Can Private Sector Action Tackle Corruption?

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Corruption is an impediment to growth and poverty reduction. As the authors in this issue of Development Outreach well document, corruption limits opportunities, creates inefficiencies and forms additional barriers to the smooth delivery of services. Crucially, from the perspective of the World Bank Group, corruption cumulatively undermines progress towards achieving development objectives, not least as its impact is most adversely felt by the world's poor. The World Bank has taken a clear public stance-based on exhaustive research-to seek ways to combat corruption. To this end we do and must work together with other international organizations, governments, civil society groups, and the private sector. As noted by World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, the private sector worldwide is one of the most important partners in this process and, without the active engagement of business, progress will be limited. This newsletter includes some of the following headings: introduction; why should business care; corruption affects everyone and exists all over the world; capacity of government to regulate is key; so, what is being done; action by individual firms; collective action and the role of associations; industry-wide efforts also hold promise; global standards can be effective at producing peer pressure to reform; the World Bank's contribution; increased attention to its own loan portfolio; the power of data and benchmarking; embedding governance and anti-corruption at the heart of country strategy; powerful diagnosis and analytical tools help guide actions at the country level; affecting both the demand and supply side of good governance; multi-stakeholder partnerships are a complex and nuanced undertaking.
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Léautier, Frannie; Petkoski, Djordjija; Jarvis, Michael. 2007. Can Private Sector Action Tackle Corruption?. Africa Region Findings & Good Practice Infobriefs; No. 270. © License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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