13/09/18 – WIN is pleased to highlight the work of the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) on the Corruption Anonymous (CORA) project in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s civil society has long been active in working to promote better governance and accountability mechanisms to reduce waste, harm and corruption at all levels of government and society and increase the well-being of Nigerians. Civil society organisations saw the importance of whistleblowing and protecting whistleblowers as a key element in engaging citizens in strengthening and nurturing Nigerian democracy as far back as 2002.
The work of AFRICMIL and the CORA project is exciting, creative and important. It reinforces the work already done in Nigeria and WIN is delighted to highlight it here.
In December 2016, the Nigerian Federal Government announced a whistleblower policy offering financial incentives for citizens who blow the whistle on wrongdoing that leads to the recovery of looted public funds.
In the year since, as part of its accountability and good governance initiative, AFRICMIL has proactively engaged with whistleblower protection issues. In particular, it launched the CORA project which allows individuals to report corruption anonymously online. The project raises popular awareness of government whistleblowing policy and works towards its effective implementation whilst promoting the value of whistleblowing and advocating for stronger protections.
The CORA project is supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and is focused on building public confidence and support for citizen engagement in the fight against corruption. Over the last year, AFRICMIL has directly engaged in the whistleblowing process, by intervening on behalf of whistleblowers victimised by their employers and highlighting the need for clear rules and guidelines to maintain the integrity of the whistleblowing system.
In April 2018, AFRICMIL delivered training for lawyers on whistleblower protection and the specifics of the government whistleblowing policy. The workshop was designed to engage public interest lawyers to increase their knowledge and understanding of whistleblower protection to better support whistleblowers. The lawyers who participated in the training have since formed a group known as the Whistleblower Protection Network. Using WhatsApp to communicate updates on whistleblowing cases, the group is able to share comments and suggestions on the best ways to render legal assistance to whistleblowers.
As well as working with lawyers, AFRICMIL has engaged government and law enforcement agencies, the media, and civil society in discussions around effective implementation of whistleblowing policy. The CORA project has produced a range of educational resources, making relevant information more widely available through its website. AFRICMIL has also undertaken a range of public awareness campaigns, promoting the policy through both Nigerian media outlets and various social media platforms.
Full details of the CORA project’s activities and work with the government whistleblower policy in Nigeria are available in AFRICMIL’s report, Engaging Whistleblowing in Nigeria: One Year of the Corruption Anonymous (CORA) Project.