We recently had a chance to catch up with eminent Economist Paul Collier (author of the Bottom Billion) and Chandu Krishnan, head of Transparency International UK to talk about how best to fight corruption.
In this video, we summarise some of their ideas as a preview to extended interviews that we'll be publishing here in the next few weeks. Here, they introduce ideas about the importance of attitudes and values, having and enforcing laws, bottom-up accountability, access to information and the role that rich countries need to play.
See below for a transcript:
Chandu Krishnan (Transparency International): Well to put it very bluntly, corruption is like theft. You’re abusing a position of trust to enrich yourself at the expense of others. You need laws of course, we are also talking about changing values and attitudes. Values will ensure that people adhere to laws.
Paul Collier: The famous example of bottom-up accountability is the story of education spending in Uganda. The money that the Ministry of Finance released– most of it wasn’t reaching the schools. So, what they did was released the information to communities. And over the course of three years that changed things dramatically. Instead of nearly all the money leaking, nearly all the money started to reach the school, so empowering local people with information makes a huge difference.
CK: If you pay enough attention for instance to educating young people about values that enable them to grow up as citizens where they will for instance demand more accountability of those who govern them.
PC: In all of these societies there are really brave, bright people fighting for change, and our job is the more modest one of getting behind them.
CK: Ask yourselves whether the UK is in any way making worse the problem of corruption? If you feel that there is a problem then you must insist that the government and companies who may be contributing to this problem should be doing more to address it.
PC: The OECD did, 10 years ago, pass legislation to make it an offence to bribe officials. What we need to do is use it. We’ve actually got to start prosecuting.