A new episode of KickBack: The Global Anticorruption Podcast is now available. In this week’s episode, I interview Sarah Steingrüber, an independent consultant on corruption and public health issues. Among her other activities in this area, she currently serves as the global health lead for the CurbingCorruption web platform, and was the co-author of the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre’s report on Corruption in the Time of COVID-19: A Double-Threat for Low Income Countries. Much of our conversation naturally focuses on how corruption and related issues may intersect with the coronavirus pandemic and its response, in particular (1) misappropriation of relief spending, and (2) how some corrupt leaders may use the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to eliminate checks and oversight. A central tension we discuss is how the urgency of emergency situations affects the sorts of measures that are appropriate, and draws on lessons from prior health crises such as the Ebola outbreak in West African in 2013-2016. We then discuss other more general issues related to corruption and health, such as how the monetization and privatization of health may contribute to undue private influence on decision-making processes in the health sector.
You can find this episode here. You can also find both this episode and an archive of prior episodes at the following locations:
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Continuing this week’s theme of highlighting resources on the links between corruption/anticorruption and the coronavirus pandemic, in today’s guest post Sarah Steingrüber, an independent global health expert and Global Health Lead for CurbingCorruption, announces the following new resource on fighting corruption in the health sector:
Last week, the open-source academic journal Global Health Action, published a special issue on anticorruption, transparency, and accountability in the health sector. Although not about the COVID-19 situation specifically, this special issue—a joint undertaking with the World Health Organization—addresses crucial and highly relevant issues related to the health sector’s ability to prevent, detect, and sanction corruption, in order to address the threats that corruption poses to the health system’s ability to perform effectively during both crises and normal times.
After an introductory overview by Theadora Koller, David Clarke, and Taryn Vian, the special issue includes seven articles:
Today’s guest post is from Matt Gardner, who previously served as the Head of Anti-Corruption at New Scotland Yard, Metropolitan Police, and who is currently covers police-related issues or CurbingCorruption.Com (whose launch in October 2018 GAB covered here).
The Metropolitan Police in London (the “Met’) is a large city force, with 30,000+ officers policing a city of over 10 million on any working day. Even in a well-trained professional force like this one, keeping police corruption down to low levels is a constant challenge. The ordinary difficulties of tackling corruption are compounded by the authority that the police are entrusted with: If you are a thief, a sexual predator, a bully, or lean towards corruption and criminality, joining the police service in any country is an excellent career choice. You can hide behind your warrant card, police ID, or uniform.
So what can police departments do to keep corruption within their own ranks in check? In this post, I want to highlight the four most important tools for keeping police corruption at low levels, using the Met’s experience to illustrate each of these elements: Continue reading →
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.