Media Release

Empowering Youth: USP and UNDP Launch Innovative Video Competition to Combat Corruption

Suva, Fiji – IN a significant move to enhance transparency and combat corruption, the University of the South Pacific (USP), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has announced an innovative video competition aimed at engaging the youth.

This initiative, timed to coincide with World Anti-Corruption Day, invites youths from 12 member countries to creatively participate in the Right to Information (RTI) project.

Professor Bibhiya Sharma, Head of the School of Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics (STEMP) at USP, in his opening address, emphasized the project’s objective to empower Pacific Island Countries (PIC) in their fight against corruption.

“The primary goal of the RTI project is to enhance the capabilities of institutions, systems, and mechanisms in the PIC to prevent and combat corruption more effectively,” said Professor Sharma.

Highlighting the innovative approaches of the RTI project, Professor Sharma drew attention to the development of the Pacific’s first RTI e-course and mobile app in the project’s second phase.

“These tools are essential for bridging the information gap and improving communication between the public and government institutions,” he noted.

With the commencement of Phase 3, the project aims to widen the reach of these tools, increase community engagement, and improve the quality of information dissemination.

“Our efforts are expanding across the 12 member countries, including Samoa and the Solomon Islands, to enhance awareness and engage directly with the populace,” elaborated Professor Sharma.

He also expressed excitement about the rewards for the competition winners.

“Winners will receive opportunities that extend beyond mere recognition. The top prize winners will not only gain local acclaim but also participate in key conferences both offshore and regionally. This will allow them to engage with global thought leaders and contribute to discussions on anti-corruption and transparency,” he stated.

Linh – Bui Phuong Tra, Programme Manager/Specialist for the Anti-corruption UNDP Pacific Office, reflected on the project’s journey and future vision in her address.

“The video competition marks a crucial step in engaging the youth and helping them champion the right to information,” she said.

She reaffirmed UNDP’s dedication alongside UK Aid to this anti-corruption initiative.

She outlined the project’s achievements since its inception in October 2021, noting significant milestones in Fiji, Vanuatu, and Tonga.

The STEMP RTI team’s efforts in raising awareness among students, youths, and women entrepreneurs were particularly commended.

With Phase 3, the project is expanding to Samoa and the Solomon Islands and launching RTI on ‘Bilibili’, showcasing a broader scope and innovative approach to information dissemination.

Vineet Singh, the Project Coordinator for RTI, shared insights into the video competition.

“This isn’t just a contest; it’s a movement leveraging the educational and motivational power of storytelling, especially among Pacific youth. Our aim is to use this platform to spread anti-corruption values globally,” he stated.

This competition is designed to utilize the viral nature of digital media, ensuring that the message of integrity and transparency reaches and resonates globally.

“The collaborative efforts of USP, UNDP, and UK Aid, along with their innovative strategies, have renewed hope in the fight against corruption,” concluded Mr. Singh.

This initiative exemplifies how teamwork, creative thinking, and the dynamic spirit of young people can bring about substantial and positive change.


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