RAI Secretariat kick-started a series of Masterclasses on successful public awareness campaigns

Citizens are important allies of public institutions, the non-governmental sector, and the media in the fight against corruption. Advocacy campaigns conducted through public information and education activities are creative and constructive tools to motivate and engage citizens to oppose corruption, it was said at today’s Masterclass “From silence to action” organized in Sarajevo for the representatives of institutions, media, and NGOs by the Secretariat of the Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI) in cooperation with the communication agency Via Media.

The Masterclass in Sarajevo kicked-off a series of workshops that will be held in Belgrade, Podgorica, Pristine, Skopje, Chisinau and Tirana in the upcoming months.

The engagement of the general public, especially of young people, as well as public pressure are essential allies in the comprehensive fight against corruption.

Civil society activists and journalists are essential in advocating ways to fight corruption, as they can convey positive messages to a wider audience. Cooperation between the media, civil society, and officials in public institutions is key to raising public awareness of the dangers of corruption. This cooperation contributes to citizens’ trust in the institutional fight against corruption”, concluded Mark Worth, RAI whistleblowing expert.

“The fight against corruption is among priorities defined in the Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s application for membership of the EU. Building public support for anticorruption efforts is of key importance. This is especially important in the context of whistleblowing and whistleblower protection. EU survey results showed that almost half of citizens would not know where to report corruption if they experienced it and only 15% of citizens knew about rules on whistleblower protection in their country. Similar survey results can be found in BiH and the region. To counter that, EU adopted the Directive on Whistleblower Protection in 2019 and has since then supported efforts, such as today’s event, to inform the public about their role in the fight against corruption and rights they enjoy”, said Enrico Visentin, Programme Manager at EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

One of the most effective tools for attracting the general public’s attention, in the context of public advocacy campaigns, are creative campaigns, which point to the problem that is being treated by the campaign from a completely unexpected angle. Such campaigns have the power to fight for a moment of attention, to inform and awaken the public “, said Elma Kadrić, strategic planner at Via Media and RAI expert, talking about the importance of informing the public about anti-corruption initiatives through successful media campaigns that can ultimately motivate society to act against corruption.

Public opinion creators and policymakers have the potential to encourage and inspire citizens to individually oppose corruption as a socially unacceptable phenomenon that directly threatens human rights and the development of the societies of the Western Balkans and Moldova.

The project’s overall goal is to strengthen the resilience to corruption of Western Balkan and Moldovan societies and their administrations. The masterclass “From silence to action” was realized as part of the project “Breaking the Silence: Improving whistleblowing policies and culture in the Western Balkans and Moldova,” funded by the European Union. After Sarajevo, this workshop will be held in Belgrade on June 9, 2022.