A Practical Approach to Combating Corruption
Because of its many manifestations and its ability to morph into different forms, corruption is difficult to address wholesale. For instance, attempts to strengthen, if not overhaul, the civil service and transform it into a reputable, meritbased institution, where corruption is the exception and not the rule, are laudable. But in many developing countries, the capacity, understanding, and appreciation for the needed reforms are still absent or in their seedling stage. In the long run, such reforms may eventually be embraced and bear fruit. But what does a country do in the meantime?
This dilemma suggests that corruption should perhaps be addressed "in the small": chop up the elephant into tractable bits that allow microlevel reforms, however small, to occur and enable progress to be evaluated and measured more readily. This would imply that the typical broad remedial measures anchored on increasing account ability and transparency will need to be translated into concrete actions targeted to and tailor-made for specific areas. one promising approach in this direction is the value chain methodology applied at the sectoral or subsectoral level.