Citizens Against Corruption

Matt O'Reilly | Indigo Trust | May 20, 2013

Last week, the UK’s Overseas Development Institute hosted an event examining the role that citizens can play in challenging corruption. Pierre Landell-Mills – from the Partnership for Transparency’s Fund (PTF) and author of the new book Citizens against Corruption – was adamant that governance reform can only come from within a country and that external attempts to bring about reform have largely failed. As evidence, he offered the experiences of some of PTF’s partners working in 53 countries across the globe. According to PTF, the use of small grants (approximately $25,000) has enabled civil society organisations to drive savings of tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars. In the Philippines, for example, students equipped with mobile phones documented the misuse of official vehicles by public servants, while a second project in the country saw pupils take an active role in monitoring the production and distribution of school textbooks. PTF believe that there is a huge reservoir of potential citizen activists simply waiting for the right opportunity to come along.