What are the effects of corruption?

The effect of corruption has many dimensions related to political, economic, social and environmental effects. In political sphere, corruption impedes democracy and the rule of law. In a democratic system, public institutions and offices may lose their legitimacy when they misuse their power for private interest. Corruption may also result in negative consequences such as encoring cynicism and reducing interest of political participation , political instability , reducing political competition, reducing the transparency of political decision making, distorting political development and sustaining political activity based on patronage, clientelism and money, etc.

In our society, the impact of corruption is often manifested through political intolerance, problems of accountability and transparency to the public, low level of democratic culture, principles of consultation and participation dialogue among others.

The economic effects of corruption can be categorized as minor and major. However, both in one way or the other have serious impact on the individual community and country. First and foremost, corruption leads to the depletion of national wealth. It is often responsible for increased costs of goods and services, the funneling of scarce public resources to uneconomic high profile projects at the expense of the much needed projects such as schools, hospitals and roads, or the supply of potable water, diversion and misallocation of resources, conversion of public wealth to private and personal property, inflation, imbalanced economic development, weakling work ethics and professionalism, hindrance of the development of fair in market structures and unhealthy competition there by deterring competition. Large scale corruption hurts the economy and impoverishes entire population.

In Social sphere, corruption discourages people to work together for the common good. Frustration and general apathy among the public result in a weak civil society. Demanding and paying bribes becomes the tradition. It also results in social inequality and widened gap between the rich and poor, civil strive, increased poverty and lack of basic needs like food, water and drugs, jealousy and hatred and insecurity.

Closer home, corruption is said to have been factors for the down fall of past regimes byway of undermining the legitimacy of the governments and weakening their structures, reducing productivity, hindering development, worsening poverty, marginalizing the poor, creating social unrest and then to their downfall.


Based on its mandate of fighting all forms of corruption in the public, private and civil society sectors, as well as promoting good governance and integrity in public and corporate affairs, TE’s activities covers four core strategic areas: institutional building, awareness training and public education as well as research and advocacy.
1. Institutional Building

Capacity building is a key factor for the realization of all the planned and perceived activities.

As part of this programme, institutionalization involves staff recruitment and developing its capacity, renting and furnishing office, procuring office equipment, installing Transparency Ethiopia’s website, membership development, fund raising activities, establishing a library/ resource center and regular and ad hoc membership meetings. In addition, the provision of trainings and study tour programmes for TE staff members is part and parcel of building the capacity of workers in particular and the institution in general. Focus is also made on devising appropriate systems and procedures.

Transparency's Ethiopia Annual meetings are considered as a learning process and will focus on a specific issue considered essential for members’ education. Organizing an International Conference is seen as an option to attract TI’s Regional and International members and promote exchange on countries experiences on ways and means of combating corruption and implanting transparency. Read More...
2. Networking And Coalition Building

TE believes that it is through effective networking and coalition building that anti-corruption movements would be fruitful. The focus of this programme is to bring together like-minded individuals and organizations that are working in the area of corruption, good governance and human rights. Most importantly, transparency Ethiopia believes that the organization is necessarily a pressure group and a societal venue for fighting corruption. Therefore, forming strategic partnerships and alliances with the government, CSO/NGOs, INGOs, other international bodies, the private sector, and the public at large is high on the agenda of TE.

In this context, TE has been promoting good working relation with stakeholders such as the Federal Ethics and anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC) on a variety of activities, in particular, conducting a quarterly panel discussion on the project title of “Deepening knowledge on corruption via Panel-discussion: Building Well-informed Citizens about Corruption.” TE is also engaged on establishing a working relation with parliament through conducting activities such as trainings with it.

In the initiation of FEACC, about 8 civil society organizations in the country have formed coalition, civil society organizations in the country including TE are in the process of forming anti-Corruption coalition. The coalition is hoped to strengthen the capacity of each member organization and to serve as a platform to present and voice their common agenda or concern through the exchange of information and ideas.

With regard to advocacy and lobbying activities, TE has been targeting policy makers to the realization of better working procedures, policies, rules and regulations related to tackling corruption. For instance, TE has sent a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office urging for the ratification and implementation of UN & AU anti-corruption conventions and ensuring their immediate implementation by the government. TE has planned and been exerting maximum possible effort for the formations and strengthening of the Ethiopian Chapter of Africa Parliamentarian Network against Corruption (APNAC) from Ethiopian MPs.

Being the local contact of Transparency International (TI), TE is working in close collaboration with TI and other TI local Chapters in Africa such as Transparency International-Kenya through the participation of workshops, conferences and by way of sharing experiences and best lessons.

Simply put, since its establishment in 2003, TE has been working in collaboration with local and international institutions in the realization of anti-Corruption movement. It has also approached the private business and companies in order to form an ethical style of work and avoid corruption. Read More...
3. Awareness, Training And Public Education

Pursuant to its core strategic objectives of awareness creation, training and public education, TE is undertaking different programmes with the aim of raising the awareness of the citizens about the devastating impacts of corruption and to enable them play an active role in the endeavors to avert corruption offences.

It has been argued that education is a change in behavior. At least, it could be agreed that telling the public about corruption and bribery might result in an informed decision making.

Different communication tools are incorporated to meet this particular programme including, among others, a strong advocacy work, media campaign, internet (website), public lecture, conferences, workshops, seminars, panel discussions and other forums, dramas, cinemas, publishing and distributing leaflets, brochures, and newsletters. Besides, producing and distributing Information Education Communication (IEC) materials on corruption and anti-corruption issues to the public at large and targeted sectors such as schools constitute another strategy. The programme also involves members of TE. Therefore, building the capacity of Transparency Ethiopia’s current members on corruption issues, and Anti-Corruption Activities, and undertake Preventive and awareness campaigns is taken as a strategy.Annual events like Anti-Corruption Day is taken by TE as an important medium to disseminate information related to corruption and for advocacy purpose. Moreover, TE has planned under this programme to organize a ceremony and grant integrity Award to deserving civil servants or offices. Read More...
4. Research And Advocacy

Research and advocacy is taken as one of the core functions of TE. As a tool for monitoring and evaluating anti-corruption fight, researches that employ different surveys and data analysis will be conducted by TE . The program aims at measuring corruption which offers some benefits.

Researches like National Corruption Perception Index (NCPI), National Integrity System (NIS) and case studies on selected public institutions will be conducted. In this respect, TE commissioned competent consulting firms in order to undertake a study on People’s corruption perception. This study is believed to give a voice to those affected by corruption – and help us understand better their concerns and experiences. The study can also be used as an advocacy tool for affecting the necessary institutional and legal changes that need government intervention. Thus, once this research has been completed we anticipate the research output to be an entry point to engaging with various institutions on corruption.

The researches are deemed to be helpful for supporting some of TE’s activities including educating the public, advocacy and lobbying purposes, establishing a baseline for comparisons between success and failures, establishing priorities and above all to depoliticize and gear the shift to substantive issue. The research programmes are also used to assess areas of particular challenges and to follow-up some impacts in the anti-corruption movement and others. Besides, the surveys are used as tools for other research projects.

In the context of the research programme, TE commissioned a study on the National Integrity System (NIS) of Ethiopia in 2005. The purpose of the study was to assess the NIS and components. The result of this first draft study was introduced to the public at the workshops held in Addis Ababa and Awassa. Research outputs are disseminated through workshops and seminars and also received by organizations and individuals that are engaged in the study and research on corruption issues.
Overview of implemented and ongoing activities

Some of the implemented and on-going activities with respect to the core strategic areas are discussed briefly.
Research on Peoples’ Corruption Perception Survey

As part of its core strategic objectives, TE has embarked on commissioning a research project pertinent to peoples’ corruption perception survey (in Addis Ababa City Administration).

Information about public perception and experience of corruption is vital to anti-corruption efforts. People’s perceptions are an indicator of the success of anti-corruption policies and initiatives. Moreover, it is equally important to understand the gendered element of corruption impact. And as such this study will look to disaggregate the finding by gender. In addition, establishing which public agencies are perceived to have the highest level of corruption helps set priorities for reforms. Since reforms are often resisted by senior officials, politicians and bureaucrats, a study of this kind can provide the necessary evidence to advocate for improvements.
Awareness creation on corruption via panel discussion

Joint efforts are indispensable to tackle corruption. It is for this reason that TE and the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (FEACC), the two specialized organizations exclusively dealing with corruption issues in Ethiopia, are jointly working on a project which aims to raise public awareness on corruption issues via panel discussion. The cooperation between them gained impetus by an agreement signed in November 2007 to work on a joint anti-corruption project entitled “Deepening Knowledge on Corruption via Panel-Discussions”. The project provides four panel discussion sessions spread out in a period of 12 months, with each session lasting half day. The discussions will largely focus on prominent corruption issues and problems in Ethiopia including corruption in different sectors, the role of media in the anti-corruption struggle, corporate corruption, and the need for networking and coalition building to fight against corruption, among other.

The first of these panel discussions was conducted on March 28, 2008 at Ghion Hotel on the theme “The impact of corruption on development”. Papers related with the theme were presented by Mr. Garbis Korajian and Dr. Constantinos Berhe, and moderated by Professor Andrias Eshete, President of the Addis Ababa University. A heated discussion and debate took place at the panel, which made the occasion lively and worthwhile.

The project is covered by TE from the financial support obtained from the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the Norwegian Church Aid Ethiopia.
A film Show

One of the awareness creation mediums TE target to exploit is film. Realizing that the Ethiopian film industry is becoming an important outlet to reaching the youth and certain groups of society, TE commissioned a film entitled “Ye Moriam Midir” for about 1000 students in Addis Ababa University on May 17, 2008. The film was selected from among other films that are currently on screen because it depicts the bad effects of corruption.
Ethics training for public service officers

TE believes that public service officers need proper trainings in areas of Ethics and Anti-Corruption so as to build their capacity in order for them be able to to serve better the people that they represent. With this in mind, TE is working on a project under the title” Training in Ethics and Anti-Corruption for Public Service Officers and member of the Parliament.

The first phase of the training package is going to be given for FDRE House of People’s Representatives (HoPRs) in the upcoming months tentatively. The main objective of this training programme is to raise awareness of matters relating to Ethics and Anti-Corruption in national development, law promulgation process, and business transaction through training, lectures and seminar.

These training packages thus are able to respond to both institutional and personal demand of the concepts and skills needed by a parliamentarian and/or peoples’ representatives in areas of Ethics and anti-corruption to provide innovative, action oriented, non-lending activities illustrating new way of acting in which the trainee is in the driver’s seat.
A weekly Amharic radio program on corruption issues

Transparency Ethiopia has begun a 20 minutes weekly Amharic radio program on corruption issues. The programme has been broadcasted on FM 98.1 since April 20, 2008. The overall aim of the program is to educate the public on the essence, manifestations and adverse effects of corruption, and consequently contribute to the creation of a corruption intolerant society in our country. The program is also expected to constitute an important forum for a multi-polar discussion (mainly involving public, government, private sector and civil society) on issues of corruption.
Learning Visit

A three member delegation of professional members of TE led by TE Director, Mr. Eyasu Yimer made a successful study tour to Transparency International Kenya (TI-kenya) from May 3-9, 2008. In the visit, the delegation was briefed on TI-Kenya, including the major activities of the various departments.

Being around 15 years from establishment, the delegation learnt that TI-Kenya is one of the strongest and successful anti-Corruption local Chapters of Transparency International (TI) and as yet has ample experience in the movement of anti-corruption struggle. It was learnt that TI-Kenya is well equipped in terms of material and human resources.

The other meeting which was visited by the delegation take part was the meeting of the Kenya Chapter of African Parliamentarian Network against Corruption. The existence of this Chapter, according to the delegation, has also given TI-Kenya additional strength. The delegation got the participation of parliamentarians in the anti-corruption movement very remarkable. They can have much input on the push for major policy changes in the country context.

Simply put, the team acquired wide knowledge and experience on the organizational set up of Ti-Kenya, its working environment, its diverse activities and the tools it uses to carry out these activities to fight corruption.
Website development

With a view to see corruption intolerant society and a corruption free Ethiopia, TE is employing different strategies. In connection to this, TE has developed and launched its dynamic webpage. The purpose of the webpage is to facilitate for an appropriate system of awareness raising, information dissemination, and widening the operational boundary to increase its stakeholders, to strengthen its potential or fighting capabilities for the causes of corruption.
Establishment of a resource centre

TE is undertaking the establishment of a library/resource centre based at its premises. The objective of setting up the resource centre is to contribute availability and accessibility of information on corruption and governance as well as effective information exchange. To this end, it is able to gradually collect both hard and soft copies of materials on corruption issues from various sources and have identified partner organisations with which TE will be sharing its resources. Thus, the library provides researchers, students and persons who are interested in the area, with access to a wide variety of information on the aforementioned subjects.