Who is policing the police, you might ask? Now, YOU do!
Avatar Agency Group worked alongside its client, Corruption Watch, in ideating and to launch South Africa’s first interactive open data tool, Veza, to safeguard transparency in policing in the country. The tool places the power to hold the South African Police Service (SAPS) accountable in the hands of the public.
Veza, a colloquial term for ‘reveal’ or ‘expose’, equips 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.” Pillay continues: “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.”
In ideating and marketing the tool, Avatar worked closely with Corruption Watch to ensure that the organisation’s strategic objectives are 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,” comments Veli Ngubane, Chief Creative Officer at Avatar 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.”
The 90-second ad opens with the line: How do we combat corruption in our country, especially when the very same institutions who are mandated to do so are themselves corrupt? The ad goes on to challenge the status quo and encourage the public to take power back into their own hands. The message of the ad was clear: that normal people have the power to effect positive change.
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.
In helping create the ad, illustrator Sindiso Nyoni comments: “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.”
“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,” ends Ngubane.
To learn more about Veza, visit www.corruptionwatch.org.za to un-tjotjo and un-bribe the South African police force.
- Veli Ngubane- Chief Creative Officer
- Thabang Mputle – Creative Director
- Ashley More-Mazibuko – Copywriter
- Lunga Matholeni – Content Producer
- O’Brien Manana – visual and creative production studio, Soulfilter
- Sindiso Nyoni – Illustrator
- Nirisha Pillay – Senior Account Manager
- Ewoudt Cloete – Chief Digital Officer
- Veza tool developer – Bluegrass Digital