Fighting Corruption in Developing Countries: Strategies and Analysis

Fighting Corruption in Developing Countries: Strategies and Analysis

Fighting Corruption in Developing Countries: Strategies and Analysis

Fighting Corruption in Developing Countries: Strategies and Analysis


• Features a sectoral, rather than holistic, approach to examining the dynamics of corruption

• Contains lessons from national and international experience on best practices to contain corruption in these sectors

• Offers practical policy considerations to design effective anti-corruption strategies

Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon, but especially plagues developing countries and those in democratic transition. This timely collection presents a sector-by-sector analysis of the problems that stunt economic growth, distort governance, limit civic and democratic participation, and infuriate the populace.

In stark contrast to standard holistic studies of corruption, Fighting Corruption in Developing Countries argues that examining the issue through the lens of nine key development sectors--education, agriculture, energy, environment, health, justice, private business, political parties and public finance--will help us to understand the problem realistically and identify concrete initiatives that are likely to have an impact.

The book concludes with practical and policy-oriented suggestions for corruption control that minimize the risk of "recorrupting" forces that often threaten to reverse gains. Students, researchers, and practitioners interested in implementing effective and realistic solutions to fighting corruption will find this book essential reading.


During the past decade, corruption has been of increasing concern to those toiling in relative obscurity on governance issues. Part of the push came from within donor agencies, convinced that a failure to address corruption was at least one factor in the poor performance of first-generation public administration and civil service reforms.

More demand came, however, from citizens living in many developing countries confronted with endemic corruption in their government, universities, and businesses. Frustration mounted as press outlets provided more information on corruption but no evidence of anyone being held accountable. Civil society organizations, such as Transparency International, took root and spread throughout the globe, linking up with other coalitions. Governments tentatively moved to respond. By the late 1990s, donor, citizen, and government efforts to address corruption were expanding.

In 2002, however, the attention paid to corruption by policymakers increased significantly. Even as corruption had percolated to the top of the governance agenda, governance itself rose to the top of the development agenda and beyond. Today, effective governance is recognized as a sine qua non for development and poor governance, in turn, as a contributing factor to poverty, conflict, and state failure, with repercussions for global security.

How did this happen? One place to start the story is with the aid effectiveness debate. Influential research by Burnside and Dollar in the late 1990s argued that aid had been effective in countries with good policies, good governance, and less corruption, but tended to have little or no effect on growth in countries with weak policies and high corruption. Daniel Kaufmann and other colleagues at the World Bank developed new measures of governance with broad country coverage and were able to demonstrate significant links between governance and a range of development outcomes.

In March 2002, US President George W. Bush announced his intention to establish the Millennium Challenge Account to reward developing countries that . . .

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