Yogera is a new initiative that allows residents in Kampala to “Report Poor Service Delivery” or “Celebrate a Hero” who has denied a bribe in their community.
The brainchild of a group of technologists, creatives and civil society groups, Yogera aims to inform people about their rights, provide an easy way to report corruption or poor service delivery, demand government response, and to champion public sector workers who resist corruption.
In recent decades, Uganda has made various efforts to establish systems to fight corruption, including a strong legal framework, but actual implementation of corruption prevention has been weak.
“In Uganda, corruption is widely considered a problem, across a range from demographics, from students to taxi-drivers, shopkeepers to watchmen,” says Roy Mukasa from Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU).
Adding, “Few people are aware of their rights; many people have paid or continue to pay bribes on a regular basis. For example, we have learned about school girls who have bribed to get good grades, and others who have bribed to get medical treatment – the list goes on and on.”
How it works
With Yogera (which means “speak up” in Luganda) anyone in Kampala can now anonymously report evidence of corruption via the Yogera website (www.yogera.ug) or via social media on Facebook or Twitter. Once a report is made, the Yogera team will follow up with the responsible district leaders or relevant authority to ensure that the matter gets resolved. And once it has been resolved, the Yogera team reports back to the online community too.
This way, citizens will be encouraged to speak up because of the change that has happened when they made their online report. Yogera also provides members of the public with an opportunity to encourage anti-corruption behaviour, with its “Celebrate a Hero” button.
“Technology presents us with huge opportunities to foster a culture of transparency and accountability,” says Barbara Birungi, Director of Hive CoLab, “In places where corruption is a social norm, citizens need to be empowered to work together to shift those norms. It is difficult for individuals to stand alone against corruption. Yogera provides an easy and safe way for them to do it together, and start to change norms”.
Corruption remains a barrier to development and poverty reduction in Uganda and in many other African countries – but it is hoped that new online tools like Yogera will help promote open democracy and foster a culture of accountability.
The Yogera pilot is led by Hive CoLab, Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) and Parliament Watch Uganda, and supported by mySociety, a UK based Technology firm.
It is funded by Indigo Trust UK and British Council UK. The number of civil society groups involved is growing, and we are inviting other players in the space to join the fight against corruption and bring on improved service delivery in Uganda. Become a supporter of Yogera here.