Refugees, Failed Nations and Corruption

Refugees and Corruption
Refugees and Corruption

The weekly death toll and ongoing human tragedy of the refugee crisis internationally is stunning for several reasons.  First, despite all of the talk (and talk and talk) about humanitarian principles and human rights, the international community has not moved beyond shutting borders, denying visas, and tent cities to deal with the several refugee crises occurring around the world.

These crises are, of course, a direct result of the decay of nations – corruption.   Continue reading “Refugees, Failed Nations and Corruption”

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Social Media and Anti-Corruption

 

Cover-NewToolsforFightingCorruptioninOrganizationsThere is a battle happening in Traditional and Social Media right now.  A battle for your mind.

The battles attempt to define the reality of what is happening in Gaza and in Ukraine. Victory will go to the side that successfully convinces us what to believe is the “truth” in these countries.

This same problem goes beyond national political maneuvering to include to anti-corruption.  (And often includes the same players.

Indeed, the truth about things is difficult to sort out, certainly in “traditional media” where nations are engaged in the paid PR Battles (Admittedly, this is only one side of the PR battle but you can see a sampling of Russia’s PR program Here. And Here.   Similar references can be found on national PR strategies involving Gaza, the U.S. and every other country.

Using the information channels to influence our opinions is not especially underhanded, in my view. It’s advocacy. Its advocacy until it becomes deception to create public support based upon lies and disinformation.

Unfortunately that leaves us with few alternatives for finding the truth of things.

The Social Media Battle Ground

As governments begin to intrude into the social media space as part of their effort to advocate and inform our opinions we will all face some interesting challenges.

We will have to sort through the wild collection of:

  • Informed opinion,
  • Uniformed opinion,
  • Advocacy, and
  • Disinformation and Deception.

Fake public interest and “support” is increasingly well known in social media. Indeed, in some instances it is openly encouraged.

I don’t have any answers on this, but the basic truth is that more transparency (observation of the truth) can only help. And social media, indeed any media, can be an essential tool to improve situations.  I’ve talked about this here and here.

Cutting through the fictitious public comment/support/protests will be an increasing challenge.

But where “traditional” reporters are only paid to report the sexy, violent or sensational, where is the actual transparency and accountability that is needed to influence good behavior?

Traditional media is simply not enough. I’ll take the disorganized mob of social media over “traditional media.”

I look forward to your thoughts.

Brian Pinkowski

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If you are looking for everyday tools to help you in your fight against corruption – try these:

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Most of Us Work in Anti-Corruption

Cover-NewToolsforFightingCorruptioninOrganizationsOne way or another, most of us work in anti-corruption. As part of law enforcement, as government employees, as members of the private sector, community groups and even in families – at one time or another, almost all of us are involved in trying to make things better.

My own journey in anti-corruption is not very different from your own in that it has been driven by the urge to help make things better. Continue reading “Most of Us Work in Anti-Corruption”

Tales from the Wild: “You give me 30% and I’ll make sure our government partners get their share.”

Offering a bribe

cimg4154.jpg“You give me the 30% of the deal, and I’ll make sure our government partners get their share.”

Excuse me? You’ll do what?

If you work internationally, you will invariably find that people don’t understand the FCPA, and don’t understand what they are asking. I’ve heard it for matters as small as a “cup of tea” in Kenya and a “cup of coffee” in Albania.

I’ve also heard it in blunt and large terms as I quoted above from an actual conversation. Continue reading “Tales from the Wild: “You give me 30% and I’ll make sure our government partners get their share.””

Corruption Prevention and the Art of War

Gradients in Anti-Corruption. B. Pinkowski
Gradients in Anti-Corruption. B. Pinkowski

The Highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy’s plan. Sun Tzu

The key idea in corruption prevention is . . . prevention. To stop something from happening before it can occur. Indeed, prevention is the heart of “anti-corruption.” This is discussed further in Gradients of Anti-Corruption and is depicted in the graphic above.

The Gradients are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Prevention
  3. Detection
  4. Correction

Continue reading “Corruption Prevention and the Art of War”

Decay of Social Agreements

Disagreement about the purpose of streets and sidewalks.
Disagreement about the purpose of streets and sidewalks.

Most corruption is well beyond “simple” violations of the law.  Corruption is the action of process of decay of something.  Criminal forms of corruption are violations of the written laws.

Other forms of corruption erode away the foundations of the social agreements we make about how society should function.  For example, in the photo above, there are cars parked all over the sidewalks, and people are forced to walk in the streets.  This happens in many countries and cities around the world and creates a tsunami of small obstacles for pubic policy makers that are trying to build economies. Continue reading “Decay of Social Agreements”

Bribes, Compliance and Situational Ethics

Looking for the Path
Looking for the Path

“That’s not a bribe!”

In a developing nation somewhere, an underpaid policemen struggles with a drunk and disorderly citizen. During the arrest, the policeman’s hand is cut.

The next day, the policeman and the formerly drunken citizen reach an agreement. The citizen is charged with drunk and disorderly conduct, and he pays $5 to the policeman to compensate for the injury to his hand.

This is situation actually happened somewhere. Neither the leadership in the police department or the prosecutors’ office saw any problem with the situation. Continue reading “Bribes, Compliance and Situational Ethics”