What is corruption?Transparency International (TI) defines corruption as “the misuse of entrusted power for private gain”. In other terms, it is when there is no transparency, no law that emphasizes public access to information, hence allowing decision makers to act without being held accountable.
How can corruption be measured?Corruption can be measured through many tools.
TI has established an annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) in view of measuring corruption and ranking the countries depending of their score. The CPI aims at giving a general classification of corruption in countries using expert assessments and opinion surveys. Today, more than 150 countries are ranked by the CPI.
The World Bank on the other hand uses the six following indicators to measure corruption:
- Voice and accountability;
- Political stability;
- Government effectiveness;
- Regulatory quality;
- Rule of law; and
- Control of corruption.
How does corruption affect your life?Corruption affects each and every one of our lives; in some cases, it might even cost our lives. It endangers our everyday being, it destroys the country’s economy – hence it reduces the citizens’ personal wealth – and it does not contribute to the renewal of the political system – thus removing citizens’ trust in their own nation.
What are the costs of corruption on your society?Corruption has a four-fold cost:
- On the political level: it constitutes a major barrier to democracy, hindering the emergence of a more responsible political system. The rule of law must be strengthened, and the state needs to be invested in so as to increase its authority and credibility and thus helping to reduce corruption.
- On the economic level: high levels of corruption ultimately lead to lower levels of foreign investment. Therefore, it limits the country’s development and reduces national wealth; leaving large segments of the population trapped in misery and poverty.
- On the social level: corruption traps citizens in a vicious cycle where bribery becomes the norm and accepting it becomes a way of life. Corruption therefore undermines people’s trust in the state and the political system, as well as its institutions and leadership.
- On the environmental level: there are no laws and regulations to control the impact of any projects on the environment. As a result, projects that have a negative impact on the environment have been able to proceed; despite the fact that they may be detrimental to the nation at large and ultimately serve the interests of the few individuals who are behind it.