BENEFITING: ACCOUNTABILITY LAB
EVENT DATE: Oct 20, 2013
I'm running the Amsterdam Marathon to raise money for one of the Accountability Lab's "Accountapreneurship" projects in Liberia.
Please please show your support. Any sum, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated.
Liberia is perceived by its own citizens to be the second most corrupt country in the world according to Transparency International’s most recent survey. At the root of this corruption is a systemic lack of information, which prevents transparency and accountability.Unless citizens have access to information about how their country is run and can hold their leaders to account, resources will continue to be spent in a way that does not further the public good. A few of the government ministries have websites, but these are confusing and out-dated. When Liberians take the time to visit the ministries in person, they are met with disorganized records and uncooperative officials. The media can serve as a bridge between citizens and the government, but few can afford daily newspapers or access to the Internet. The people of Liberia are frustrated with the status quo and want to contribute to change, but they lack the information they need to hold those in power responsible for their actions.
Alfred Sirleaf, a Liberian citizen journalist, saw the people’s desire to be better informed and devised an innovative solution: the “Daily Talk,” a large handwritten chalk-billboard at one of the capital’s busiest road intersections. Each day, he curates dozens of newspapers and communicates with a wide network of citizen journalists to develop relevant and important headlines, and then displays them in colloquial language and illustrations that even those with limited literacy can understand. His billboard has proved a huge success, providing as many as 10,000 passers-by each day with free and convenient access to top news stories in a way they can understand. The Daily Talk has been internationally recognized- in the New York Times and Al Jazeera for example- but no-one has ever taken the time to support the initiative further.
I'm raising funds for Accountability Lab to help Alfred maintain his great work and to expand the scope of the Daily Talk to include instructions on how to navigate government services, such as how to submit a Freedom of Information request, how to start a small business, and many other pressing issues that Liberian citizens have identified as concerns. The money will cover: weather-proof chalk, training for citizen journalists, and outreach to citizens to determine what information they want to hear. 100% of the funds you contribute will be used on the ground in Liberia to support this project, and donations are tax-deductible. Please donate what you can!
Alfred’s billboards are low cost but high impact. They are designed and maintained by locals who know and understand the people they are serving. With your support, the Daily Talk billboards will give thousands of Liberians a day access to the information they need to hold their government accountable. It will increase the level of understanding and engagement between Liberian citizens and their government. It will give citizens greater voice and dignity and empower them to serve as a check against government corruption. This newfound sense of accountability will serve as the gateway for greater political, economic, and social development throughout Liberia. The Lab hopes that these boards will serve as a model to improve citizen awareness and participation in other difficult areas around the world.