• A new report from Transparency International finds improvements in the fight against corruption.
  • But most countries are stagnating, and there are worrying connections between rich and poor countries.
  • The report says unregulated flows of big money into politics is corrupting public policy.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Transparency International Chair Delia Ferreira Rubio unveiled the main themes and findings of the organization's new report on corruption.

The overall picture is one of stagnation in the face of corruption, found Transparency International in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index.

No country received a perfect score in the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index.
Image: Transparency International

One significant contributor to the problem of corruption is the link between politics and money.

"To have any chance of curbing corruption, governments must strengthen checks and balances, limit the influence of big money in politics and ensure broad input in political decision-making," the CPI report says.

Overcoming that challenge calls for a combination of legislation and cooperation. Political parties must be willing to disclose their sources of income, any assets they own and loans they receive. Meanwhile, governments should enforce regulations around campaign financing.

What's the World Economic Forum doing about corruption?

It hosts the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI), the largest global CEO-led anti-corruption initiative.

Realizing that corruption hampers growth and innovation, and increases social inequality, PACI aims to shape the global anti-corruption agenda.

Founded in 2004, it brings together top CEOs, governments and international organizations who develop collective action on corruption, transparency and emerging-marking risks.

PACI uses technology to boost transparency and accountability through its platform, Tech for Integrity.

Democracy ‘demands transparency’

Addressing the audience at Davos 2020, Ferreira Rubio highlighted the connections between the clean and the not-so-clean countries.

"The money that is stolen from those countries that are perceived as corrupt ends up in the countries perceived as clean and transparent – in banks, as wealth, as luxuries," she said, calling on the cleaner nations to take more responsibility for corruption beyond their borders.

Speaking at the same Davos session, the President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, warned against complacency: "The fight against corruption is a race towards a finish line that you can never reach," he said. With a CPI score of 61, Botswana is one of the anti-corruption success stories of sub-Saharan Africa.

"Democracy is incomplete without transparency and accountability," President Masisi continued. "We passed legislation that requires all political leaders, officers and those in the judiciary to disclose their wealth and liabilities."