What is the FlagIT App and how does it work?
The FlagIT App is a new Mobile and Web Application Device initiated by the Akin Fadeyi Foundation (AFF) to propel and further the impact of it’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign, popularly themed and known as the ‘Not-In-My-Country’ anti-corruption campaign.
The app opens a vista of opportunities to the public to report and document their corruption experiences (positive and negative) and engage government officials on issues bordering service delivery and corrupt practices across the country.
It enables a less contact but more potent citizens’ empowerment model of feedback which we hope will evolve into the strengthening of the capacity of our institutions to drive integrity as a core value, and improve public service delivery and accountability, with robust inputs and feedback driven from vigorous citizens’ engagement.
The App functions by allowing a two-channel flow of information, which encompasses a citizen’s capacity to report to government agencies, as well as enabling government agencies to respond to the Citizen in real time, thereby, providing a first-of-its-kind joint-surveillance feedback mechanism to fighting corruption in Nigeria.
The App aims to maintain a periodic monitoring of corruption cases reported, over a period of time, thereby utilizing the useful data for contributing to the fight to reducing corruption in Nigeria.
It’s also not all about reporting Corruption. Citizens are also welcome to report encounters of outstanding performances from credible officers who we hope over time to position for real recognition and celebration.
So many Nigerians do great things, making our nation proud within our institutions, but they melt out unsung because our Award and reward systems are skewed at the high and mighty, and the Nouveau riche and celebrities.
Let me also say that the enthusiasm and preparedness of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to open up its processes for scrutiny, accountability and transparency is unprecedented since we have been engaging with public institutions
What is driving the recently announced strategic partnership between the Federal Road Safety Corps and your Foundation?
When we started with the idea of creating Drama skits to campaign against corruption in Nigeria, we knew from the onset that we were going to inject more public empowering innovations as a strategic component of our overall theory of change.
The strategic partnership on the ‘Report-Corruption-App, called Flag’IT with the Federal Road Safety Commission is therefore, driven by a desire to have a more transparent and accountable society, where public institutions and citizens can be transparent and accountable for their actions.
The need to explore a technology-driven tool to empower citizens’ and stimulate public institutions’ engagement in fighting corruption in Nigeria, is initially hinged on the outcome derived from our previous campaigns and researches on the efficacy of technological innovation as a sure bet mechanism for providing measurable feedback, analytics and insights for effecting sustainable service delivery.
Also, I must say that our Funder on the project, John D and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation shares these values and actually took us through grueling pitch review sessions to ascertain how this would benefit the larger society.
Their central preoccupation was to ensure that we put in place supportive strategies apart from the messages on TV to inspire robust confidence in our public institutions.
The imminent successful birthing of this App is not just a major milestone for us, it is also a fulfilment of sort for the MacAuthur Foundation in it’s on going BET-ON-NIGERIA as we hold such strong conviction that this is the beginning of a subtle revolution to reorder our steps as a nation in delivering a less corrupt, excellent service to the people even as civil servants within government Agency.
People often condemn the civil service as a non-performing cesspool of corruption. But we believe the system can work if the engendering checkmating tools are in place.
More so, corruption has become normative, everywhere human beings exist, not in the civil service alone.
Let me also say that the enthusiasm and preparedness of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to open up its processes for scrutiny, accountability and transparency is unprecedented since we have been engaging with public institutions.
The Corp Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi made clear that the FRSC under his watch abhors corruption and has a zero tolerance for it.
In various conversations with us, he has demonstrated such audacious capacity to confront the monster of corruption headlong, with such unequalled passion to galvanize the collective competences of the Commission’s entire workforce to engender public trust.
We have observed this remarkable unbundling of pressure to “join them” within the complex dynamics and behavioral insights of various characters in the social ecosystem we live in as a society.
This FRSC leadership’s sincerity and welcoming disposition to our offer of collaboration became another driving force and a compelling imperative to launch the App.
Is this partnership a business venture or purely public service oriented?
The partnership is purely public service oriented. This is because, AFF believes the fight against corruption is a fight for the survival of the soul of Nigeria as a country.
I mean, it is not enough to keep the arm-chair criticism position when things go wrong. Genuine patriotism should trigger such moral obligation to proffer and bring solutions to the table in the various processes collectively employed in nation building.
So, part of the solution we bring to the table was to drive messages that provoke our individual consciences to do the right thing through our Corruption, Not In My Country Drama parodies which is now being followed by this App, and through which we have on-boarded FRSC as a public Agency.
We have also strengthened the capacity of their officials in an aggressive and very intensive training to aid them get acquainted with the App processes, and this would cascade across all of their Zones in the country.
We are also confident, by the level of supports offered, that the agencies we are partnering have the capacity to conduct detailed investigation to affirm the truth or falsehood of any reported cases, thereby reducing issues which may compromise the integrity and functionality of the App
Has your team envisaged possible sabotage of the App and made provisions for handling such issues?
The FlagIT App is fully encrypted with top-notch security features and managed by a dedicated team of enterprise-level programmers, who deploys, manages and reduces the risk of data interception on the platform.
The App also has a Geo-Tag feature that tracks location of citizen-reporters, thereby reducing the tendency for false reporting of corruption incidences.
We are also confident, by the level of supports offered, that the agencies we are partnering have the capacity to conduct detailed investigation to affirm the truth or falsehood of any reported cases, thereby reducing issues which may compromise the integrity and functionality of the app.
Is there no timeline to end this partnership?
No. Fighting corruption is a continuous exercise and as responsible citizens of Nigeria, we must and will continue to take on the hydra-headed –monster of corruption in our society, as long as it takes to reduce and eradicate.
Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done and you can look forward to further far-reaching innovative ideas in the offing, in clear alignment with our strategic goal and our Funders’ mission to transform citizens’ lives, and ensure the ordinary man on the street enjoys the impact of good governance.
At Akin Fadeyi Foundation (AFF), we also seek to keep working with citizens to shun corruption in the clear understanding that if people don’t constitute themselves into a responsible citizenry, they cannot produce an accountable leadership, because corrupt leadership is in itself a product of systemic decay in an endemic, corrupt society.