Promoting anti-corruption reforms : evaluating the implementation of a World Bank anti-corruption program in seven African countries (1999-2001)

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    Haarhuis, Carolien Klein - Personal Name

    This study offers an investigation of the implementation of a World Bank anti-corruption program, by applying various relevant social science theories and methods. The aim of the program is to provide countries with tools to build a relevant and participatory anti-corruption program. The study begins with a reconstruction of the underlying assumptions, or 'theory' of the World Bank program. This theory was assessed on its scientific validity, using insights from existing theories and research. Overall, the program theory was found to be relatively sound. A potential flaw is the extent to which country context interferes with the success of anti-corruption reforms. For example, for many reforms to sort effect, a minimum communication infrastructure and a minimum level of civil and political liberties is required. Subsequently, it was assessed to what extent the program was actually implemented in each of the seven African countries: Bénin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda. Policy documents were scrutinised and experts were interviewed. Only parts of the original program turned out to be incorporated in 'national action plans'. What is more, interesting variation was found in terms of (a) 'decisiveness', i.e. the extent to which substantive policy decisions were made and (b) the 'level of reform' in these policy decisions, as compared to the status quo. For example, in Bénin and Tanzania (followed by Ghana) relatively many and far-reaching anti-corruption decisions were made, whereas no decisions were made in Malawi and Uganda. To reconstruct the activities of the individual program participants and others involved, an in-depth comparative case study of Kenya and Tanzania was conducted. This comparative case study also yielded preliminary explanations for program implementation. For example, the growth of Kenya's parliamentary anti-corruption opposition after 2001 could be ascribed to the slightly stronger political competition in this country. Moreover, the relatively many and far-reaching reforms in Tanzania seem related to the country's high financial dependence on the international donor community. To explore how come the program was implemented, quantitative analyses were performed on the data from all seven African countries. The focus was on the processes of decision-making on substantive policy issues, such as the installment of an anti-corruption bureau, or the revision of legislation. Hypotheses were derived from general theories of decision-making, as well as from theories of political-administrative reform. First, within-country mechanisms that either drive or impede anti-corruption reforms were investigated. Both the 'decisiveness' of policy makers and the 'level of reform' increased with: the involvement of only a small number of decision-makers in the issue and the involvement of the international donor community. What is more, the level of reform increased as soon as highly conservative decision-makers became more reform-oriented. To account for the differences in program implementation between the seven African countries, the connection between these mechanisms and the countries' political-administrative context was studied, including the dependence on foreign aid. The level of reform was found to increase with a higher level of political and civil liberties. Apart from adding to our understanding of anti-corruption reforms, the systematic approach in this study can be used to evaluate programs similar to the World Bank's.


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    KW HAR p
    Carolien Klein Haarhuis
    338 hlm. : ilus. ; 24cm.
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