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Journal of Development Policy and Practice

By Kaufmann, Daniel

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Book Id: WPLBN0000008471
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.3 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: Journal of Development Policy and Practice  
Author: Kaufmann, Daniel
Language: English
Subject: Economics, Finance & business, World Bank.
Collections: Economics Publications Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: The World Bank


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Kaufmann, D. (n.d.). Journal of Development Policy and Practice. Retrieved from


Challenging orthodoxy Less than a decade ago, corruption issues barely featured in the agenda of international financial and development institutions. In fact, the very usage of the word was taboo. Indeed, the absence of institutional, governance and anticorruption reforms from the tenets of sound economic policies of the 1990s ?Washington Consensus?, were arguably the most glaring omissions. It was frequently argued that although governance and corruption were ethical concerns, they were not central to economic development, and thus outside the mandate of the international financial institutions (IFIs). Some analysts even argued that corruption could at times act as the ?grease-of-the-wheels-ofcommerce?, and be beneficial to development. In late 1996 a turning point took place at the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank (WB) annual meetings when the President of the World Bank placed the corruption issue centre stage as a worldwide challenge for development (Wolfensohn 1996). This was followed by support from the IMF and other such institutions, complementing the work of Transparency International (TI), the main non-governmental organization (NGO) in the anticorruption arena. Corruption has become a major political and economic issue in the recent past. Awareness about the challenge of corruption is now widespread, and the issue is no longer taboo for the international community and its main organizations. The expectations for progress in this area are high, given global initiatives such as the newly signed UN anticorruption convention, treaties banning transnational bribery, such as those of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Organization of American States (OAS), as well as efforts by the international community, civil society activists and leaders. Since the late 1990s, many IFIs and bilateral donor agencies have significantly scaled up their support of anticorruption and public sector reform programs. The World Bank has implemented hundreds of anticorruption initiatives and projects in direct or indirect support to emerging economies. Similarly, innovations in this field, applied in a number of programs at the country level, do show that progress is possible, as illustrated by countries such as Botswana, Chile and Slovenia. At the project level, progress is evident as exemplified by the local NGO-led implementation of the citizens report card in Bangalore, India, resulting in a major increase in citizen satisfaction with local agencies and a decline in corruption; the expenditure tracking surveys in Uganda, which has reduced budgetary leakages to local schools; the participatory budgeting process in Porto Alegre, Brazil and others; the transparent and efficient e-procurement of the Mexican government (Compranet); and the governance reforms undertaken in Albania following the first indepth corruption diagnostic in the late 1990s.


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