Not satisfied with the Ukraine government’s “half-measures” to combat corruption, a group of professional investigative journalists called TOM 14 has developed a database for e-declarations three and a half years ago, activist Denys Bihus (second right) writes for World Affairs:
We recruited thousands of volunteers to collect data from their local and regional governments and developed a sophisticated array of features including full text search, red flags, and a data analysis tool kit. As of May 1st of this year, our website declarations.com.ua has attracted 650,000 visitors—more than its official government counterpart. Unlike the government database, which only includes information from 2016, ours shows the wealth officials have accrued over the past four years. Using this data, we uncovered evidence of corruption against more than twenty high-ranking public officials.
“Our goal is not to shame politicians, nor to get anybody fired,” Bihus adds. “I wish to change the mindset of Ukrainian citizens to build a culture in which people are honest, keep their promises, refrain from exploiting others, and together build peaceful, prosperous lives.”
Denys Bihus is the leader of TOM 14, a group of investigative journalists in Ukraine. He is one of five anti-corruption activists honored with the 2017 Democracy Award of the National Endowment for Democracy.