International Anti-Corruption Day 2018: The power of people’s pressure

International Anti-Corruption Day 2018: The power of people’s pressure

Sunday 9 December is International Anti-Corruption Day. Together, we are #UnitedAgainstCorruption

Corruption impacts the poorest and most vulnerable in society the hardest.

It is ordinary citizens who suffer most when the corrupt steal funds intended for public services like infrastructure, healthcare and education, or take back-handers to award lucrative contracts to their cronies.

One in four people around the world say they have had to pay a bribe to access public services in the past twelve months.

But, when ordinary people fight back against corruption, they can make a real difference.

Leveraging people power

Across the world, Transparency International chapters work hard to help the public become involved and engaged in the fight against corruption.

In Sri Lanka, for example, our chapter welcomed a new right to information (RTI) law with an award-winning online campaign that led to a three-fold increase in citizens’ requests for information from the government. Just this week, this RTI law led to the release of the prime minister’s asset declaration.

TI Bangladesh is one of the leaders in our movement at leveraging people power. Over 6,000 people are volunteer members of the chapter’s grassroots Committees of Concerned Citizens, which play a dual role of promoting values of integrity and transparency and implementing the chapter's anti-corruption tools. 

In Palestine, our local chapter and partner organisations created a national accountability day and helped 120 young people engage with decision-makers and hold them accountable at a series of events, leading to new promises and plans for action. 

The public as watchdog

In Ghanasocial audit clubs are trained to monitor public projects. In one case, they found that a planned school was not built at all; it was eventually constructed after a complaint was made. Another social audit club found dangerously poor materials in the foundations of a school building and managed to halt the construction.

This is just one way that ordinary people can make a difference in fighting corruption in Africa. According to new survey results from Afrobarometer, a slim majority of people in Africa believe that this is possible.

In Peru, a similar social audits mechanism is estimated to have saved the taxpayer US$8 million. In a region where the Lava Jato scandal has shone a spotlight on high-level corruption and caused major changes in the political landscape, this kind of citizen engagement has a vital role to play in increasing accountability.     

In Italy, citizens and organisations are monitoring the use of public funds in an archaeological excavation, restoring trust in the procurement process. This model, known as an Integrity Pact, is also one of the few remaining ways we can constructively engage with the current government in Hungary, which has presided over an increasingly centralised system of corruption in recent years. 

And in Brussels, we’ve been working to make sure the EU makes it easier and safer for people to come forward when they see wrongdoing at work.

But violence and repression continue

We can’t ignore the ways that governments around the world are making it harder for people to engage. In just the past few months, in Ukraine, we’ve seen a worrying lack of progress in investigations into physical attacks on activists, and, in Turkey, attempts to silence civil society voices with unjust arrests

This International Anti-Corruption Day, we’d like to invite people everywhere to take part in helping the world become a fairer, more just and more sustainable place to live.

Contact your local Transparency International chapter and find out how you can safely get involved.

We need your support! Donate to Transparency International!

Are you looking for more ways to encourage people to act against corruption? Check out our blog, Five ways to make citizens engage in anti-corruption mechanisms

Image: Anti-corruption brigade in the city of Puno in 2017. Proética.

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Latest

Support Transparency International

The terrible consequences of police corruption in South Africa

What do we do when those mandated to protect us are serving other interests than public safety and security? In South Africa, police corruption leaves the public exposed to high rates of crime, and causes distrust of the police service while allowing crime to flourish.

Why do DRC citizens report such high levels of corruption?

People's experiences with corruption in the DRC are far worse than in most other African countries. Why is corruption so prevalent in the DRC, why is bribery so commonplace and why do two thirds of citizens feel powerless?

Is Mauritius at a tipping point in the fight against corruption?

According to the latest GCB for Africa, very few Mauritians who accessed public services, like health care and education, had to pay a bribe for those services. But given recent scandals, citizens still see certain groups and institutions as corrupt.

Countries must be more transparent when investigating transnational corruption

Supervisory and justice systems should be transparent and accountable so that the public can assess their performance.

Resilient institutions

Reducing corruption is an important component of the sustainable development agenda, and one that all state parties have an obligation to address. Although corruption is often thought of as a ‘third-world problem’, institutions in the Global North play an important role in the corruption cycle, and are therefore an essential part of the solutions.

In whose interest? Political integrity and corruption in Africa

What accounts for the wide disparity in peoples’ perceptions of the integrity of elected representatives in different countries? In this piece, we will to look at various forms of political corruption, how they manifest in African countries and what can be done to promote political integrity.

Cidadãos opinam sobre a corrupção em África

A décima edição do Barómetro Global de Corrupção (GCB) – África revela que embora a maioria das pessoas na África acreditem que os níveis de corrupção aumentaram no seu país, elas também se sentem otimistas, pois acreditam que os cidadãos podem fazer a diferença no combate à corrupção.

Les citoyens africains expriment leur opinion sur la corruption

La 10e édition du Baromètre mondial de la corruption – Afrique révèle que la plupart des Africains pensent que la corruption a augmenté dans leur pays, mais aussi que la majorité d’entre eux s’estiment capables, en tant que citoyens, de changer la donne dans la lutte contre la corruption.

Global Corruption Barometer - Africa 2019

The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa reveals that more than half of all citizens surveyed in 35 African countries think corruption is getting worse in their country. 59 per cent of people think their government is doing badly at tackling corruption.

Citizens speak out about corruption in Africa

The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa, reveals that while most people in Africa feel corruption increased in their country, a majority also feel optimistic that they can make a difference in the fight against corruption.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media