Here at GAB we’re always delighted to welcome more platforms to the online community devoted to discussing, and hopefully making some progress toward addressing, the corruption problem. And so it’s with great pleasure that I commend to all of our readers a new website, CurbingCorruption. The brainchild of Mark Pyman, and developed by him with assistance from several other distinguished anticorruption specialists, CurbingCorruption seeks to provide concrete anticorruption advice tailored to specific sectors (such as construction, education, health, fisheries, etc.) The website is still a work-in-progress, but that’s actually one of the things I found so exciting and innovative about it: The idea, as I understand it, is to use what’s already on the site as a foundation, but to “crowdsource” additions and revisions by inviting users to contribute their own experiences, insights, and suggestions, and eventually for the website to be managed by collaborative groups of users, with different teams focused on different sectors. The site also welcomes inquiries.
This seems like an exciting, innovative experiment in accumulating and synthesizing knowledge about “what works” in anticorruption. I have no idea whether this experiment will be successful—efforts to create online knowledge repositories have had a mixed track record, or so I’ve been told—but I do hope it takes off, and I encourage GAB readers to check it out and perhaps to get involved.
I love this initiative! Yes, there have been attempts to create anti-corruption repositories before, but this seems like it is not only managed by truly experienced people, but it can also (quite counter-intuitively) benefit from the fact that they are all contributing to this pro bono. This specific set up can be its strength, as most likely all of its contributors and authors have already decided to set aside some time for the cause without expecting anything back, so there will be no questions of what is going to happen once the funding runs out. This already seems like the most detailed and concentrated go-to glossary for good anti-corruption practices in all sectors.
My only concern (which is not even a critique for this specific initiative) is that in most cases, there is no solution that can fit everyone. For that reason, I am a strong proponent of not only following good practices, but also collecting as much data as possible about the specific national context (by conducting polls, anonymous surveys, etc.). The few entries that I reviewed on this website address this by encouraging the decision makers to also analyze their own national context – I just hope that everybody will read this correctly and will not attempt to apply the proposed solutions to any given context without the proper local analysis.