Avatar and Corruption Watch launch open data tool

Avatar Agency Group has announced that it worked alongside Corruption Watch in the launch of South Africa’s first interactive open data tool, Veza. The tool aims to safeguard transparency in policing in the country. The tool also aims to place the power to hold the South African Police Service (SAPS) accountable in the hands of the public. 

Veza is a colloquial term for ‘reveal’ or ‘expose’. The tool aims to equip a wide range of people — from researchers, journalists, activists and communities to the public at large — with the knowledge and insight to demand better and more accountable policing.

Kavisha Pillay, head of stakeholder relations and campaigns at Corruption Watch, says,

 “Using technology and innovation to address systemic and pervasive corruption has always been central to the Corruption Watch approach. This Veza tool signifies a new era for us, as we explore how transparency, big data and accessible technology can also be used to combat corruption and advance social justice issues.”

It also provides an opportunity for the SAPS and other government structures to embrace the concept of open data and public access to information. This will go a long way to restoring public confidence in the vital role that they play in the country,” adds Pillay.

In ideating and marketing the tool, Avatar says that it worked closely with Corruption Watch to ensure that the organisation’s strategic objectives were met.

“Understanding Corruption Watch’s commitment to fighting corruption in the country, we were inspired by the fact that as much as this initiative is led by technology, it also relies heavily on human input for the greater good,”

says Veli Ngubane, chief creative officer at Avatar and the individual who led the creative path for Veza’s integrated campaign. 

“Our creative promoted active citizenry to confront the pandemic of corruption in the most important part of society: policing,” adds Ngubane.

The Veza tool also encourages the public to ‘re-hero’ and ‘re-salute’ the deserving men and women of the SAPS whose good deeds tend to go unnoticed. People can nominate ethical cops from their local police stations, says Avatar.

In helping create the ad, illustrator Sindiso Nyoni says, “As a practitioner who uses visual art in social commentary often, this project was the perfect fit in using my art to help address the issue of corruption, as well as drive the message home in support of what this first-of-its-kind tool offers.”

“A tool like this will help build public trust because it has the advantage of being able to equip a wide range of people,” adds Nyoni. 

“As a creative, it is great to see that the innovations that are shaping the future of public participation in law enforcement begin with emerging technologies that support new concepts of operations, enabling the interventions and relationships that keep society safe,

For more information, visit www.avataragency.co.za. You can also follow the Avatar Agency Group on FacebookTwitter or on Instagram

Author: Mulalo Mathelemusa

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