This Digital Platform Fights Corruption by Bypassing the Officials Demanding Bribes
By Adele Peters
Until recently, when someone paid taxes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the tax collector might have pocketed some of the money. One of the poorest countries in the world, the DRC is also one of the most corrupt: In one recent survey, 80% of citizens said that they’d paid a bribe or “given a gift” within the last year to get basic public services from the police, schools, health clinics, utilities, or to get an ID.
A new e-government platform is trying to change that culture by making government processes digital for the first time. The new platform, rather than a potentially corrupt official, calculates what someone owes in taxes or to register the birth of a child, and when someone makes a digital payment, they get a receipt on their mobile phone.
Photo courtesy of Russell Watkins / DFID.