media tools can be applied in the programs we support. Please feel free to share your ideas and comments to help us develop this exciting avenue.

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