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Tackling Corruption for Human Development in the Asia-Pacific

Posted by iaccforum on October 31, 2008

An expert panel debate, ‘Tackling Corruption for Human Development in the Asia-Pacific’, at the 13th IACC in Athens, Greece, on 2 November 2008 focuses on tackling corruption to improve human lives – to promote human development – rather than as an end in itself. It draws from the Asia-Pacific Human Development Report Tackling Corruption, Transforming Lives, coordinated by the Human Development Report Unit at the UNDP Regional Centre in Colombo.

The debate is about the Asia Pacific – a region that is rapidly growing, yet attempting the twin tasks of development and democratic consolidation at the same time. Four eminent expert panelists are to participate: Dr. Kiran Bedi (India), Mr. Kunda Dixit (Nepal), H.E. Dr.M. Osman Farruk (Bangladesh), and Honourable Justice Nazhat Shameem (Fiji). Their knowledge and experience in combating corruption is well known. BBC’s Nisha Pillai, who hosts ‘Asia Today’ and will be the expert moderator.

What’s different about this debate?

  • It focuses on pervasive ‘petty’ corruption, especially because of its impact on daily lives, on the poor and its emergence in situations of shortages where people may have little choice for survival. It compromises basic human rights. Petty corruption is actually a misnomer, underplaying its wide spread and persistence. The dollar amounts may be small, but number of transactions are numerous, and impacts corrosive. A better term is ‘retail’ corruption.         
  • It also addresses corruption that may be technically legal – when private interests undermine laws through state capture. This restricts people’s opportunities, undermining human rights.
  • Going beyond how corruption affects human development, the debate will also address human development itself, through people’s rights, voice and choice – can be part of the solution. What has worked well? Good practice and not so-good practices will be discussed.

For more on the debate please visit:, for more on Tackling Corruption Transforming Lives, please visit:



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Using social media to change how we fight corruption

Posted by iaccforum on October 31, 2008

Internet-based social media has profoundly changed the way we engage with others in the private and public sphere. Social activists, political campaigners, NGOs, government and business all increasingly make use of the connective power of these communication approaches and tools to mobilise support, generate knowledge, deliver services and engage with stakeholders.

How does this relate to the fight against corruption? There are many ways in which concepts and tools can be adapted and used to serve the needs of the anti-corruption movement. Concepts, ideas and examples are being discussed on the blog Accountability2.0 accompanying an IACC workshop being held at 17:00 on 1 November. Let me share with you here a couple of ideas about the direction this is going: 

Fighting corruption becomes:

1) Collaborative and crowd-based. It is now much easier to link up with people and groups working on the same issues, and gather them in a wider and more tightly-linked anti-corruption movement. The other advantages are the opportunities to join up with individual activists, and motivate and integrate the average citizen through small actions they can take.

2) De-centralised. De-centralised action and organisational forms can be established where it is necessary. One example is the global protests organised on 4 February under the moto “A Million Voices Against FARC” using Facebook as a platform. Demostrations were organised all over the world. Especially under restrictive regimes, where the right of civil society to organize is challenged, social media can be used to organise, meet virtually and work together without physically being together.

3) Empowering. Social media can empower people that want to change things. It enables a bottom-up approach by giving voice to the people most affected. By contributing their experience, easily done via blogs, twitter, or a wiki, their voices can be heard and faces can be put to the devastating effects of corruption.

Georg Neumann, Social Transparency Blog

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