WHO IS BLAIR GLENCORSE?
Blair Glencorse is the Founder and Executive Director of the Accountability Lab, an organization that empowers citizens to fight corruption and build accountability around the world. He is also a Social Impact Fellow at the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania.
Previously, Blair worked for the World Bank on issues of governance and development. In 2014 he was selected as an Echoing Green Fellow and a Stanford Business School Social Entrepreneurship Scholar.
You can connect with Blair here:
IN TOR 038 YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT:
- Why transparency is probably the most important issue to address in international development, as it pertains to use of resources, promises kept and a properly working democracy.
- The Accountability Lab story from Blair’s perspective, its expansion, failures, successes and learnings.
- The importance of listening, especially to make sure people are receiving the things they actually need.
- How to design systems that promote transparency and integrity, and avoid pointing fingers or disrupting conversations.
OUR CONVERSATION INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
- Accountability Lab (AL)
- Integrity Idol
- World Bank
- Club de Madrid
- University of Pennsylvania (U. Penn)
- The Rockefeller Foundation
- Echoing Green
- University of Liberia
- Young policymaker development
- Flow of funds to and from government
- Language, listening, context
- Philadelphia, PA
- Monrovia, Liberia
- Kathmandu, Nepal
- Washington, DC
EPISODE CRIB NOTES
The Accountability Lab (AL)
Tools for accountability, fight corruption.
Building a new generation of transparent policymakers.
Transparency is the largest problem of the developing world.
Tools made for young people.
A big black hole of money. Ethical people stand out.
Looking for honest people, civil servants, get interviewed on TV. “Integrity Idol.“
People talk about it, share on social media.
Jumping to entrepreneurship
After graduation, joined the World Bank.
He expected people to ask about water quality. They requested transparency about flows of funds. It is the key to sustainable health and education.
Governments and officials are the problem.
Developed the concept in DC, reached out to organizations that were working on similar issues. But starting up was necessary to fill an issue and geography gap.
AL does not receive government or private donations, nothing political or business oriented. No agenda, focus on the flow of conversation.
Language is important. “It is not an anti corruption lab.” We’re not after people.
It’s about making clear rules. AL can be supported by anyone who believes.
Crowdfunding, now developing autonomous income streams like doing projects, offers training on integrity and accountability.
Developing a culture of accountability, and systems that work and allow it.
Liberian workshops, they educate on the value of integrity.
Tools and system
Not only change the way we do things, but how we relate on the space.
Ongoing talks with people on the ground, face to face or online.
Bringing context is important, new lessons and the right way to apply them.
A great international team, and expanding. Listening is more important.
Blair’s role is to focus on fundraising. On the ground project managers. The more freedom people have, the better.
In Monrovia, training community mediators. Highly population, poor, corruption. They didn’t want to accuse the current officials. Mediators were representative of the demographics. A system is put in place but nobody used it. They advertised, realize the system was not giving people a lot of value. When they realized they had to support more face-to-face interaction the reception was much better.
Blair’s career on the balance
After graduation, he started teaching in Zimbabwe at 18. Realized what he wanted to do.
Joins the World Bank. Never stops thinking about development, how to work better, more flexibly, better program turnaround.
Joined U. Penn. Thought about making charity more powerful.
About implementing more, better ideas, implement resources.
Club de Madrid, part time, offered advise to heads of state on leadership, transition, knowledge transfer.
Ideas Blair likes
All about technology and collaboration. Working space in DC.
Kenya mapping tool.
The Rockefeller Foundation has a development team.
Echoing Green is also stepping up.
Liberia, at U. of Liberia campus. Their students trying to grasp some ideas, challenges. They realized what they needed the most was an anonymous reporting tool, because of the ‘culture of silence.’ An SMS-based solution was created, it successfully expanded abroad.
“Listen a lot. There’s no listening when you’re talking.” Be on the ground listening to people.
Think about the change you want to see. If you care, take a lead and do it.
People will see what you do online.
Think about the skills you need and get them.
Please share, participate and leave feedback below!
If you have any feedback you’d like to share for me or Blair, please leave your thoughts in the comment section below! I read all of them and will definitely take part in the conversation.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask me directly, head on over to the Ask Stephen section. Don’t be shy! Every question is important and I answer every single one.
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