Financial and Monetary Systems

How to fight corruption

Ravi Kumar
Digital strategist, World Bank
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On a hot dry day in early June, a woman in her early 40s is getting ready for journey to a nearby town. She is excited even though she will walk more than three hours on foot—she is going to meet with a government loan officer to try to get the money she needs to buy fertilizer and other supplies for her farm. She needs to grow and sell enough crops to pay for her son to continue school for the next year.

She gets a mug of water from a bucket to put out the open wood fire that she uses to cook meals for her family. Then she pulls her slippers from the thatched roof and leaves her hut.

As she walks, she feels hopeful. She believes this loan will change her family’s future. For the past 6 months, she has made numerous trips to this office because the government official had told her that before her application could be considered, the paperwork must be accurate and complete.

She arrives and waits for 2 hours in a long line. Finally, she meets with a loan officer who takes her application and puts it on his desk. He stands up and asks her to follow him. In a corner, he tells her that the application can only be considered if she pays him 1000 in local currency. Before she can respond, the officer declares that the application will only be approved if she agrees to pay him 10% of the loan as bribe.

She leaves the building frustrated, thinking she would be better off taking loan with high interest rate from a local landlord.

This is a fictional story, but corruption affects the daily lives of women and men around the world. Corruption is public enemy number one in developing countries.

Does corruption affect your daily life? We want to hear from you.

Tell us what would you do to #takeon #corruption?

We will curate your responses, share them in future blog posts, and feature them on our social media channels. We will also use your responses to shape our Google Hangout session on December 15. Stay tuned for more details.

For example, if you see a bridge that hasn’t been fully constructed, take a picture and post on social media with hashtag #takeon #corruption. Or if you see a sign or poster that says you shouldn’t give bribe to officials, share a picture of it on social media with hashtags: #goodgov or #takeon #corruption

Good governance is at the heart of fight against poverty. Good governance can prevent corruption.

What’s one thing you will do to promote #goodgov?

​If you have ideas on how each of us can promote #goodgov or #takeon #corruption in our own communities, send us an Instagram video with these hashtags: #goodgov #takeon #corruption.

We must do everything we can to prevent corruption and promote good governance. You can also help raise awareness about good governance and corruption prevention efforts by reading and sharing our stories on @Gov4Dev.

This post first appeared on the World Bank Blog

Author: Ravi Kumar is a Digital Strategist with the Governance Global Practice at the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. 

Image: A young Iraqi girl holds out her money as she queues for the early morning bread at the bread factory in Baghdad May 20 2003. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty.

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Related topics:
Financial and Monetary SystemsEconomic Growth
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