In Colombia, stable economic growth rates have historically been instrumental to reduce poverty and increase public resources for social spending. During the second half of the 1990's however, Colombia entered into a severe economic crisis, erasing over a decade of progress. Long-standing armed conflict and violence driven by common criminal activities, especially drug related, are among the most important issues facing Colombia. Sustainable economic development can help underpin Colombia's efforts to build national reconciliation and lasting peace and good governance will play a key role in achieving these goals. At the end of 1999, the government of Colombia requested World Bank support in developing an governance and anti-corruption strategy.
The main objective of this effort was to facilitate and support the design of an integrated strategy to fight corruption and promote good governance through the strengthening of public institutions. The rationale for a survey oriented diagnostic approach was that voicing the experiences of the people who interact with the state and implement state policies is essential for the development of a well-informed and effective anti-corruption strategy. It also facilitated the consensus-building process among key stakeholders (both government and civil society) by focusing on institutions and their performance, rather than individuals, thus de-politicizing the debate. In addition, the surveys can be used to establish quantitative benchmarks for monitoring the success of institutional reforms already underway, and, if necessary, redirect them to concentrate efforts on priority areas. The diagnostic work for Colombia was administered from February to April 2001 and consisted of three surveys for 3,493 households, 1,343 private enterprises and 3,472 public officials.
The diagnostic effort undertaken provides significant inputs to policy makers and civil society for program formulation and implementation. The detailed micro data from the surveys helps asses the real extent of this problem. It provides rich information on the different sides of corruption and allows us to link different forms of corruption to specific institutional and regional aspects as well as test the accuracy of some of the "myths" surrounding governance. In addition, the in-depth analysis further complements traditional sources as experts' opinions or case study analysis, by identifying institutional weaknesses, areas for reform and by measuring the economic and social costs of corruption.
Diagnóstico acerca de la corrupción y gobernabilidad en Colombia: Elementos para la construcción de una estrategia anti-corrupción (Resultados de las encuestas a usuarios, empresarios y funcionarios públicos sobre corrupción, desempeño del sector público y gobernabilidad), February 7, 2002
In addition to writing a report on the results of its diagnostic findings, the WBI sees the importance of disseminating the information and results. It is in doing so that the issues of governance and corruption are effectively addressed and improved.
Marco Legal del Programa Presidencial de Lucha Contra la corrupción:
Local Capacity Building
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