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Tuesday, August 23, 2016
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Corruption in the Development Sector 

In recent years, high-profile initiatives have targeted corruption in government and private businesses, but the international development sector has thus far escaped thorough scrutiny, leaving billions of dollars in annual development assistance susceptible to waste, fraud and abuse. The principles of good governance are well known and codified in international and domestic law, but international development efforts remain poorly policed and unaccountable to either the people that fund them or the populations they are meant to benefit. 

 

The Problem is Not Development. The Problem is Governance in Development

Trillions of dollars have been poured into development projects around the globe, saving millions of lives and improving the livelihoods of billions of the world’s most vulnerable people. Despite these successes, there is growing recognition, among donors and beneficiaries alike, that annual outlays of billions of dollars for development programs have not fulfilled shared expectations.   APT-AID proponents recognize the moral and practical imperatives that justify a continued commitment to international development and believe that the development sector can improve its performance by strengthening its own governance. 

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The APT-AID

Principles of Good Governance

 

 Donor agencies that sign up to APT-AID Principles commit to:

• Post on-line the budget, project documents and financial and activity reports for all development programs;
 
• Require that aid recipients publicize their projects’ objectives, budgets and results;
 
• Treat allegations of waste, fraud or abuse, within their own institutions or among partners or beneficiaries, in a transparent manner, to include publicizing crimes when they do occur and seeking remedy, including incarceration and recovery of stolen assets when appropriate, through established legal channels;
 
• Provide clear channels for whistle-blowing through independent intermediaries, to include email, phone and mailing contacts;
 
• Obtain from each recipient a signed commitment to abide and enforce a Code of Conduct that accords with the provisions of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption regarding embezzlement, misappropriation, and diversion of property, trading in influence, abuse of functions and bribery.
 
Recipient agencies that sign up to APT-AID Principles commit to:
 
• Publicize the source of all funding, including the amounts donated and for which projects;
 
• Post on-line financial and activity reports for each project undertaken
 
• Treat allegations of waste, fraud or abuse, within their own institutions or among partners or beneficiaries, in a transparent manner, to include publicizing crimes when they do occur and seeking remedy, including incarceration and recovery of stolen assets when appropriate, through established legal channels;
 
• Provide clear channels for whistle-blowing through independent intermediaries, to include email, phone and mailing contacts.
 
• Obtain from each member of staff and partners a signed commitment to abide and enforce a Code of Conduct that accords with the provisions of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption regarding embezzlement, misappropriation, and diversion of property, trading in influence, abuse of functions and bribery.
 

 

Why are there problems of governance in the development sector?
 
Recent years have seen the public and private sector recognize the relationship between performance and transparency and accountability. This recognition has led to broad national and international conversations about the best strategies to improve governance in the public and private sectors and to initiatives like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Freedom of Information Act in the United States, which outlawed corruption by American companies oversees and provided Americans with unprecedented access to the inner workings of their own government. The United States is not alone; dozens of other countries have adopted far-reaching regulations to circumscribe the corrosive impact of corruption and poor governance. While members of the development world can be held accountable for their actions under some existing laws, not enough attention has been given to improving governance in the multi-billion dollar aid industry.
 
One can go online and find tons of information about a private company listed on the stock exchange, but there is precious little detail available regarding the way in which taxpayers' funds are being used to fight AIDS or poverty or deforestation. It seems there is a general consensus between the development providers and the development experts that this situation is just fine, that it is more important to protect the "procurement sensitive" contents of a contract than to ensure openness and transparency in how those funds are being spent.
 

This climate has given rise to something akin to a development priesthood, which controls vast sums of money, much of it out of the eyes of independent observers. Enforcing good governance in the development sector is especially challenging because funds tend to be appropriated in capital cities and dispensed in countries, many of whom suffer from pervasive corruption, that are separated by thousands of miles and even greater gulfs of language and communication. The intended recipients of this largesse are often ignorant of what is being done on their behalf, meaning that they do not play a role in enforcing the proper use of development resources.

 The current rules of the game have cultivated an environment that prioritizes the process of development rather than the performance of the development industry. At its worst, it leads to corruption and embezzlement.


    
   

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The APT-AID principles have been formulated as an attempt to fight corruption in development projects.


This initiative is set to expose agencies and organizations that promote secrecy and refuse to provide information to the public , while offering the way forward in a simple standard that assures basic transparency and accountability to the public that finance them.

 


 Stories of Corruption in Development Projects:

 

The Joke is on you - Aid Funds Create and Support an Illegal Immigration Racket

 

Mosquito Bed-Nets Reports - Imaginary development , Embazzlement Remains a Secret  

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Video Presentations:

Presentation No. 1

Presentation No. 2

Presentation No. 3

  

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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