In May 2012 the Notinmycountry.org, was launched in Uganda by uploading a staff list of lecturers and administrators at 38 universities, adding up to approximately 3,800 individuals. However, Kenyan universities proved to be significantly larger which prompted the launch of Kenya’s chapter Just a year after it’s Launch in Uganda, Not In My Country on the 16th of April 2013 launched the site in Kenya and university students are using it to expose malpractices in their institutions, including corruption. with data from 8 Kenyan universities and more data for lecturers and administrators in the remaining 20 Kenyan universities being compiled
Through the website, students can anonymously and securely rate the job performance of their lecturers and administrators, report corruption committed by these individuals, and also view and participate in performance rankings of academic staff and departments.
One of the founders of the Not in My Country Kenya chapter had her examination marks allegedly withheld by a lecturer who had wanted to trade them for sex. As a result, her graduation was delayed.
The founders say that the creation of the local chapter of notinmycountry.org was inspired by a statement made by former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton when she visited Kenya in 2009.
Clinton said then: “I think there’s an opportunity for young people and for civil society to use modern technology to run corruption watches and reporting. Young people should use interactive media to report real-time allegations of corruption.”
She was speaking at a conference with young people in Nairobi. “What if we had groups of young people anonymously reporting all of these bribes with consequences aimed at individuals?” Clinton had posed.
The second inspiration, say the founders, came from former permanent secretary and anti-corruption activist John Githongo, who once said: “Corruption cannot be tackled from the top. It has to be confronted from the grassroots.”
The two perceptions embody the spirit behind notinmycountry.org. There is anonymity and it’s the students who are tackling the vice.
One of the founders explains why they prefer to remain anonymous: “For security reasons, we keep our identities anonymous to ensure that we can continue working to implement our mission to see a world free of corruption without constantly worrying about our safety.”
The website, says an administrator, has the ranking details of about 6,000 lecturers and administrators in more than 600 departments in some of the larger universities.Students visit the site and rate the job performance of their lecturers. They also report corrupt dons.
“We did not make the decision to launch in Kenya lightly. There was actually a fair amount of thought put into it. Most important was that corruption in Kenya’s Universities is a major problem. One only has to check out articles like this one in Africa Review or the Standard or perhaps more telling an online forum of Kenyatta University Students discussing sex for marks (Note: site contains explicit language). Kenya also has a large Internet population, and just like in Uganda, university students in Kenya are their country’s future leaders.” Reads a statement on their Official Blog
NotInMyCountry.org was founded by an international group of concerned citizens who were tired of seeing 7 out of 10 countries in the world suffer under the severe burden of corruption. We are students, lawyers, journalists, business people, human rights activists, security specialists, academics, and technology and communications experts. We believe that many of the world’s problems – poverty, environmental degradation, under education lawlessness, and inequality – may often be traced back to corruption.
Information from Daily Nation was used in this article