Corruption significantly harms the growth, economy and trust and thus, tackling it is not only a moral imperative but also a political, social and economic necessity.The fact corruption has always been very damaging in so many countries is that it doesn’t only exist in economy but rather sustained by corruption of the legal and political systems.[2
If we do not understand the systematic character of corruption in fragmented institutions, reforms seem unrealistic and a game. Procurement, financial management, recruitment, audit, legislation, and the administration of justice were the persistent drivers of corruption in the past in Afghanistan, says President Ashraf Ghani.“Nigeria alone accounted for 217 billion of the African continent’s total 850 billion loss to illicit flows between 1970 and 2008”.
Based on a study in Nigeria, the followings are pre-disposing factors to corruption. Firstly, when there is a distortion in the cultural context and values due to displacement of communities and urbanization. Secondly, when there is a strong culture of nepotism and ethnicity which influences “the irrational allocation of the resources and the the protection of culprits”. Thirdly, when the culture of elite exceptionalism exists, as an example exemption from the laws and regulations for them. Fourthly, when there is an existence of “the culture of impunity across social strata fuelled by the legal system and bedeviled by delays” and the lack of political will to tackle corruption. Sarah Chayes adds that the following four components are also the driving forces of corruption namely “the humiliation inflicted on victims, their lack of recourse, the structure and sophistication of corrupt networks, and the truly colossal sums being stolen”.
In Guatemla, three factors namely technology, people and institutional pressure for accountability come together to decrease the level of corruption. People demanding transparency and accountability can make a difference in fighting corruption.” It’s the combination of the loud indignation and the quiet vigilance that will put an end to corruption, both grand and not so grand.”
Moreover, building values is crucial for combatting corruption. “Building values among public officials require sustained public education. Formal trainings can help out but, ultimately, values are most effectively instilled through the education framework, societal pressure, and leaders. Although sustained political leadership is crucial to the success of any anti-corruption campaign, it is important that reforms in this area are not hijacked to implement a political agenda”.
Some learned lessons could be to invest in people’s education, health, and good service delivery and ensure them against the risks of unemployment, poverty, and illness.The development of critical infrastructure for example railways, roads, and power; pursuing social programs such as skills acquisition and creating an enabling economy with investment in agriculture, solid minerals, petrochemicals, and allied industries need to be part of the corruption strategy.
Mobilized, teach savvy, anti-corruption activism is also crucial for fighting corruption. We need to make the data available to the public since more data means transparency with the condition that the data is “supported by tools that allow proper analysis”. The use of information needs to be both sided. The government needs to release the information and the citizens need to take active usage of it. This allow citizens to make informed and smart decisions holding those who are accountable.For example, journalists necessarily can use “advanced investigative techniques, including the emerging discipline of data journalism, to identify the patterns and practices inherent in corrupt activities”.
Moreover, having the office of the Ombudsman could be helpful for maintaining the openness as an oversight body, and for having the power to investigate and report the conduct of public officials. Having a free and independent press can also contribute significantly in terms of addressing, raising awareness, and preventing corruption. Furthermore, having independent and capable judicial system, and law enforcement agencies are very critical. For example, “New Zealand police provide training and mentoring across the Pacific in prosecutions, community policing, human rights, ethics, leadership and road policing.” This generates trust in police and contribute in the culture of service which is the front line against corruption (New Zealand Police 2015). In Brazil, the campaign about a new law effect in 2010 called “Clean Record”, “transformed individual anger about political corruption into collective action for social change”.
“The effectiveness of our various tools and initiatives will also depend on how we are able to link them up, build synergies, provide consistency in our approaches and support co-ordination between institutions responsible for enhancing integrity and fighting corruption”. In order to
create such connections, different stakeholder including the government need to play a significant role to strengthen the links between the “the initiatives on foreign bribery and public sector integrity with those on tax envision, bid rigging, money laundering and illicit financial flows.” Alongside Institutional solutions, we also need to have “rule-based compliance approach” to the political economy of corruption and to the values of public officials