Accountability Lab is rebranding its principal public service campaign. Integrity Idol is a campaign that the Lab has run since 2014 after launching in Nepal. The grassroots program celebrates public servants of integrity and has since expanded to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Mali, Liberia, Uganda, South Africa and, most recently, Mexico.
The campaign invites the public to nominate outstanding public servants in various government sectors who demonstrate honesty and integrity under difficult circumstances. It also aims to reframe debates around corruption by ‘naming and faming’ do-gooders, rather than naming and shaming wrongdoers. The Lab then works with the winners to shift norms within institutions, build coalitions for reform and encourage young people to serve with integrity.
As the profile of the campaign has grown, it’s become necessary to differentiate its public image. The Lab has therefore decided to rename the campaign Integrity Icon. Founder and Executive Director of Accountability Lab, Blair Glencorse, said the decision was endorsed by the organisation’s global board of directors in May and takes effect today. “Integrity Idol has grown tremendously and at this point we want to ensure it has a unique brand that stands out in the minds of people who want better governance everywhere. This rebrand will also allow us to ensure continuity across countries as the campaign grows to new places and with new partners,” Glencorse says. “The program is also evolving to include deeper work with government partners and this rebrand allows us to shift the look and feel of our efforts as we do that,” he adds.
As in previous years, Integrity Icon will culminate each year with a public vote for the winners and will be complemented by a variety of impactful youth fellowship programs, including a film fellowship that produces short films on the finalists in each country and an integrity fellowship through which young people serve with the Integrity Icons.
Research from the Lab’s impact survey has shown that programs like this go a long way towards supporting positive behavioural changes and shifting social norms, especially where integrity and accountability are concerned. The survey also recognises “building communities of change-makers” as one of the Lab’s key strengths, a job the organisation hopes to refine with Integrity Icon.