An initial objective of NIA had to be to make the Jamaican people aware of our existence, purpose and goals. Thereafter to raise the awareness of the cost of corruption and the need for integrity in the public sphere, in the private sector, in civil society and in interpersonal relations. This is laying a foundation for citizen engagement in the combat of corruption. Available evidence suggests that this goal was significantly advanced through the following mechanisms:
- Three documentaries shown on free to air national television, on our website and Youtube entitled “The Cost of Corruption: Jamaica’s Barrier to Prosperity”. The documentary seeks to expose the economic and social costs of corruption to Jamaica in the past five decades by examining four blatant instances where the people of Jamaica have paid the price for the misdeeds of those in high places. The documentary features interviews with various academics, politicians and technical experts to ventilate the issues surrounding each case, and generally to discuss ways of getting Jamaica out of this malaise. [ Watch Documentary ]
- The second documentary film, “Building Integrity… A Work in Progress” focuses on athletics, the electoral system and the music industry as good examples of Jamaicans and Jamaican institutions making noticeable and commendable strides towards integrity and the tremendous positives that can be achieved within such an environment. The documentary as the name suggests also accepts that this is a work in progress and also seeks to use the stated examples to highlight possibilities for the continued advancement in these and other institutions within the Jamaican landscape and also within the global arena. [Watch Documentary]
- NIA’s third documentary “The Voice of One, Two…Many: Speaking Out Beginning the Change” is a thirty minutes feature which provides historical examples ranging from the successful and determined advocacy of women in the 1970s who demanded that women be entitled to maternity leave benefits to the steadfast advocacy of ordinary community members in 2015 to demand their residential community not be illegally transformed into a commercial zone. The documentary through these and other examples is intended to provide encouragement to viewers and in particular Jamaicans to speak out about issues negatively affecting their lives such as corruption and other issues. The documentary shows the possibilities of securing fundamental changes with continued and resolute advocacy even in the presence of mounting obstacles. [Watch Documentary]
- Through anti-corruption related television commercials and radio advertisements; through island-wide town hall meetings and public forums in the main capital towns; [view media]
- Through presentations to a wide range of civic organisations, youth bodies, professional groups and through significant media coverage of NIA events, news releases and commentary on everyday developments.
Arising from this, by early 2013 one-third of the Jamaican population was aware of NIA’s existence (Global Corruption Barometer, 2013), bribery victimization rates had significantly declined (LAPOP, 2010-2014) and seventy-seven percent of the population indicated willingness to join an anti-corruption organization, more than 20% above global average (GCB, 2013).
Challenging Impunity /Capacity Building
A major overarching objective was to create an environment and develop more favourable conditions for the longstanding and deeply entrenched impunity of the well connected (‘big fish’ )to be broken. During the three years, some senior public officials and a few private sector individuals were brought before the courts but successful prosecution remains the exception, with only one conviction in the period. An element of our success in this area has been the capacity building and training of over 700 investigators, prosecutors and judges utilizing local and foreign experts in the field.
National Integrity Action (NIA) embarked on an islandwide membership drive in March 2015, to seek to establish the core of a social movement for integrity and against corruption. The rationale for this initiative is to increase the NIA’s reach and impact in arresting the problem of corruption in all spheres of life, while advancing the important message of integrity building across the length and breadth of Jamaica.
Since that date the organization has recruited and approved the membership of over four hundred (400) individuals.
We encourage others to join us as official members and we seek to continue our important task of leading the combat of corruption and importantly aid in the overall building of integrity.