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Designing Anti-Corruption Strategies for Developing Countries

Corruption, broadly defined as the abuse of public office for private gain by the World Bank, has been acknowledged as a universal problem. In the words of Myint (2000) — corruption occurs in all nations, both developed and developing countries, in public and private sectors, as well as non-profit organizations.“ The problem of corruption within or across nations is not a recent phenomenon, nor is it exclusively a Third-Word problem (Ghazanafar & May, 2000). However, corruption exists both in developed and developing countries in different forms, degrees and has differing consequences.

Furthermore, within countries falling under the category of developing countries, ranging from a bigger, relatively well-developed country as Indonesia to smaller to a relatively poorly developed country as Uganda, we observe differences in corruption practices pertaining to the unique economic, political, and social features of a given country. However, we can safely argue that developing countries already suffering from poverty, poor health, high levels of illiteracy, low economic growth, and political instability would be much more prone to corruption and more seriously harmed by it than the developed countries.

Whereas corruption is a problem for all countries, Africa is regarded as least able to bear the heavy costs in view of the continent‘s debilitating poverty. (Olowu, 1999) According to one official of the Word Bank corruption has been dubbed as the Aids of democracy“ for developing countries. The relatively recent colonial experience is also a contributing factor. The legitimacy of governmental institutions (which presumably help to retard corruption) is weak in many developing countries even after power had been transferred to local elites. Mbaku (1998) asserts that in the case of post colonial Africa the capture of governance systems by indigenous elites instead of increasing the welfare of the previously marginalized people had resulted in manipulation of state power by the ruling elite to plunder the economy for its own benefit. Ghazanar and May (2000) explain the link between colonialism and corruption in the context of developing countries as follows:

    Many Third word nations have relatively recently gained independence from the former colonial powers of Europe. This is especially true of many African countries. Often the transition to an independent nation has not been a smooth one. There have been political coups, violent overthrows and other unstable forces, representing the background for he evolution of public-sector institutions. It is no surprise that many of these regimes turned out to be corrupt. …. Often ad hoc structures, without proper legitimacy, tended to be hastily developed giving rise to political instability in later years. Further, public employees at all levels tended to be poorly trained or lacking altogether. Such conditions make the possibilities of corruption very easy and widespread.


    1.1 Eritrea: Background Information
    1.2 Introduction
    1.3 Purpose of Study
    1.4 Theoretical Framework
    1.5 Research Questions


    2.1 Defining Corruption
    2.2 Causes of Corruption
    2.3 Consequences of Corruption
    2.4 Alternative Anti-Corruption Strategies


    3.1 Instruments
    3.2 Sampling Methods
    3.3 Sample
    3.4 Variables in the Study
    3.5 Data Analysis Procedures
    3.6 Research Questions Hypotheses


    4.1 Importance of Corruption to Eritrean Public Administration
    4.2 Extent of Corruption in Eritrea
    4.3 Causes of Corruption in Eritrea
    4.4 Survey Results: Effectiveness of Economic/Market Reforms
    4.5 Survey Results: Effectiveness of Administrative Reforms
    4.6 Survey Results: Effectiveness of Accountability/Transparency Reforms
    4.7 Survey Results: Effectiveness of Political Accountability Enhancing Reforms
    4.8 Correlations Between Strategies and Leading Causes of Corruption


    5.1 Summary of Research Findings
    5.2 Conclusion
    5.3 Implications of Research Results


  • Appendix A. Survey Questionnaire
  • Appendix B. Frequency Tables: Corruption Level in Year 2000 and 2003
  • Appendix C. Government Corruption 2003 and Foreign Education Variable
  • Appendix D. Government Corruption 2003 and Party Membership Cross-Tabulation
  • Appendix E. Causes of Corruption œ Descriptive Statistics

Designing Anti-Corruption Strategies for Developing Countries