US Embassy-backed anti-corruption map goes online
Czech activists have launched an online map of the Czech Republic that highlights anti-corruption strategies, and the lack thereof, adopted by municipalities across the country. The authors believe that the project, which has been backed by the US Embassy in Prague, will provide people more information about what their town is doing to fight corruption, as well as to allow authorities to share their experiences.
“The aim of the map is to show the different approaches of Czech cities and towns to anti-corruption policies. It’s also a tool that allows mayors to promote their anti-corruption plans. Our organization will check how these plans are implemented, and give marks like at school.”
“Our estimates are that within a month or so, first dozens of cities and towns will fill in their anti-corruption plans in the map. So people will be able to check, compare and comment on these strategies in one or two months’ time.”
Ahead of November’s local elections, both groups approached candidates with an anti-corruption manual. Nearly 450 of those who promised they would implement these policies did get elected. The NGOs say they will now contact them again to make sure they keep their promises. The authors also hope that negative publicity will be an incentive for the rest.
The project received a 6,000 USD grant from the US Embassy in Prague. The mission was actively promoting transparency in the Czech Republic even before the arrival of the new ambassador, Norman Eisen, who has a record of fighting corruption in Washington. David Gainer is the embassy’s cultural attaché.
“We feel that activities such as these are part of our core mission to support the civic society, to try and build together a strong civic society. So we were happy to support this project through what we call our small grants programme.”
The anti-corruption map can be found at http://mapa.bezkorupce.cz/.