Fighting Corruption

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.[1]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.[3]“Nigeria alone accounted for 217 billion of the African continent’s total 850 billion loss to illicit flows between 1970 and 2008”.[4]

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”[5].

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.”[6]

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”.[7]

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.[8]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.[9]

Mobilized, teach savvy, anti-corruption activism is also crucial for fighting corruption[10]. 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.[11]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”.[12]

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)[13].  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”[14].

“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

[1]Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)2006, [1]“

[2]The Cancer of the modern world-a European perspective: Mart Laar, the Prime Minister of Estonia from 1992-1994 and from 1999-2002

[3]President Ashraf Ghani

[4]President Muhammadu Buhari

[5]Sarah Chayes[5]

[6]Jose’Ugaz who served as Ad-Hoc State Attorney of Peru in several corruption cases state” in its writing of people’s power: Taking action to demand accountability.

[7]Addressing Corruption-openly: Christine Lagardem, the 11thmanaging director of IMF

[8]How to tackle corruption to create a more just and prosperous world: Jim Yong Kim, the 12thPresident of the World Bank Group

[9]President Muhammadu Buhari

[10]Addressing Corruption-openly: Christine Lagardem, the 11thmanaging director of IMF

[11]Taking action to demand accountability: Jose’Ugaz who served, Ad-Hoc State Attorney of Peru in several corruption cases state people’s power

[12]How open data and investigative journalism can beat corruption: Paul Radu, the executive director of the Organization of Crime and Corruption Reporting Project

[13]A culture of fair play: Prime Minister John Key, New Zealand

[14]Taking action to demand accountability: Jose’Ugaz who served, Ad-Hoc State Attorney of Peru in several corruption cases state people’s power


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Gharsanay Amin as recognition of her work got the “Emerging Young Leader’s Award” in 2017 by the US State Department; the second Degree Promotion from the President of Afghanistan, H.E. Dr.Ashraf Ghani; and the Responsible Citizen Award by the H.E. First Lady of Afghanistan, Rula Ghani. She is the organizer of the Young Women Leadership Conference, which provides leadership workshops for girls ages 14-19. Successful conferences have been held in Kabul, Bamyan, and Nangarhar, Ghor, Samangan, and Heart provinces with more than 500 beneficiaries. She is the co-founder of the Global Youth Development Initiative where students are connected to professional and peer mentors from across the world for academic advising and international exposure. Gharsanay is the co-organizer of the first ever Model UN in Afghanistan. As the team ambassador in the Everywhere Everywoman Project, she has been a part of a team whose mission is to develop the first ever-international Treaty on Violence Against Women from 2015-2017. She is changing the hearts and minds of the Ulema through the Afghan Girls Sustainable Education project which aims to increase enrollment and decrease drop out rates. Over 100 Ulema, tribal leaders and elders representing 21 districts from all over Nangarhar province have participated and she plans additional workshops in Jalalabad and then Laghman Province. Gharsanay recently won the Enterprise for Peace Scholarship representing Afghanistan in the One Young World Summit, 2018. She also secured a scholarship for the Generation Change Fellowship which is a two years abroad fellowship by the United States Institute of Peace. She is a Global Youth Change Ambassador by the Roundtable Global. She is also an alumni of Philia Women Empowerment, a platform provided by AUAF. She with a team represented AUAF in Willem Vis Moot Court Competition in Kuwait and in Hong Kong (getting the runner up award which for the first time a team from Afghanistan made it to that level), in ICC (International Criminal Court) Moot Court Competition in Hague, Netherlands, in International Dispute Resolution Competition held in India, and in IIT Mumbai Debate Tournament in India. She was one of the Youth Leaders in Youth Leader’s Exchange with His Holliness the Dalai Lama discussing the issues of healing and resilience and how to support youth peace building, encourage exchange with each other and manage conflict with non-violent ways and to develop inner peace. She was representing Afghanistan in the 9th Ministerial Meeting in the USA, Community of Democracies Civil Society Conference. Gharsanay was also selected to attend the Women2Women International Leadership Conference in Boston in 2015. She is a graduate of AUAF with securing high honor and honor awards almost in all the semesters and is a successful finalist for the 2019-2020 Fulbright cohort for Master’s degree. She has been teaching assistant in two courses offered at AUAF namely the Informal dispute resolution class and in the University success class. She did research in the rule of law and development in Afghanistan with Stanford Professor, Mehdi Hakimi

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