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Here are 10 ways to fight corruption

Robert Hunja's picture


1. Corruption is not only about bribes: People especially the poor get hurt when resources are wasted. That’s why it is so important to understand the different kinds of corruption to develop smart responses. 
 
2. Power of the people: Create pathways that give citizens relevant tools to engage and participate in their governments – identify priorities,  problems and find solutions.
 
3. Cut the red tape: Bring together formal and informal processes (this means working with the government as well as  non-governmental groups) to change behavior and monitor progress.

4. It’s not 1999: Use the power of technology to build dynamic and continuous exchanges between key stakeholders: government, citizens, business, civil society groups, media, academia etc.
 
5. Deliver the goods: Invest in institutions and policy – sustainable improvement in how a government delivers services is only possible if the people in these institutions endorse sensible rules and practices that allow for change while making the best use of tested traditions and legacies – imported models often do not work.
 
6. Get incentives right: Align anti-corruption measures with market, behavioral, and social forces. Adopting integrity standards is a smart business decision, especially for companies interested in doing business with the World Bank Group and other development partners.
 
7. Sanctions matter: Punishing corruption is a vital component of any effective anti-corruption effort.
 
8. Act globally and locally: Keep citizens engaged on corruption at local, national, international and global levels – in line with the scale and scope of corruption. Make use of the architecture that has been developed and the platforms that exist for engagement.
 
9. Build capacity for those who need it most: Countries that  suffer from chronic fragility, conflict and violence– are often the ones that have the fewest internal resources to combat corruption. Identify ways to leverage international resources to support and sustain good governance.
 
10. Learn by doing: Any good  strategy must be continually monitored  and evaluated to make sure it can be easily adapted as  situations on the ground change.

What are other ways we could fight corruption? Tell us in the comments. 

Comments

Submitted by Etienne Nkoa on

Why do we always tackle corruption through its consequences? Corruption is simply a symptom showing that things somewhere are going in the wrong direction, and one of the conséquences of this is corruption.

To my view the issue is on the correct application of rules and regulations and the sanction against those who do not comply to these rules.If people firstly concentrate on the respect of rules and régulations that govern the entity (family, enterprise, government, Council, country)and systematically apply sanctions against those (whoever they could be regardless of their rank, grade or cast) who depart from thèse rules, corruption will disappear without any other additional remedy. We need to change the paradigm.

This is a very interesting comment – the exact type of thought-provoking message that is appropriate for Anti-Corruption Day. Your comment drives home the importance of individual choices in enabling or resisting corruption. All successful corruption efforts ultimately change how individuals behave around rules and laws – and it is critical to hold on to that core and simple truth. The approaches that are listed in the blog primarily reflect the emphasis on changing behavior and the knowledge that applying sanctions for corrupt activities in a fair and systematic fashion is often a very difficult undertaking. In many places, corruption distorts every phase of the sanctioning process. The problem becomes even more complex when the rules themselves are seen to be the outcome of corrupt processes, and are seen to benefit a particular group. Perhaps the challenge is ensuring that in responding to a complex problem, we maintain our appreciation that the ultimate objectives are relatively simple – that people entrusted with public authority act in accordance with law and for the public good.

Submitted by simon on

As much as people adhere to the rule of law, those in authority turned to manupulate the system to their advantage as custodian of the policy.there for it quite complex and intricate to eradicate fraud and corruption in any spheres of the gouverment

Submitted by abdullahi mohammed on

Yes you have spoken well, Because human being are guided by LAW, so whosoever disobey the rule of law of his country, he will behave like Animal. so we should please respect the rule of law.

Submitted by Ngayong Joseph Wirngo on

The question you have put forward and the issues you have raised are of paramount importance in the domain of anti-corruption. Corruption can first and foremost be tackled proactively (through prevention). it is often said that "prevention is better than cure" or in other words "a pound of cure is worth an ounce of prevention" this simple means that safeguards can be put in place to prevent corruption at both the macro and micro levels by introducing ethos of transparency, accountability and efficiency in administrative and financial management. on the other hand where prevention fails us simply because of the presence of cunning people who can bend the rules in our organizations, we turn to reactive measures that require detection, investigation and prosecution. this is a scientific approach in the fight against corruption and the tendency is for this approach to replace the unpopular traditional approach that lays emphasis on punishment alone. the UNODC has through an effective anti-corruption instruments brought out in details the scientific approach through the UNCAC and this provides the basis for which member countries to the Convention can eradicate corruption in their various countries. Please I refer us to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption for more details.

Submitted by Dr. Abubakar Muhammad Moki on

Public funds have responsible officers whose function includes ensuring that public funds are protected from abuse and misuse. However, when abuse and misuse of public funds is detected nothing is done to those who were expected to guard against that. This is the mother of all loopholes in fighting corruption. To deal with the menace, such public officers should be given the first harsh sanctions in failing to perform their duties resulting into the abuse and misuse of public funds, otherwise without that, they are the key initiators of syndicate corruption and do it with impunity.

Submitted by Samir Kumar Das on

Corruption is a social evil. It germinates the good cause of the society and especially destroys the backbone of the society. We the member of IMAECSED vehmently opposing this social dragon. We are fighting since 1995 to make a clear and transparent country.

Submitted by Demba - Community Engineering Programme on

Stressing how much of a damage corruption does to the vast majority can help better addressing in across board. Better outreach and communication messages should draw on pertinent cultural and religious rhetoric.

Submitted by Kedar Khadka - GoGo Foundation from Nepal on

The above 10 points are interesting. However, the points are very general and more inclined towards theoretic so translating into action is difficult.

Submitted by tngbacang on

Sometimes rules and regulations only be applied in the civilized countries only but they are hardly enforcing in the socialist and dictatorship's world because at these governments systems civilians are hardly participating in governments controls and orders. However, the rule of law and methods of combat with corruption in a socialist and dictatorship regimes only work when all the people in that regime pull the "plug" altogether.

Submitted by Helen Sutch on

Surely transparency and accountability at all levels should form part of the response? If the citizenry and the media can't tell what's happening, how are they to target the sources of corruption? Rules and laws are an essential framework, but only if they work. Building strong, credible, transparent, accountable institutions that citizens can trust is surely crucial, and trust is the foundation of legitimacy.

Submitted by Abu Baker on

To combat corruption needs revolutionary approach in places like Africa. Corruption is betrayal to individual citizens and to the whole nation. In Iraq during the reign of Saddam guilty of corruption charges was execution. I would not advocate for that but things like life sentence without parole and confiscation of properties and implimentation of tougher penalties of whatever kind. But before you get to that point though, the desire and will to eradicate corruption has to first and foremost exist on the part of government leadership. Lets take an example of Kenya where hardly any leader from top down is clean of some type of corrupt act. Whatever strategy you put in place in that country to fight against corruption will not bear any positive results. There will be lack of desire and willingness on theire part because of their involvement in that social evil.

Submitted by NABAKISHORE PANDU on

The corporation and its kinds may be the different. The issues and the fighting corruption and its impacts to the general public is foremost important. come here to all participate for the real things for the goods reality. N.K.PANDU-NBDP INDIA PLANNER CUM PS TO CHAIRMAN-INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION

Submitted by Oladele O Olawole on

There is a link between corruption and culture. Fighting corruption in third world countries with the same methodologies applied in the West will continue to be a failure.

In my organisation we have identified that there is corruption everywhere and who are the perpetrators? Human beings of course! We looked for the common denominator and arrived at the MIND. Efforts should be made at changing the mindset, it should be integrated right from home and will have far lasting effect than chasing corrupt people.

Submitted by Amos Nyamutera on

My colleague Oladele you should not controversy between what is said to be corruption and cultural deeds especial those cultural norms of praising the beloved ones and friends on occasions such as gifts and praises on marriage,birthdays, Christmas gifts etc. Such issues are always done openly and they should not be regarded as corruptions. Corruption is normally done secretly so if you have been witnessing in your organization the habit of giving gifts with the intention of seeking good and timely services or providing services with the aim of saying thank you for your gifts therefore your organization is very corrupt and that should not be termed as a culture in that organization .
Also i would like to mention additional points on ways to combat and mitigate corruption internationally;paying civil servant well and timely,distorting subsidies with targeted cash transfer,establishing international conventions which will enable collaboration among national ant-corruptions bureau to find the corrupt people even if they run away from their nations and also using,ICT in money transactions such as buying products,tax collections and procurement processes.Finally community education and agitation will further help to build awareness among citizens on the evils of corruption in any nation.

Submitted by Kabiru danbiro on

Whatever you are saying is how to kill the Rats not how to block the holes.Ie the system that brings about corruption.

Submitted by Dr Sajjad Ahmad on

Free and fair election: In my opinion free and fair election can also stop the curb of this universally menace corruption. By electing a right person for a right job.

Submitted by Stanley Njoroge on

in my view, the fight against corruption demands a wholistic multi-pronged approach for it to be successfull. It Should not be left to an one anti corruption body but rather involve all sectoral stakeholders. First, you need political goodwill at the highest level.In Africa, you must root out conspicuos consumption based on illegally acquired wealth which apart from spiking inflationary trends, also acts as motivator to other people. In addittion, reducing bureaucratic red tape in service provision processes and enhancing transparency at the point of service delivery will help.Proper , fair and just remuneration of public servants helps to demotivate corruption tendencies. Its also important that those suspected of coruption get their day in court rather than acquiting them in scenario in which the investigator also doubles up as the acquiting judge. Anti-corruption organs epecially in Africa ought to be given prosecutorial powers in addittion to security of tenure.. Public education aimed at winning citizen co-operation in the war against graft is vital. Societies shuld also also endeavor to reward merit at all levels of life in terms or employment, promotion and providion of services. In addittion, equity and equal treatment of all before the law and in budgetary allocations wil minimize the need to engage in corruption and also build just, peacifull, predictable and stable governments and societies.

Submitted by Isaac Mshanga on

There are many mechanisms I feel we can employ to stop corruption in Zambia and some of those are;
1. Focusing on education. Education is not only limited to class or formal university, there are are a lot of skills that can empower youth in order to be productive and success.
2. Integrity. Every human being enjoys to be praised for doing good and there is need to create value for integrity in society.
3. Accountability. To be successful in a business environment, it is important to be able to account for every action and decision take. People need to be accountable and responsible.
4. Transparence. There is need to encourage transparence and give stiff punishment to law brakers.
5. Good youth empowerment programs
6. Encourage industries which in return will create employment and bring development than shopping malls.

Submitted by Kedar Khadka on

Yes, I agree all those points including other colleagues have opined. However, my conviction is that modern complex society can't be control by just moral talks and religious thoughts of Quran, Bible, Mahabharata, Ramayan, Buddha Grantha etc. So, modern society only can be regularize through merciless legal enforcement.

Submitted by Gajaraj suwal on

Hydropower, the cost of generation.(A case of corruption?).

Preaching doesn't stop corruption. An action is needed to stop it and should be initiated with the World Bank-funded projects.Here is an example how corruption prevailed in a World Bank funded project in Nepal and affected other ongoing projects.World Bank should come forward and should point out the flaws so that mistakes can be rectified.

Submitted by Nasir Ahmad on

In order to fight corruption take the following steps:
1 - Know the corruption: it is not red tape but also misuse of the position, unnecessary delays in work, leaking of information, not providing the information, etc.
2 - Do not support corruption: as an individual, if you are subject to bribe and you pay, means you are supporting corruption. If you notice absence and you keep quite, you support corruption.
3 - Say No to corruption: when you are asked for bribe, say No. Never try to get the service earlier than the others waiting in ques only with paying a small amount. Have patience, wait for your turn and build the culture. Never expect illegal work for your self by paying red tape, it harms yourself in a way or the other. Just have patience and stay hones.
4 - Fight corruption: when you notice corruption, do not hide it. disclose to public, bring the corrupt to justice. voice out and do not feel alone. people will gather for you. Do your best and do not fear the the corrupt ones are not brought to justice immediately, you build the foundation and others will complete them.

Submitted by afrehsikaghana.com on

I think people indulging in this sinful act called corruption should not go unpunished by the law so as to deter others from doing the same. Thank you for this article.

Submitted by Carlos Edvandro Assis on

My take is that we are failing by using the term "combating" corruption. I think this term should be substituted by the term "managing corruption". Corruption should be dealt with positively and act as catalyst for social change if we are able to live with it and manage it positively. One of the aspects i think can help us enormously in managing corruption is by introducing anti-fraud and anti-corruption subject in our curriculums bottom/up from primary all the way up to higher school and university. All organizations be they government or private should introduce anti-fraud and anti-corruption training sessions (continuously) to ensure refresher consumption. This will enable continuously triggering the mindset of the importance this plays on the day to day activity of the student, the employee, the employer and a combinations of all other social actors including the home the base for human construction. Corruption will never be combated and we need change this paradigm to meet today's social acceptable terms and language to apply in management of corruption. Combating would mean governments and states looking at corruption as an enemy yet in the same way it brings with it some disadvantages BUT it also carries with it advantages. A clear balance on how we manage this would be more appropiate on our approaches torwards corruption.

Submitted by Asha Kanta Sharma on

The below are some ways which can help in removing the Corruption from a country like India:-

EDUCATION: With the help of education we can reduce corruption. According to a survey the least corrupt state is Kerala, because of Kerala has literacy rate is highest in India. It is due to unawareness in the field of law, public rights and procedures thereof that a common and an uneducated suffer out of the corrupt society. This suggests that if we are educated, we can understand our rights well. The first tool is ‘education’. With the help of education we can reduce corruption. According to a report by Transparency International, the least corrupt state is Kerala, the reason being that Kerala’s literacy rate is highest in India. So we can see how education effects education. In most of the states, normally a fairly large number of people are uneducated. Those who are uneducated do not know about the process, provisions and procedures through which they can get justice. Corrupt public servants try to make a fool of them and often demand bribes. It is due to unawareness in the field of law, public rights and procedures thereof that a common and an uneducated suffer out of the corrupt society. This suggests that if we are educated, we can understand our rights well. 

Individual Contribution: Main cause of corruption is lack of values, student's minds must be inculcated with value's such as honesty, integrity, selflessness etc., We should be honest to ourselves. Until and unless we will not be honest, we can’t control corruption. If each of us is honest towards our profession, then corruption will automatically decrease. Ask for bills, even when you buy anything. Make it sure that the vendor also have a counter copy of the same.

Whenever you convey any message to authority, make it via registered mail or e-mail; else record the call and make sure you ask the name of the concerned with his/her employee id. Feel free to file RTIs. This can make many things move in right direction. Make it to use in a legislative way

Whenever you are fined, never give bribes; nor use political power. Ask the authority, in writing, to mention the lead time for a given task. If you forget it first time, file RTI for it. 

Eligibility of politician: One can only become politician of he/she should not have any criminal record.If the members of the governing body are government officials, there will certainly be less reports of the criminal cases. The provision is that, if there is any case filed against a person then he would not be eligible for election. Unfortunately a fairly large number of them are a part of it. If the members of the governing body are government officials, there will certainly be less reports of the criminal cases. The reverse may be possible only when there are no more criminal politicians in our government. The provision is that, if there is any case filed against a person then he would not be eligible for election. But if we see 100 politicians then about 60% of those would have a criminal case against them. If these ‘criminal’ politicians are in charge of forming and implementing laws, what type of law would be formed, one can only guess! Thus during election, we should keep in mind the person for whom we shall not vote. In India there is a provision that no person as a criminal shall be allowed as a Member of Parliament or member of legislative. Unfortunately a fairly large number of them are a part of it. 

Bring political parties under RTI : Currently, political parties are required to report only donations above ₹20,000 to Income Tax Department. Political parties are exempted from filing income tax returns and contributions to political parties are deductible from assessee's total income.Thus, political parties keep no record of donations less than ₹20,000. Donations only in above of ₹20,000 are reported to the Election Commission. This is crucial because about 75% of donations to political parties fall into the below ₹20,000 category. Thus, there is no record of source of funds for almost 3/4th of the funds received.

RTI will affect the smooth functioning of political parties. Political rivals will start using RTI tool with malicious intent. Existing I-T provisions enough to ensure financial transparency. 

Increase in digital and e-governance: Using CCTV in the govt offices and exposing those videos in the media. Also several case studies of e-government applications from developing countries report some impact on reducing corruption. Many governments have chosen to go on-line in departments such as customs, income tax, sales tax, and property tax which have a large interface with citizens or businesses and are perceived to be more corrupt. 

Corruption treatment: That means, instruments which are in use, are not running properly. For example Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 came into force on 9th September, 1988. But corruption is still flourishing. Why? Because of weak actions and proceedings towards corrupt people. People don’t have any fear of this act and the court. The act may thus be revised for its better implementation. Lack of effective corruption treatment is another reason. That means, instruments which are in use, are not running properly. Despite the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, corruption is still flourishing. Why? Because of weak actions and proceedings towards corrupt people. People don’t have any fear of this act and the court. The act may thus be revised for its better implementation. 

Transparent tax structure by clean and clear enforcement: Our direct taxes are no longer unreasonable, so there's little excuse for trying to evade them. But there is an unhealthy trend in piling on surcharges on various pretexts. Also, there are tons of other taxes that can add up to quite a bit. Finally, there's the larger question of how efficiently and honestly taxpayers' money is put to use — when you see the state of government hospitals and schools, and rotten roads, you wonder where the money you paid as tax has gone.

Salary increase: This would minimize the 'need' for bribes. Their salaries could be bench-marked against corporate sector salaries. But higher salaries should be combined with exemplary punishment, including dismissal from service and a police case if an employee is caught indulging in corrupt practices. Mere transfer or suspension won't do. 

Police reforms and stronger judicial: This has been discussed for decades but there's been no action. The recommendations for reforms are already there. Set a time frame for implementation. This will make the police not just a professional force that's not at the beck and call of politicians, but also a trained one with in-built checks against developing vested interests. Today the situation often is that the investigator (police officer) is answerable to the person being investigated (politician). Also, separate the police into two wings: one for investigation and the other for maintaining law and order. The two functions are different and require different skill sets.

Blacklist corrupt businessmen: Private businesses caught indulging in corrupt practices or bribing officials should be blacklisted for, say, 10 years and be barred from government projects. In the category of corrupt practices would fall use of shoddy material -- like road contractors who give one inch of tar when they are supposed to give four inches and the road crumbles after one monsoon. Bigger instances of private businesses cutting corners in public projects by colluding with corrupt officials should attract exemplary punishment.

Give equal representation to all castes/communities in all political positions and government jobs by reserving seats equally among all communities. Once there is reservation for every community and that's fixed, no community can cry hoarse playing a victim card and hence voting on caste lines. Accountability can be set in all the government jobs with hire and fire policy. i.e., if a government servant is not doing his job well he can be fired. People will agree upon the firing of incompetent and corrupt officials if they know the seat is reserved for their caste/community, and another person of the same community will be placed into that position vacated. Hence there will be no cry for caste/community based harassment of when firing a corrupt govt official. Things will improve gradually.

Feedback Collection: - There would be mandatory anonymous feedback collection for every task done by every govt official. Personnel who consistently get poor ratings below a threshold must be fired periodically. This will induce fear among the govt officials and corruption will reduce to a great extent. 

Direct Contact with Government: - We can reduce corruption by increasing direct contact between government and the governed. E-governance could help a lot towards this direction. In a conference on, “Effects of Good Governance and Human Rights“ organised by National Human Right Commission, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam gave an example of the Delhi metro rail system and online railway reservation as good governance and said that all the lower courts should follow the example of the Supreme Court and High Court and make judgements available online. Similarly, Sivraj Patil said that the Right to information should be used for transparency. We have legal rights to know a lot of information. According to this act, (Right to Information act 2005), generally people should follow the procedure of law given to then when their work is not being implemented in a proper way in public services. This act is a great help in the order to control corruption. 

Being Honest:- Lack of transparency and professional accountability is yet another big reason. We should be honest to ourselves. Until and unless we will not be honest, we can’t control corruption. If each of us is honest towards our profession, then corruption will automatically decrease. We need to pay attention towards professional accountability i.e., how much we are faithful and truthful towards our profession. Corruption may be controlled by handling five major professions: lekhpal, medical, revenue, police and judicial. 

Investment in Security Infrastructure:- Camera in most govt offices is a must. In every ATM there are camera to keep a watch on the public taking their money. Then why not government offices have cameras to have a watch on the employ performance. Even there are many employ’s who openly take bribe in presence of common men. This public bribery is due to confidence that public wants their work more than the amount they are paying to them as bribes. 

Speed up the work process in govt institutes: Most corporate offices are in full fledged running by 8-9 am. But the government offices start by 10 to 11 am and wind up by 3.30 to 4 pm with a lunch break of one & half hour in between. This indicates how much of commitment lies in the work and how fast the work goes on. If there are mistakes in the work or delay in the work, civilians have to run behind those workers to rectify or complete the work. In doing so they pay bribes to get the work done. This makes the chances of corruption more or else work is not done. So there should be accountability of daily work done in government works and targets to complete the work on time basis. Or else instead of being public servants, they tend to act as public bosses.

Make Media responsible and fix laws to be so: There are many major scams and corruption events involving media. Though the media is well aware of the corruption happening they stay silent due to their support for some political parties or else their owners get some monetary benefits from the rulers. Even there are many reporters who though come across some scam or corruption, they stay silent without revealing it for press for having received monetary benefits to do so. If media personnel are found to be guilty for not having exposed the scam or corruption intentionally, they have to be prosecuted and their license be withdrawn.

Verify the selection procedures: Many people compete for government jobs and in the process there are corruption happening in the selection of candidates for the posts. So let the selection criteria and procedure used be transparent and any misconduct from this should be punishable. 

Also while allotment of natural resources for business companies, the selection of bids should be transparent. There should be online details with regards to the benefit to the government, the purchase price and even benefit to the company out of the deals. This will limit the corruption related to quid pro quo. 

Keep inflation low: This is another factor for keeping corruption high and also persistent. Due to rise in prices, any amount of income seems to be insufficient. This inflation is a corruption involving politicians and businessmen. Businessmen try to rise the prices to sell their inventory or stock of goods at higher price. For this the politicians support them and are paid monetary or other benefits. This is a cheap business tactic but even the so called richest business magnets play this corruption game.

Speed up the judgment and increase the courts: Many cases of corruption take years to be given verdict. This delay in cases creates lack of fear for being corrupt and also huge time span for court trials gives sufficient time to make alterations in the witness. Establishing fast track courts and giving severe punishment for corruption practice will keep a control on corruption. Besides these there should be collective efforts from the public to prevent corruption.

Hope each and every individual in the world contributes for removing Corruption from this world so as to have better future for the coming generations.

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