Worldwide more than 1 trillion U.S. dollars are lost due to government corruption.
That’s according to the World Bank, which reports that corrupt governments discourage foreign investment and reduce opportunities for their citizens.
The report offers 10 ways to fight government corruption. While some are targeted to high-level officials, they can be adapted to smaller-scale situations. Which will you use?
- Become informed. Read up on the many forms of corruption. It’s not just about bribes. Sometimes officials simply waste resources — that can diminish money that pays for government services for the poor.
- Add the power of the people. Create pathways that give citizens tools to engage and participate in their governments.
- Cut the red tape. Bring together formal (government) and informal (non-government) processes to change behavior and monitor progress.
- Use the power of technology. Build dynamic exchanges among government officials, citizens, businesspeople, academics and members of the media and of civil society groups.
- 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.
- Get incentives right. Align anti-corruption measures with market, behavioral and social forces. Adopting integrity standards is a smart business decision.
- Use sanctions. Punishing corruption is a vital component of any effective effort.
- 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.
- 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.
- Monitor and evaluate. Any good strategy must be continually evaluated to make sure it can be easily adapted as situations on the ground change. Keep track of lessons learned.