The FIRST step in preventing corruption is developing capable organizations and people.
Where people are uncertain of their roles and purposes in any organization, corruption is inevitable.
International development runs into challenges where diplomatic relations trump concerns about corruption. In order to maintain relations, diplomats will look the other way on countless failures in countries where government officials exercise overt or negligent corruption. The result is things like this news grab from Transparency International:
Maintaining friendly relations with government leaders in countries where corruption is rampant requires significant . . . patience. My hat goes off to the diplomats of all countries who maintain relations despite the frustrations and ethical violations they face.
The way out is to continue strengthening the institutions and individuals (including the political and government leaders) in all countries – not to back off and reduce the expectations that things should improve. Expectations are a powerful influence on friends, neighbors and family.
I was fortunate enough to do some work for the US Department of State in Morocco in 2010, just prior to their vote on amendments to their constitution. I spoke with over 15 different groups over the course of 5 days. I was deeply impressed with the commitment of the government officials, and their very high level of administrative capabilities. I was also deeply impressed with their willingness to express their expectations that government and political leaders be less corrupt.
From my viewpoint, Morocco had very little corruption relative to many other countries. Nonetheless, their people, including the people in government, demanded much better.
Of course, the same should be true of citizen expectations of political and government leaders in “developed countries.” We must always expect nothing but the best from them.
### End ###