Existing practices on anticorruption

Existing practices on anticorruption

As part of its work on business environment reform the DFID Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Wealth Creation Team is looking at supporting a Government of DRC anti-corruption initiative. The team requested a literature review of existing (donor and government) practices on anti-corruption, including the ‘mystery-shopper’ approach, and the impact of such practices on the business environment.

To many experts the gap between rich and poor nations can be explained by the economic environment in which their citizens operate. Hall and Jones (1999) find that differences in what they define as ‘social infrastructure’ are essential in explaining differences in income per capita. Social infrastructure is defined as the institutions and government policies that determine the environment in which economic agents operate. This definition is not very different from what we know as governance. It is important to remember that corruption is a symptom of poor governance. Focusing excessively on corruption and neglecting the complex task of reforming governance systems is a common mistake that has to be avoided. Looking at the experiences of some developed countries we can notice that improving governance takes time and is a long process that requires commitment and a coordinated effort from all members of society. Multilateral institutions recently have made an important contribution in the fight against corruption by providing very useful diagnostic surveys to study the extent of corruption at national level and support in designing anti-corruption campaigns.

What is clear is that corruption and anti-corruption are heterogeneous and there are no ‘one-size fit all’ approaches. We can learn from the experiences of other countries but it is important to be careful at the moment of implementing policies. There is consensus that more evidence that evaluates the impact of anti-corruption policies is needed.

The document is organised as follows:

  • section 2 explores the theories behind the fight against corruption
  • section 3 looks at the role of multilateral organisations in developing and implementing anti-corruption measures.
  • section 4 discusses anti-corruption agencies
  • section 5 summarises the existing literature on anti-corruption policies devoting a special section to analysing anti-corruption policies in post-conflict countries
  • section 6 discusses the importance of anti-corruption for the private sector
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