Came across the insightful Brief by Sue Unsworth which argues that:
the key to more effective anti-corruption strategies is to think differently about governance. Instead of starting with an OECD model of governance in mind, and assessing the gap between the developing country reality and OECD institutions, policymakers would do better to start with fewer assumptions, and some questions. What are the underlying reasons for poor governance and high levels of corruption in so many poor countries? What do we know about the political processes involved in building more effective and acountable public institutions?
Some donors are even talking openly about politics. As the British government’s 2006 White Paper puts it: “Politics determines how resources are used and policies are made. And politics determines who benefits. In short, good governance is about good politics.” (DFID 2006:23). The same paper tells us that building better governance takes time and has to come from a political process within each country: outsiders cannot impose models. Good governance is about how citizens, leaders, and public institutions relate to each other, to make change happen. However, despite these insights, the White Paper goes on to advance a technocratic and largely conventional agenda for enhancing growth and improving basic services, with barely a nod in the direction of politics.
This failure to connect the rhetoric about politics with an operational agenda to improve governance and fight corruption is widespread…
Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief vol. 7 no. 1) 4 p.
Corruption is bad for donor business. Corruption reduces popular support for aid in donor countries. However, aid agencies should pay attention to corruption because it is the right thing to do, rather than just the smart thing to do. Donor anti-corruption policies require a strong grounding in ethics.
Corruption produces bad development outcomes. This is the reasoning largely underlying donor anti-corruption efforts. The focus on consequences of corruption makes donor anticorruptionefforts vulnerable to interpretation and manipulation, resulting in inconsistent, time-varying and fi ckle policies to combat corruption. An alternative would be to base anticorruption policies on duty-based ethics, where corruption is wrong in and of itself.
This brief examines consequentialist and duty-based arguments against corruption. It also examines the claim that “corruption is acceptable where it is commonly practiced.”
Also read a brilliant analysis of this report at The 8th Circle blog.
“In the past, there has been an alignment between the wishes of the Indian government and those of the aid donors: both wanted to correct market failures. More recently, though, another set of problems is confronting development: government failures. A classic example is the high degree of absenteeism among teachers (25 percent) or doctors (40 percent) in Indian public primary schools and primary health centers, respectively. Now the preferences of the aid donor and government may not be so well-aligned.
The donor would like to see better education and health outcomes, including less absenteeism among service providers. Even if there are people in government who would like to see this, the absentee teachers and doctors are also public servants, and in some cases can be quite powerful politically. In such a situation, what is the role of aid? Correcting government failure is deeply political (these failures didn’t occur by accident), so aid donors can’t ‘demand’ that they be corrected (even though sometimes they try!).”
Source: Shanta http://endpovertyinsouthasia.worldbank.org/foreign-aid-when-problem-government-failure