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Accountability Lab launches Integrity Icon campaign

Accountability Lab Zimbabwe has launched a campaign that seeks to celebrate exemplary figures in the health and education sectors.

The campaign called Integrity Icon aims to celebrate individuals working in the health and education sector who go beyond the call of duty.

It is a positive way to create meaningful conversations about what it means to be a public servant and shines a light on the role of ordinary people in strengthening national institutions. 

Integrity Icon began in Nepal in 2014, spread to Liberia in 2015, and has now evolved into a global campaign that is also active in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Mali, South Africa, and Mexico, United States (Philadelphia), Morocco, Somaliland, the Democratic Republic of Congo and now, Zimbabwe.

In a press statement, Thursday, Accountability Lab Zimbabwe said the campaign also aims to inspire young people by showing that public service is a career path in which they can work with integrity and honesty

“It will connect and support the winners to help build coalitions of reformers and value-based decision-making within public institutions over time. The Integrity Icon campaign builds support for public servants’ efforts to improve the institutions in which they work, shifting norms and behaviours towards accountability and integrity,” the organisation said.

They said the campaign is borne out of an understanding that negative narratives often lead to a sense of hopelessness, and may negate genuine citizen and public service-led efforts for reform. 

“Integrity Icon uses positive narratives to address this sense of hopelessness and promote honest and ethical conduct in the provision of public services.

“Through Integrity Icon, the Lab and its partners will build support for their efforts to realize a collective societal shift towards ethical conduct and greater accountability. When there is a clear lack of accountability, trust in democratic institutions is eroded,” said the Lab.

Accountability Lab Zimbabwe said the campaign is driven by citizens, who, based on their experience, will nominate and vote for Integrity Icons in the health and education sectors.

“Through these actions and larger discussions about the integrity of public institutions, the campaign invites citizens to think about and share what is needed to build an open, inclusive and accountable society.”

 They added that the launch of the campaign comes at a time when the government of Zimbabwe has also expressed strong intentions of dealing with corruption in the public sector. 

“Through the National Development Plan 2, Agenda 2030, and Public Service Commission’s plans to reform the civil service, Zimbabwe has committed to building a middle-income country grounded in transparency, accountability, and good governance. President Mnangagwa has indicated the difficulties of fighting corruption in the country, noting the endemic nature of corruption and lethargic service delivery within public institutions. The President shared that meeting these challenges requires the participation of all citizens and institutions,” said Accountability Lab.

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