One of the neatest anti-corruption sites around is India’s I Paid a Bribe, where people can anonymously report public graft. Their reports then appear on the site.
It was created by Ramesh and Swati Ramanathan, who live in Bangalore. Before moving there ten years ago, they lived and worked in New York for a long time, he as a banker and she as an architect.
‘I Paid a Bribe’ is an outgrowth of their non-profit foundation, Janaagraha, a pro-democracy group working to give people more say in the political process in India.
More than 10,000 citizens have filed reports in the year since the site was founded. And according to the Christian Science Monitor, the creators say they’ve heard from people in seven countries who want to start their own versions.
A few sites based on ‘I Paid a Bribe’ have popped up in China, including www.522phone.com. Most aren’t accessible for long, apparently because of government intervention.
Back in India, ‘I Paid a Bribe’ has brought change. For example, in the Indian state of Karnataka, according to the Christian Science Monitor, the transportation department automated the driving test after online complaints. “Applicants wheel their way around a track with embedded electronic sensors that record their actions, rather than a human test giver. Applications also are received online. Between them, the changes remove two opportunities for an official to ask for a bribe.”
One of our favorite features on ‘I Paid a Bribe’ are videos in some of India’s languages that teach how to resist demands for bribes. The principles are called the Ten Commandments. Here’s the English version.