These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
"In its new 2011 Corruption Perceptions Index, Transparency International makes a direct link between global corruption and increasing public protests demanding transparent and accountable governance, from European demonstrations over the debt crisis to the Arab Spring.
Compiled annually, the Index ranks perceived public sector corruption in 183 nations, based on indicators such as information access, bribery, kickbacks, embezzlement and government anti-corruption efforts.
'Public outcry at corruption, impunity and economic instability sent shockwaves around the world in 2011. Protests in many countries quickly spread to unite people from all parts of society,' wrote Transparency International. 'Their backgrounds may be diverse, but their message is the same: more transparency and accountability is needed from our leaders.'" READ MORE
Financial Task Force
Honoring International Anti-Corruption And Human Rights Day Online
"It is appropriate that the United Nations officially recognizes Anti-Corruption (9 December) and Human Rights (10 December) on two consecutive days as the two issues are inextricably linked. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services…” Corruption undermines a society’s ability to attain these basic standards. When corrupt individuals and institutions steal aid money, or a Multinational Corporation exploits a country’s resources or shifts profits to evade taxes, it is the average citizen that suffers lack of food, education, medical care, and more." READ MORE
Technology Is Helping the Fight Against Corruption
"Just last week, a man in northern India made news around the world when he dumped 40 snakes on the floor of the local tax office, angry at allegedly being asked to pay bribes to local officials over a land allocation. People will use whatever means they have at their disposal to take a stand against the corruption that stifles their daily lives. And in the developing world the cost of corruption can take a heavy toll: a bribe paid by a father to get a license can mean a poor family goes without food; books never delivered to a classroom mean children lose an opportunity to learn; looting in irrigation means farmers are forced to pay a high price to water their crops or watch them die." READ MORE
"Governments worldwide must boost internet accessibility in order to nurture democracy and economic development, entrepreneur Loic Le Meur said in Paris at a prestigious technology conference that he founded.
The conference brought together some 3,500 of the world’s top digital experts and entrepreneurs from 60 countries, who discussed the state of the technology industry and its relationship with economic growth.
'Stage one is to help provide those tools to help people express themselves and get more democracy,' said Le Meur, who founded the annual LeWeb conference. 'The next stage is economic development.'" READ MORE
"One of the new exciting initiatives happening in Rwanda is Minister Mondays. A few times a month, the Minister of Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho goes on Twitter and answers questions from the general public. She answers questions from a wide range of topics, this week's focusing on nutrition. That kind of access to leadership and transparency is to be applauded and is something pretty unique, not just in Rwanda but in the world.
But one thing we thought could be better was that the primary form of interaction was via Twitter. Though it is a great platform for reaching a digital audience, it does leave out quite a few participants in a country where the penetration of PCs (and Twitter) is still low." READ MORE