Removing a Roadblock to Development: Transparency International Mobilizes Coalitions Against Corruption
The author of the article is Peter Eigen, former Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. He is also the founder of Transparency International and the chair of its Advisory Council.
In lieu of an abstract, this is the article's first paragraph:
"It is estimated that as much as U.S. $ trillion is paid in bribes worldwide each year. This amount is 40 times the cost estimated by the united Nations for a global campaign to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, ten times total annual development assistance spending, and nearly the GDP of the entire African continent. Yet even $ 1 trillion is a dramatic underestimate of the social and human cost of corruption. Corruption-the abuse of entrusted power for private gain-is a roadblock to human development. It distorts competitive markets, leads to the misallocation of resources, and disproportionately burdens the world's poorest and most vulnerable. Human development is impeded whenever public contracts are awarded according to the size of the kickback instead of the size of the public benefit, whenever parents have to bribe teachers to educate their children, or whenever a mother is forced to watch her daughter die because she does not have the resources to bribe the hospital staff to provide care. Corruption makes a mockery of rights, breeds cultures of secrecy, deprives the neediest of vital public services, deepens poverty, and undermines hope."