Sunday, December 05, 2010

Straight from

"...a more inquiring media can make a difference in the world

3.1 The Malaria Case Study: the antidote is good governance born from a strong media

Malaria is a case study in why good governance not just good science is the solution to so much human suffering. This year, the mosquito borne disease will kill over one million people. More than 80% of these will be children. Great Britain used to have malaria. In North America, malaria was epidemic and there are still a handful of infections each year. In Africa malaria kills over 100 people per hour. In Russia, amidst the corruption of the 1990s, malaria re-established itself. What is the difference between these cases?

Why does Malaria kill so many people in one place but barely take hold in another? Why has malaria been allowed to gain a foothold in places like Russia where it was previously eradicated? We know how to prevent malaria epidemics. The science is universal. The difference is good governance.

Put another way, unresponsive or corrupt government, through malaria alone, causes a children's "9/11" every day. [1]

It is only when the people know the true plans and behaviour of their governments that they can meaningfully choose to support or reject them. Historically, the most resilient forms of open government are those where publication and revelation are protected. Where that protection does not exist, it is our mission to provide it through an energetic and watchful media.

In Kenya, malaria was estimated to cause 20% of all deaths in children under five. Before the Dec 2007 national elections, WikiLeaks exposed $3 billion of Kenyan corruption, which swung the vote by 10%. This led to changes in the constitution and the establishment of a more open government. It is too soon to know if it will contribute to a change in the human cost of malaria in Kenya but in the long term we believe it may. It is one of many reforms catalyzed by WikiLeaks unvarnished reporting.3.2 The importance of principled leaking to journalism, good government and a healthy society" Read the rest

Some comments:
1. Scandinavia, not America, is where to look for models of participatory democracy.
2. Nigeria, with the egregious abuses of cliquish access to money via elected office, will innovate and come to lead the world in practising decentralized democracy.
3. Because we are not even under military rule, the amount of freedom we possess is enormous. It is only fear that holds us back. Pity.
4. Did you know that all formal activities of the Nigerian (federal) legislature are currently on their official website? A few state legislatures have limited sites as well, with phones/emails of state assembly members, and record of legislation passed. This is commendable and should allow a watchful citizenry to observe and comment on their government.

Next I'll post links to the websites of a few (Nigerian) state houses of assembly and expect your comments on what transparency improvements you want to see.

Speaking of transparency, buy Sunday next Newpaper today. At =N=200, it's the deal in Sunday newspapers. I just read mine, and it's worth it for the editorial column alone.

1 comment:

t said...

WikiLeaks’ flawed answer to a flawed world

"...In the long run, WikiLeaks matters for two reasons. The first is that we need a better balance of power between people and power. Information – and specifically the Internet’s power to spread it – is our best defense against bad, unaccountable behavior.

Second, we do want to trust our governments and institutions. The point of openness is to make those in power behave better – and to make us trust them more. Rather than viewing them as enemies, we should know what they are up to, and perhaps have a little more say in what they do.

Making that happen requires someone willing to face opprobrium, jail, and a life of surveillance. I wish Julian Assange were a better person, but better people are not rising to the challenge."

Source, Read the whole article here

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