Evidence-based assessment of corruption needed – Penplusbytes

Executive Director of Penplusbytes Juliet A. Amoah has noted that there is the need for a broad consensus for evidence-based assessments of corruption in order to better develop and implement anti-corruption measures in Ghana.

She said this on Wednesday, October 14 during the Ghana National Forum on Political Party Manifestos, an event organized by Media General in collaboration with her outfit.

Ms Amoah stated that the issue of corruption itself is like an amoeba, constantly changing, ever evolving and lending itself to appraisals from a number of different and sometimes even differing perspectives.

“That is to say, you can look at corruption from a demand and supply side; from a petty and grand corruption side; from an institutional side; from a bureaucracy and bottleneck perspective and these are all legitimate.

“However, at Penplusbytes and Media General, we have taken the approach of looking at the issue from the avenues’ perspective. The work we have done over the last five years has been focused on checking how many avenues exist and who is doing a great job at closing and plugging those avenues, either by implementing policies or strengthening institutions or introducing sanctions.

“There is broad consensus that evidence-based assessments of corruption should be encouraged in order to better develop and implement anti-corruption measures and that is the idea of the METOGU project.

“METOGU is translated as keeping up the pressure on government to ensure that they are not only promising to crack down on graft but that they are delivering on that promise,” she said.

She added: “In the first report, which we launched in 2017, we looked at what citizens thought of the efforts of successive administrations in fighting corruption. In this second report, which we will launch later this afternoon, we interviewed nearly one thousand people across the 16 regions to find out which of the two most recent administrations (NDC – 2012, NPP – 2016) has done a great job at curbing corruption. Our first indicator and measure was an assessment of each of their manifestoes.

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“Then we looked at other assurances that they gave on the campaign trail and which were then repeated on the floor of Parliament (since those are apparently the only ones we can actually hold them to account for). A third gauge was citizens’ perception of how effective the delivery has been.

“Anyone who has done any serious research on corruption will tell you that the use of statistical methods to describe and qualify corruption poses a number of methodological challenges. We however hope that our reviewers today will see that we have used objective policy-relevant indicators in recognition of the fact that Ghanaians have an above average awareness about corruption issues.

“Our approach is represented by assessments based on representative sample surveys which allowed us to collect data directly on the experience of corruption from citizens. We looked at the 2012 and 2016 winning manifestoes and we found that there were words that were used to allude to corruption and that, for instance the NDC had used the word ‘corruption’ 14 times while the NPP had used it 54 times.”

For his part, team leader at the Department for International Development (DFID) and Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC) Howard Tucker told Ghanaian politicians ahead of the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections that they cannot just make promises to fight corruption for votes and go to sleep after winning.

He said Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) will hold politicians accountability on their plans to fight corruption and ensure that they implement those plans.

He noted that the era where politicians make promises just to hoodwink Ghanaians for votes and fail to implement those promises is over.

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“Politicians must understand that they can no longer use corruption as a tool to win electoral votes.

“The citizens of Ghana and the CSOs will hold you to your promises and maintain pressure on government to ensure that they fulfil their promises.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana