Integrity Idol Liberia (by non-governmental organization Accountability Lab) is a national movement- on the ground, online and through the media- to celebrate and encourage honest government officials across the country. Rather than “naming and shaming” corruption, Integrity Idol celebrates people who are practicing accountability and highlights and amplifies their work. The reality show platform is both participatory and entertaining, allowing people to better interact with and internalize the accountability and anti-corruption messaging.
This year, Takun J, who is an Accountability Ambassador and a founding member of the Hip Co Accountability Network, is serving as one of 3 judges for the program. Commonly referred to as the “King of Hipco”, he is regarded as one of the pioneers of the politically charged musical genre spoken in vernacular Liberian English. Other judges for Integrity Idol 2015 include Aba Hamilton-Dolo and Paul Binkley.
Integrity Idol is a four month campaign (from September to December 2015) with the explicit goal of bringing Liberians across the country into a conversation about integrity and accountability. It will generate support for those civil servants within the system who are serving the public good.
The Integrity Idol campaign opened with a nomination process through which anyone can nominate an honest government official. The team verified submissions and selected a respected, expert panel that has now narrowed the field of submissions to the top five.
The top finalists are Daniel Gbety Nyenkan, a Court Clerk in Maryland County; Jugbeh Tarplah Kekula, a Nurse in Grand Bassa; Seorweh Dlayee Jaycheneh, a lawyer from Maryland; Oliver K. Kuson, a District Education Officer in Maryland; and Comfort Nimely, a caretaker at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Grand Kru County.
These five finalists will be filmed in November- doing their jobs, talking about why it is important to have integrity and interacting with others who can vouch for their great work. These 20 minute episodes will then be shown on national TV (and syndicated on national and community radio stations) in prime time across Liberia, while being posted on You Tube and social media.
Citizens will be made aware that they can vote for their “Integrity Idol” through a dedicated SMS short-code, e-mail and phone. After a public voting period of two weeks- through which we expect tens of thousands of votes- the Integrity Idol will be crowned in a televised public ceremony in Monrovia.
This project will draw upon the successful pilot of Integrity Idol in Nepal in 2014, which garnered over 4 million viewers (10% of the population and tens of thousands of votes- read more in the Guardian).