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William Easterly: Is the UK Propping Up Autocrats, or Merely Wasting Money?

William Easterly and Laura Freschi, writing for AidWatch, kick the aid anthill by claiming European aid agencies (particularly the UK’s DfID) are supporting autocratic governments instead of people by pumping money directly into national budgets, rather than development programs. A flurry of blog posts follow; we’re wading in. Easterly and Freschi’s argument is essentially this:…

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Hamid Karzai Declares Assets

Afghan President Hamid Karzai provided a public asset disclosure and suggested that all government officials do the same. But Karzai also had harsh words for critics calling for better anti-corruption in Afghanistan. “Foreigners have defamed Afghanistan so badly in terms of corruption. But it’s not as serious as they think,” he said. Reuters has Karzai’s…

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Daniel Kaufmann on the “Silent Crisis” in Aid and Anti-Corruption

Governance uber-wonk Daniel Kaufmann cuts a path through the development aid establishment, commenting on the financial crisis, the 2005 Paris Declaration, China as aid donor, mobile phones in governance, South-to-North knowledge transfer… he covers a lot of ground. But the core message is always the need for innovation. “The official aid industry was already behind…

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Peru’s Illegal Wiretaps Fight Corruption With Corruption

Peru is debating the pros and cons of fighting corruption through secret, illegal wiretaps. The practice, called chuponeo, gets results, but runs awfully close to the practices of Peru’s former dictators. Chuponeo is what Peruvians name the practice of intercepting private conversations illegally. A huge debate about chuponeo has been taking place in Peru since…

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Freedom of Information: A Comparative Study

The open and convenient access to government information is essential to democracy. Free debate and accountability require transparent governance structures that encourage citizens to engage with public officials. However, our data from the Global Integrity Report shows that the legislation and practice of this right vary greatly across the globe. Here we look at the…

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