Sakker el Dekkene’s (SED) project is an online interactive narrative that tells the story of a Lebanese life in bribes. The narrative follows a “typical” Lebanese person through major milestones in a lifetime and calculates the amount of bribes that could be paid throughout the “cradle-to-grave” scenario.
According to findings of a 2015 survey conducted by SED, the majority of Lebanese have no qualms about participating in corrupt behaviour. Corruption in Lebanon has become the norm and Lebanese citizens are forced to resort to bribery to get the most basic of services.
To combat this complacency the project adopts a somewhat sarcastic tone of voice, that is specific to the SED’s existing communications and campaigns. By using shock tactics, the team hoped to motivate the target audience by highlighting the significantly culminating amount of bribes paid in a lifetime.
SED’s database consisted of 1,561 bribery reports. The data was collected via surveys, on-the-ground collection, and reports submitted by individuals using the form available on the SED website. The data ranged from 06-2013 to 12-2014 and included parameters such as location, ministry, institution, procedure, date, bribe, and amount.
The web developers used the RAW data visualisation platform to generate myriad representations of the data in order to get a feel of the scope of information at hand. Those were in the forms of table charts, dynamic timelines, bar charts, and tree maps.
The team then proceeded to identify the narrative and and agree on the different milestones that would lead the user through the journey of “a life in bribes”.
Once the milestones were pegged down, came the copywriting which was done in the sarcastic style of SED, while the designers undertook creating the visual style and the rapid prototyping of the interactivity elements.
To render the bribes amount relatable, the user is shown what could have been done with that money if it wasn’t spent on bribes. In order to make the alternatives plausible, the team drew heavily on insights that are specific to the Lebanese audience: the daily importance of food and the use of personal transportation.