CAPE TOWN, 6 September – The state capture and other inquiries have shown that while “integrity” is ordinarily a four-syllable word, in South Africa it’s often treated as a four-letter word.

It’s not easy to find hope amid a scale of corruption that is almost beyond comprehension – role models who “serve the people” appear to be in short supply.

However, the Accountability Lab, a global NGO, has found a way to unearth Integrity Icons in countries, which its director, Blair Glencorse, calls a process which involves “naming and faming” instead of the usual “naming and shaming”.

The Accountability Lab acknowledges a lack of integrity – which leads to corruption, inequality and insecurity – is a global challenge.

“We have been operating in SA now for about two years, but we have some deep experience here through previously working on the issues of accountability and open government and anti-corruption.

“To change the narrative around the negative news that perpetuates the news cycle, particularly around corruption, which has been significant, is a campaign called Integrity Icon,” said Glencorse, who was recently appointed to the World Bank’s Expert Council on Citizen Engagement.

“It is about celebrating good people within public service who are doing the right thing, using public resources well and acting with integrity for the public good. The conversation tends to end up in finger-pointing and name-calling and that doesn’t really get us anywhere in terms of solutions.

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