These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
The Wall Street Journal
How To Calculate How Much The Bribe Was Worth
“In the murky world of international corruption, it’s frequently unclear who is paying who and how much they’re paying.
It’s even harder to figure out how much profit a businessman or a company may have derived from greasing the palms of a corrupt government official.
Despite this lack of clarity, ill-gotten gains are one of the primary metrics governments use to calculate penalties for bribe-payers — the thought being, proceeds can only be confiscated if they are calculated accurately.” READ MORE
Make Aid Transparent
Petition delivered at 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness
“A total of 63,905 people from 218 countries and territories have signed a petition calling on aid donors to publish more and better information about the money they give to developing countries.
The petition says: “Providing more and better information about aid isn’t hard, and it will help save lives, reduce corruption and waste and deliver lasting positive change in the world’s poorest countries.”
The campaign was backed by 105 civil society organisations from both developed and developing countries and was presented to Ministers today at the fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea. Those who received the petition include Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for Development Cooperation Sweden, Dr Raj Shah, Administrator of USAID, and Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development, UK.” READ MORE
“Economic growth, job creation and better livelihoods are improving the quality of life in many African nations, and U.S. and U.K. officials say good governance and leadership must be in place for the pattern to continue.
Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a joint statement November 28 expressing their optimism about the economic growth and opportunity they see in Africa.
‘Over the past decade, eight economies from sub-Saharan Africa have more than doubled in size,’ the Shah-Blair statement said. ‘Foreign direct investment increased fivefold from 2000 to 2010, domestic revenues have grown, and aid dependence fallen.’” READ MORE
Committee to Protect Journalists
Most countries fail AP's test of right-to-know laws
“The right to information is at the heart of CPJ's advocacy for press freedom, so we naturally support legislation granting that right, whether it is to journalists or ordinary citizens (or those in the expanding area between). But laws purporting to uphold the people's right to information are only as good as their implementation. Today, The Associated Press published an in-depth look at freedom-of-information laws around the world and the extent to which they are followed. During one week in January, the AP submitted requests to 105 countries with right-to-know laws and the European Union, the agency reported.” READ MORE
Africa Renewal Online
‘Peer review’ and civil society keep African leaders on their toes
“Amos Sawyer is a member of the Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), established in 2003 by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the continental development plan. Mr. Sawyer is no novice on governance issues. During the early 1980s he chaired Liberia’s constitutional commission and in 1990–94 was interim president of the country, during one phase in that West African nation’s long civil war. He currently chairs Liberia’s Governance Commission, which recommends political and institutional reforms to consolidate peace and advance democratic practices.
Since the APRM’s formation, 30 African countries have joined the voluntary arrangement. Members have their governance practices reviewed through national consultations and discussions with APRM review panels and African heads of state. How well has this process been working, and what lies ahead? In this exclusive, full-length interview, Mr. Sawyer responds to Africa Renewal’s managing editor, Ernest Harsch. (A shorter version was published in the magazine’s December 2011 print edition.)” READ MORE