Technology is helping the fight against corruption.


Technology is helping the fight against corruption - Tony Roberts


Computerweekly - Transparency International defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. The range of corruption is vast, from government officials demanding relatively petty payments and police taking bribes, right up to politicians taking huge kickbacks on oil and arms deals.


In the UK this year we have seen police allegedly take bribes from newspapers, members of parliament jailed for fiddled their expenses, right up to banks fixing the Libor rate and claims that airlines, gas and petrol companies are corruptly fixing prices. Bringing those with power to account can be a difficult, sometimes dangerous, and long-drawn-out affair.


All over the world however citizens are fighting back, using new technology to shine a light on fraud and bribery, and to blow the whistle on corrupt practices.


In Nigeria the anti-corruption internet database (Acid) has pulled together data and information, tools and resources, and forged a coalition of players to fight the corruption that pervades society. Their website provides the means to track corruption in public procurement, hosts downloadable training and advocacy materials and interactive tools to enable members of the public to text or tweet reports of corrupt activities live onto Google Maps to raise awareness and to shame perpetrators...


Read more at Computerweekly.



The Ground Zero of Corruption - Moses Ochonu


Sometimes discussions of corruption can become so abstract that they get divorced from its real life impacts. I am sometimes guilty of this abstraction of corruption. Lately, however, I have become very curious about the destructive potential of corruption; about the on-ground consequences of graft; and about the impact of corruption on the lives of regular Nigerians. I have become more sensitive to, and interested in, the opportunity cost of corruption.


In a previous article on corruption, I pointed out that the difference in the perception index of corruption in Africa and the West turns on one fact:  corruption in Africa kills, literally, while corruption in the West, even though greater in monetary terms (not in absolute or relative terms), is only a little more than a social and corporate irritant. And the victims of corruption in the West are far less in number than its victims in the Third World. The social damage of corruption is also far less in the West.


The question of what Nigerians have had to forego as a result of public corruption, of the privations that result from the embezzlement, mismanagement and misapplication of public fund has become a small personal obsession of mine. Some organizations like the West African NGO Network (WANGONET) share this obsession. The organization runs the Anti-Corruption Internet Database (ACID), which, among other things, maintains a ticking corruption clock showing, by the minutes and seconds, how much Nigeria loses to corruption.


It is not enough to simply assert that corruption kills or deprives Nigerians of basic social services—both of which are fairly obvious facts. In fact, the repetition of this fact without an evidentiary backbone can itself become, over time, meaningless abstraction—distant, impersonal, academic, and discursive. Sometimes, the point needs to be driven home by putting people and structures at the heart of these discussions and by graphically illustrating the devastation of corruption...


Read more at Gamji



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