Problems Solved: Corruption, Lack of Transparency and Leadership

The global economic crisis revealed large scale fraud in the financial sector and dropped public confidence and trust. This presents a daunting array of challenges to companies and government alike. It is practically impossible for a single stakeholder on their own to effectively address the problems that contributed to this crisis: corruption, greed, lack of transparency and leadership. Hence there is a case for collective action that enables companies to collaborate with competitors and/or stakeholders from the public and civil society sector to create and maintain fair market conditions.

Recognizing this, the World Bank Institute is organizing an Executive Development Program precisely on such joint approaches titled Fighting Corruption through Collective Action in Today’s Competitive Marketplaces.

Working collectively, companies can help level the playing field between competitors, create incentives to avoid bribery among individuals and organizations, and introduce greater transparency and predictability to business transactions. There are a growing number of examples of collective approaches, and while some, such as the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance, bring together the usual suspects of multinationals based in OECD countries, others are engaging local firms in some tough operating environments, be it Cambodia's Clean Business Initiative, or the Convention on Business Integrity in Nigeria.

The World Bank’s Executive Development Program taking place in June will feature the range of case example and offer practical guidance on collective action tools for doing business in high risk situations useful for both corporate decision makers and government officials.

Registration and additional information are available at www.fightingcorruption.org

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Tags: Development, Executive, Program, action, and, anti-corruption, business, clean, collective, corruption, More…development, ethics, private, sector, workshop

Comment by Phil on May 9, 2009 at 11:08
Kathrin's post suggests that the World Bank conference will address the issues she has set out in her first para. I have taken a look at the programme scheduled for June 2009 and this does not appear to be the case.

I would infer from the programme that this is more about paying a lot of money for a conference for so called experts to give a theoretical overview of why you should not engage in bribery and corruption. Nothing appears to suggest that trade mechanisms to assemble funds of scale and integrity is on the agenda the aim of which must be to build capacity through decentralised governernance within poor communities and support this with collective agency infrastructure investment to give a vision of a postive future derived from business activity.

We need to move away from duplicative aid agency self serving interests to country specific institutions which coordinate international support funds in addition to private sector funds generated through public private partnership. The big stick can come later - the creativity to find these partnerships is emerging but sadly the World Bank and others seem to still be on the failed agenda.. I have posted the framework for such a system previously on this site which is based on cocoa and which endeavours to create the conditions where significant funds get to where they are needed. It is a system that views with a lot of scepticism the budget support mechanisms, much favoured by development agencies, but which are seriously flawed in practice for those that get into the rural communities to see whatr is really happening and where the people have such cyniscism about where financial support ends up.
Sustainability is key. If we can make progress in theis area the consumer might actually beleive that mainstream solutions to address povertry actually have a chance of working?
Comment by Kathrin Frauscher on May 12, 2009 at 22:09
Phil, Great comments. I agree that in the fight against corruption it is important to show concrete action and achieve measurable results (although research and theoretical underpinnings of the causes and impact of corruption remain important), as is coordination of efforts. While the upcoming Executive Development Program can't solve any of these challenges (as you point out it is only a 2 day workshop), but it tries to raise and address exactly some of the key issues that you raise. In our experience, most companies want to fight corruption, but none of them wants to be the only fish swimming against the current. In other words, the problem is really how to get companies, NGOs, and government to work together to fight corruption.

Equally important, the program aims to build a network of local anti-corruption practitioners that make a difference on the grass root level. By bringing there practitioners together and linking them to anti-corruption organizations, we hope to strengthen their capacity to engage more effectively in collective action against corruption.

If you like to suggest other experts to teach on this subject, we'd be glad to hear from you!

Thanks,

Kathrin
Comment by Phil on November 21, 2009 at 10:10
As we crawl through the labyrinth of self serving development agences, NGOs and Quangos in search of efficient, country specific infrastructure and community support mechanisms, at last we have a well written piece of work on the EU Development agency picture. This work supports everything we have sought to bring out about this most terrible system which is a complete charade and a disservice to the the words "development assistance".

I am talking about the 93 page report entitled - Aid Effectiveness Agenda - the Benefits of a European Approach



If you start to consider this document alongside Dambisa Moyo's "Dead Aid" (which I do not agree with as to cessation of development aid), Theroux's "Dark Star Safari", Jeffrey Sachs works , Moletsi Mbeki's "Architects of Poverty", we may start to evolve a comprehensive and combined approach which will deal with all the issues of the "do-gooders" wanting their own piece of glory for their organisation as opposed to ensuring the delivery of maximum benefit to those to whom the devleopment aid is supposedly targeted. Heaven forbid we then dare to get the development agencies to talk meaningfully to mainsream comodity markets and we may even generate sustainable solutions delivered efficiently. Unfortunately those within the current system want to keep the gravy train, conferences, white land cruisers and business class travel alive for as long as possible.

We have to fix the politics around this and the sooner there is a clear out of the old guard in the develpment agencies the better.
Comment by Phil on November 21, 2009 at 10:11


Link to report

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