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Corruption Hunters Leave the Washington Meeting with Renewed Energy and Vigor for Action

Dina Elnaggar's picture

The energy that members of the International Corruption Hunters Alliance (ICHA) brought to their first meeting is beyond words.  “Stealing is bad enough, ripping off the poor is disgusting.” With those words, the World Bank President kicked off a 2-day momentum for the Corruption Hunters to “draw strength, learn from one another and create their global alliance.” And rightly so, they did.  A “marketplace” showcasing select country experiences offered some space for some delegates to speak firsthand of their challenges and lessons of success and failure. 

The virtual discussions that were launched between alliance members before the meetings were resumed (this round face to face at the World Bank headquarters) only a few hours upon the arrival of more than 240 participants from 134 countries.  Priorities for action were discussed raising some of the tough questions:  what are the limitations when it comes to enforcement in both developing and developed countries? How can the alliance help, facilitate and advance progress? What can the Bank and other development partners offer? How can ICHA members rally  their collective force against some of the tougher transnational fraud and corruption crimes? The show of force and energy was a profound backdrop to the loud voices vowing to stronger action. 

The energy that these Corruption Hunters brought to their new alliance inspired more than 300 participants.  Many spoke with the impatience and determination that drives success, and all spoke with the reassuring commitment that they will not give up.  The majority expressed the frustration of having to navigate their fraud and corruption battles on their own and all recognized that in sticking with an international alliance, there is a shortcut for success to be sustainable and change to be progressive.  

The formal and informal relationships that were developed between members of the ICHA will be guided by the spirit of action that this meeting generated.  The Integrity Vice Presidency (INT) of the World Bank also signed 3 cooperation agreements with the anti-corruption agencies in Thailand and Uganda in addition to the UN.  These agreements will ensure that the momentum continues but this is not the only outcome of the meeting.  Over the next year, INT will continue to reach out to the Corruption Hunters on each of the 4 themes that the alliance identified as priorities.  So there is more to come and we will continue to update you on the experience of this new and promising initiative on our webpage: www.worldbank.org/integrity
 

Photo Credit: © Arne Hoel/The World Bank

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Comments

Submitted by J Martone on
A good start! I look foward to the day that this translates into arrest, prosecution and incarceration of those engaged in corruption, officials and non-officials alike!!

Submitted by Anonymous on
Cutting down corruption at the roots need a new paradigm of human development to catalyze individuals to rise above oneself based on spirituality so that humans realize dignity of creation and lives accordingly. Faith based development can take accountability beyond grave for a corrupt-free world.

Submitted by mumtaz on
this is a invaluable step and effort by the world bank to check corruption as we have been burdened with CORRUPTION, SCAMS, FRAUDS of various kinds through out the globe i am perticularly happy, to see that mr. riaz, officer from karnataka lokayukta, india, who is honest & sinciere to the core, is also invited for the event best of luck and wish the end of corruption globally mumtaz

Submitted by irene M.N on
I look forward to seeing you tackle Uganda's case as a matter of urgency.

Submitted by Dr Jon Cloke on
As someone who has been writing on corruption/anti-corruption in an academic capacity for a number of years now, I find these pages and this initiative fascinating. I am however fearful that the discourse under which ‘anti-corruption’ is being constructed is so partial that what is represented here is symbolic change that neglects the role of rich and powerful countries and corporations. This is a discourse that favours concentrating on poor-country public-sector corruption as a component of development rather than what it is, which is part of a global pandemic driven at the macro-scale by corporate-government patronage systems. Needless to say, over-arching this globalization of corruption is the wrong neoliberal model of economics which the World Bank and the IMF continue to promote. Having had the chance to look briefly through some of the literature on your site, I’m dismayed by the same dismal insistence on a public-government-governance nexus which completely ignores the substantial, indeed dominant role of the corporate sector in using corruption as a business strategy. In your document ‘Reforming Governance Systems under Real-World Conditions’ for instance you outline six sections, in not one of which is mentioned corporate influence, corporate/rich country strategic interests, corporate/elite alliances or imbalances of power – what ‘real world’ is this set in? Similarly, your Six Key Challenges cover governance reform through political leaders, policy makers and legislators, it covers gaining the support of public sector managers, transforming public opinion and encourages citizens to demand accountability and talks vaguely about vested interests. Of what help will an analysis like this be in understanding endemic corruption in (for instance) Nigeria, where as we have recently learned Shell has spent a considerable amount of time and effort in capturing the state and in dominating existing patronage/clientelism-based networks? Finally, the Bretton Woods Institutions need to analyse and understand their own role in fostering and promoting corruption in countries in development – a good example of this would be World Bank/IMF involvement in the Indonesian ‘poster child’ governments under Suharto. The World Bank cannot simply convert itself at will into a centre of expertise on anti-corruption by ignoring its own active (and continuing) role in promoting corruption through the application of a fundamentally flawed orthodox economic model and through continually putting the priorities of the developed market economies of the global north first.

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