Critical Flow Model

Underlying Principle

The model is based on broadcasting information of 'critical' value (which by its very nature will not be disclosed by those involved with bad governance practices) to targeted audience using ICTs and other tools. Targeted audience may include media, affected parties, opposition parties, judicial bench, independent investigators or the general public.

Those who would divulge such information could include upright officials and workers, whistleblowers, affected parties and those who were themselves involved in bad governance practices but have now changed their minds or may wish to trade such information for lenient punishments.

The use of this model requires a foresight of:

  • Understanding the "critical and use value" of a particular information set

  • How or from where this information could be obtained

  • How could the information be used strategically

  • Who are the best target group for such information- the users for whom the availability of this information will make a huge difference

The strength of this model is that the concept of 'distance' and 'time' becomes redundant when information is hosted on a digital network. Once available on the digital network, the information could be used advantageously- by instantly transferring the critical information to its user group located anywhere or by making it freely available in the wider public domain.
 
Applications

This model could be applied in the following possible ways:

  • Making available corruption related data about a particular Ministry / Division/ Officials online to its electoral constituency or to the concerned regulatory body.
  • Making available Research studies, Enquiry reports, Impact studies commissioned by the Government or Independent commissions to the affected parties.
  • Making Human Rights Violations cases violations freely available to Judiciary, NGOs and concerned citizens.
  • Making available information that is usually suppressed, for instance, Environmental Information on radioactivity spills, effluents discharge, information on green ratings of the company to concerned community.

 

Examples

 

Global: Wikileaks
www.wikileaks.org
WikiLeaks is a not-for-profit media organisation. It brings important news and information to the public. It publishes secret information, news leaks and classified media from anonymous sources to keep the public informed, amongst others on cases of corruption, whistleblowing, and crimes.

Global: Transparency International -Daily Corruption News
http://www.transparency.org/feed/dcn
A service is being run by Transparency International called the "The Daily Corruption News" which reports on corruption from around the world. The daily corruption news has been coming out since May 2000.

Bangladesh: Human Rights Portal
http://www.banglarights.net
The portal actively promotes human rights reforms both within Bangladesh and across geographical and political boundaries, and will support women, children, and marginalized communities in resisting social oppression. It  look at attempts by global forces (powerful governments, TNCs, international organizations) through surveillance, covert mechanisms and military and economic superiority to exploit and control smaller nations and communities.

India: Central Vigilance Committee
http://cvc.nic.in
The website provides free-access information to citizens about government officials who have been indicted on judicial charges relating to corruption and have been advised penalty.  People can also file complaints against any public servant who fall within the jurisdiction of the Commission.

India: Project VIGEYE
http://www.vigeye.com/

Vigeye (Vigilance Eye) is a citizen-centric initiative, wherein citizens join hands with the Central Vigilance Commission in fighting corruption in India. Project Vigeye is the platform through which vigilance information flows freely through common public, the government agencies and the vigilance commission, making it possible to achieve a step jump in improving the corruption index of the nation.

China: Human Rights in China
http://www.hrichina.org/

Human Rights in China (HRIC) is an international non-governmental organization founded by Chinese scientists and scholars in March 1989.  It strives to make information on human rights issues accessible to the Chinese people through short-wave Chinese radio broadcasts, overseas Chinese publications, and an evolving virtual media hub on human rights.

 
El Salvador: Probidad
http://www.probidad.org/
Probidad promotes democratization efforts vis-ˆ-vis diverse and integrated anti-corruption initiatives, most which rely on the use of ICT and an extensive network of contacts. The  activities are designed to monitor corruption and control mechanisms; mobilize awareness about the complexities and costs of corruption and increased interest and participation in curbing it; enhance the anti-corruption capacity of other civil society organizations, media, government, business, and researchers in our region; and contribute to more informed local and context-specific measures that undermine corruption and promote good governance.

Discussions
This model is more directed and evoled in comparison to the Broadcasting / Wider - Dissemination Model. Different organizations can use it differently depending on the aspect of governance they situation they want to address. By focusing on the critical aspect of information and locating its likeable users, the model corrects information failure, raising awareness about the bad governance practices, and acts as a hindrance to bad governance practices.

At the same time, the model exerts indirect pressure on the concerned governance institution / policy-making body to move away from optimal ignorance attitude to reform, and take into cognizance the interest and opinion of the masses in decision- making processes.

The model may not work in cases where the governance mechanism does not allow public debates and opinions, and censures all information of critical nature. This model unlike the Broadcasting/ Wider-Dissemination model would be more effective in situations of Optimal Ignorance of the Government. Optimal ignorance occurs when injudicious decisions are taken not in the absence of availability of enough information but because of disregard of information by the decision-makers.