These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
The Wall Street Journal
World Bank Says National Anti-Corruption Authorities Need to Step Up
“The World Bank’s anti-graft unit says many countries aren’t following through with investigations of corrupt conduct discovered by bank officials.
The Integrity Vice Presidency referred 40 cases to governments and anti-corruption agencies for investigation in fiscal 2011, and 32 cases the year before, but the response has been underwhelming, bank officials said in a report released Friday.
“We expect national authorities to give proper attention and consideration to the Bank Group’s referrals of investigative information,” said World Bank President Robert Zoellick in an introduction to the report. ‘Ideally, this should lead to their undertaking competent investigations, prosecutions, and adjudication within the country—but it often has not.’” READ MORE
How people learn about their local community
“Contrary to much of the conventional understanding of how people learn about their communities, Americans turn to a wide range of platforms to get local news and information, and where they turn varies considerably depending on the subject matter and their age, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and Internet & American Life Project, produced in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that asks about local information in a new way.” READ MORE
Open Society Foundations
Mapping Digital Media: The Media and Liability for Content on the Internet
“The Open Society Media Program has commissioned background papers on a range of topics that are important for understanding the effects of new technology on media and journalism. The papers accompany a series of reports, "Mapping Digital Media," on the impact of digitization on democracy in 60 countries around the world.
This paper provides an overview of content liability on the internet, with a focus on the risks to human rights as governments claim extended authority over this unique, borderless medium. Speakers may be liable for content online in many of the same ways as offline, but additional rules often exist. Many countries are enacting internet-specific speech laws, often imposing enhanced liability for online expression. In addition, some governments are extending broadcast-type regulations to online media, which could create new sources of liability.” READ MORE
“Qatar partners with the United Nations Development Programme to implement a new Arab anti-corruption project, marking the first time that an Arab country will work with the organization on a regional democratic governance initiative.
The agreement is part of a new Anti-Corruption and Integrity in the Arab Countries project that aims to help policymakers and practitioners fight corruption. The project, based out of Doha, offers concrete assistance to all willing Arab countries, and will initially focus on Djibouti, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, the occupied Palestinian territory and Yemen.
UNDP will support stakeholders, including state institutions and civil society organizations, to deepen their knowledge on the scope and impact of corruption at the country level, as well as to implement key preventive and punitive measures under the United Nations Convention against Corruption in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.” READ MORE
“A reader, David, asked an important question in response to my blogs about governance and outcomes. Essentially, he noted that the world of development has come a long way in recognizing that governance matters. Nowwe have a focus on administrative structures, rules of the game and the like, under the title 'Governance'. If we start saying that governance must be about outcomes, could we lose this focus...
A great question (which I hope I have represented fairly). Here are my thoughts on it.
While my past work may seem to suggest I see outcomes as measures of governance themselves, I do not. Outcomes come into the picture because governance must be about outcomes. So, governance is about the institutions, structures, systems etc. that shape authority mechanisms principals use to ensure that agents produce outcomes that lead to welfare gains for the principals.” READ MORE