Despite the Papua New Guinea’s booming of resources in the last decade (growth 7% p.a.) and increased budget allocations for social services, wealth is not being translated into well-being and equitable human development of all Papua New Guineans . Corruption is one of the major reasons for these inefficiencies.
Exposing and combatting corruption is very difficult in a society, where client-patron relationships based on reciprocity rules are embedded in the social fabric of PNG through the ‘wantok’ system. Most citizens do not know where and how to denounce corruption and fear often violent retribution.
The Phones against Corruption (P@C) initiative is part of the Provincial Capacity Building (PCaB) Programme, under its component No.2, Enhance Accountability and Transparency minimizing the risk of corruption. It is also part of the Government of PNG accountability reform agenda to combat corruption and mismanagement of public monies.
The system has these components:
The Awareness campaign has the aim to inform Papua New Guineans about the availability of the SMS application and its conditions of service (free of charge, anonymous, user-friendly app, etc.).
The SMS Application component aims to further develop the software application. The application is currently being assessed, reviewed and adjusted through a user experience research. The system will first be extended to all civil servants (83,000 staff), and in a subsequent step to the general public.
The actions taken: the messages received will be gathered and analyzed through a filtering, scrutiny and prioritization process before taking any action.
The characteristic of the SMS system are:
- Is an interactive text message system (see attached graph)
- Is not a mobile app.
- Does not require internet access
- Is free of charge for the users – free text-
- Is anonymous
- Runs in any simple mobile phones
- Is user friendly
- Is available in Tok Pisin and English
- Coverage to 98% of the population (digicel network)