Transparent Governance – Technology to hold Public/Private Sector to Account (available)

Starting Date: June 2018
Duration: 8-10 Weeks
Time commitment: Full Time
Prerequisites: Computer Science Undergraduate Student, Enthusiasm and desire to be a problem solver.

Project Description

The costs to society of government corruption and low accountability are staggering. Countries on every continent struggle with entrenched corruption and opaque government processes, from graft and diversion of public funds to non-competitive procurement bidding processes. For several countries, public corruption is their single-largest challenge, costing the loss of funds, loss of opportunity, and even loss of life. Corruption in public procurement alone is estimated to cost roughly $2 trillion annually in global taxpayer funds, equivalent to about 2% of global GDP.

Often, the lack of transparency is at the centre of corruption. Processes such as public procurement and public funds management are opaque, providing an opportunity for mismanagement. Until transparency is addressed and citizens have greater access to information, public corruption and mismanagement in regions around the world are unlikely to improve markedly.

In this project, the UROP recipient will explore the challenges of making public funds management transparent. Making sure tax collection and spending of public money is transparent to the general public. For this transparency initiative, Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies provide an attractive platform.

The respective UROP recipient will be pivotal in shaping the scope of this project and lead the research activities in collaboration with the ISG-SCC team.

Required Technical Skills

ISG-SCC value the enthusiasm and commitment significantly and considers technical skills as an acquirable skill during the internship. However, basic understand and knowledge of web design, user interfaces and database design will be desirable.

What will you gain during UROP?

During this internship, the objective of the ISG-SCC is to make sure that you develop your independent research and development skills and enhance your skills on a) presenting the project’s progress, b) keeping in line with time management, b) research methods, c) technical writing skills for project outcomes and d) problem identification and solving.

ISG-SCC Track Record

ISG-SCC has successfully run the UROP for the last two years. The success of the previous two years has produced a patent application (under review by patent office) and commercial demo (MVP) under development, and five research papers. Corresponding undergraduate students are named as first authors on the papers and co-inventor on the patent application. Research papers by undergraduate students have won one ‘best student paper award’, featured in a news article on Medium and being pivotal for a World Economic Forum’s project for anti-corruption project. The ethos of ISG-SCC is that undergraduate students have the talent and imagination to sort out unique and innovative solutions. They just need guidance from established researchers, and this is what ISG-SCC will provide during the UROP.