DEVELOPMENT, CORRUPTION AND INSURGENCY

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1


DEVELOPMENT, CORRUPTION AND INSURGENCY

a

NOTE

for

Subtheme 4 on Sustainability, at
an
International Conference

on ‘
INTERVENTIONS, OCCUPATIONS AND INSURGENCIES



hosted by the Durham Global Security Institute,
September 2013

Denis Osborne; Adviser on
Governance and Development


In times of insurgency and conflict, development and corruption are less urgent than concerns
over survival, murder or genocide
.

But they matter
.
Corruption causes and perpetuates
insurgencies, delays development and destroys
what has been developed. D
evelopment is long
term goal
.
What can be done in conflict
s

to promote development and
reduce

corruption

risks
?


DEVELOPMENT

From
17 years
life and work
in Africa, 14 as an academic and 3 as a diplomat, and 17 years
working on various aspects of the
British Government’s aid programme in what is
now
DFID
.
I
became convinced that institutions and facilities
in Africa


roads, dams, schools
, etc



are
precarious
. By contrast
helping people develop
themselves
gives
lasti
ng
,
good
-
value
outcomes
.



Training is not enough, for then they are passive. They need to do the job, be active, working
with us and sharing our commitment. Commitment is the key and

I use a mock equation:


Achievement = Competence X Commitment

Those

committed find ways to
improve their competence
, taking any help
on
offer
.


Building development capacity

I
n 1998
,
the UN Secretary
-
General commissioned evaluations of
what all the
UN bodies


FAO,
WHO, UNDP etc


had achieved in building
human

capacity
i
n the previous

15 years
.

Two
of
us were sent to report on
this
for

Uganda. My colleague asked
about the outputs, not the inputs
;


how
would
we
know

capacity had been built
?


We decided

that human capacity
-
building
:

‘enables individuals and organisations

to set goals and achieve results

more

effectively and efficiently, with decreasing dependence on external support.’

L
ittle had been achieved.
M
any
Ugandans
had been trained
by UN experts
,

but
given
little
chance to do
development for themselves. They had little commitment.
Some
went abroad

to

escap
e

conflict.
Several

had been trained for jobs Uganda did not need and could not afford
(Britain was a big beneficiary of UN training of Ugandan doctors). Experts claimed

t
op priority
for

their

discipline
, to
be taught to
the
highest international standards
,
and taught

accordingly
.
Academics
,

beware

the professional push
!
S
quabbles between UN agencies
led to

i
nefficienc
y,
and m
any
local people
alleged experts lived lives of

affluence

aloof from the community
.


P
repar
ing

for development

during conflict

C
onflict motivate
s

those involved. They
get

committed
to
one side or the other

or to reducing
conflict and keeping peace
.
With
conflict
s

resolved
they can
get
committed to
make agreements
work and ‘do development’.
During conflict committed citizens
w
elcome help by mentors from
outside,
and

t
hose intervening
can maximise the long
-
term benefits
by
enabling citizens to take
increasing
responsibility
.
Mozambicans in refugee c
amps in Malawi



when

I was there
one
million

in a country of
8m

people


were motivated
by

their struggles
, becoming innovators,
entrepreneurs
. Some
set up shop,
some
sewed clothes,
some
traded at

the roadside
what they
had
been

given
and did not want
for money to buy what they wanted.

They took responsibility, and
would take any help on offer
.
I
ntervention
can
help
build capacity for
sustainable
development.


2


CORRUPTION

Corruption causes much concern. A

flood of academic papers, books and conferences has done
little to reduce
corruption
.

This
section
is drafted as advice

to those
participating in conflict or
involved in intervention. That seeming impertinence is not
meant

as an aggressive assertion of
th
ese

ideas but
to provoke a response
. You may have
better advice

and
more
workable suggestions
.


1.

Be concerned

a.

Corruption provokes

protest and insurgency

a
gainst
corrupt presidents and their displays of
wealth
in

Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines
Thailand,
driven I suggest by the urban middle
class

(
in
Manila
demonstrators

tol
d to

me

that
Estrada
’s wine cost
$3,000
a
bottle
)
.


P
rotest

a
gainst extorti
on
,
as
in Tunisia
, spread by sight of protests elsewhere
in the country
on

Facebook

and U
-
Tube
, as technology gave power to the
rural poor, even
when

illiterate.


b.

Corruption perpetuates insurgency
,
as
claimed
in

Northern Ireland for e
xample, and
in
Sri
Lanka where citizens alleged th
e

army would defeat a rebel group
,
take their guns



but

not
prisoners


and next day the guns would be sold, bought
back
by
the well
-
funded

rebels.


c.

Corruption
makes
intervention

unfair
, and raises costs
,
destroys reputation, trust, respect



2.

Take
a
ction



but who does what?

a

Who

should act, why
? Everybody,
but managers are the frontline
, it is their job to

-

cut
costs,
get

V
alue
F
or
M
oney
,
protect reputation, build trust
(
put

in job description
)


-

avoid
causing
even

reasonable suspicion of corruption

(
as
instructions
to

a diplomat)


b

The need to know
.
C
orruption has many forms, but

with
:

two main categories
:

typified by fraud
, where
one side commits a crime, solos;

and bribery
, where
one

pays
,

another receives, duets;

two types of bribery
:

bribes offered

to get
an
unfair advantage

-

enticement,
then
collusion
;


a
nd bribes demanded before giving fair service

(often paid to get it),
extortion, coercion
;

two frequencies of corrupt act
:

seldom
, f
rom

fear
of
consequences
;

or very often
when
one
‘gets away with it’,
does it again
, tells others
, and then

‘everybody does it’.

Corruption is a
crime of opportunities found and learnt, and when entrenched it
can

seem unfair to family
and others

not to t
ake those opportunities for oneself

and for them
.


c

The need to act. But what should managers,
and
all of us, do?

Convince staff corruption
has

dreadful
consequences
. Think

of
their
motives, temptations
and
opportunities
. G
et
client
feedback
complaints
,

etc
; conduct integrity tests.

In conflict
s

can’t
rely on police, courts,
have holistic programmes
,

build
integrity
pillars
anti
-
corruption
ideolog
u
es

call

essential

(but seldom effective)
. Better to t
arget one
activity
at a time.

Take one s
uspected group of corrupt acts,
tell
staff,
watch

them,
warn that clients may be
asked and integrity tested. Move some staff to new responsibilities so corrupt networks
broken. Use rules and discipline
for staff
of
intervening bodies (UN, military, NGOs)
.


d

But culture?

In many countries
,
people say
,
‘it’s the

tradition
’.
But u
sually
no
t

traditional
culture (except

with
group ownership patterns
of
Roma and Aboriginals, etc
). Traditional
gifts
are usually
modest in scale, often shared by chief with sen
ior colleagues
,
equivalent

to
tax in societies with more developed literacy and accountancy.
If
a gift is
traditional
, no
need

to be ashamed, hence

transparent.

Bad p
ractices
get

outlawed, as for insider trading.

Big p
roblem is contemporary group
-
culture,
with

police, bankers,
football teams,
office
staff, some families, etc,
and ethnic groups
protecting colleagues against accusation and
investigation



and
remember,
opportunities lead to entrenched pockets of corruptio
n.

(
E
xperience in Ghana, and
elsewhere in

Africa,
gave me early lessons on
this.)



www.good
-
gov.info

(slides, 2
-
page note)
;

do@governance.org.uk
;

© Denis Osborne 2013