Honduras is the third-poorest country in the Latin America and Caribbean region after Haiti and Nicaragua, has the highest annual population growth rate (2.9 percent) in the continent, a high incidence of poverty and very low social indicators. This is all due in part to the lack of economic growth, recurrent macroeconomic imbalances, a greatly skewed distribution of income and poor quality of investment in human capital. Though Honduras aimed at achieving faster economic growth through the 1990’s, successive administrations faced many setbacks including vulnerable electoral cycles, corruption and most notably, 1998’s Hurricane Mitch. The damage of this hurricane led to an average per capita growth rate of 0.5 percent per year for the past decade. From Hurricane Mitch arose a sense urgency of in addressing the issues stifling Honduras’ economic growth. Improved governance and greater transparency became key priorities in Honduras’ development agenda and the government therefore requested the World Bank Institute’s (WBI) support to mobilize civil society and launch a participatory process for its governance reform.
The main objective of this effort is 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 is 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 facilitates 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. This survey channels into action the voices of 2,000 households, 200 private enterprises and 1,403 public officials.
After completing the diagnostic work, the Steering Committee created a governance and anti-corruption strategy and the government accordingly implemented policies and reforms. Below are links to the government of Honduras' Anti-corruption Strategy and initiatives set forth to improve governance and combat corruption.
Diagnostic Survey Reports
The following are links to reports of the Honduras diagnostic survey finding prepared by the WBI, the Honduras Steering Committee and MERCAPLAN respectively.
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.
Steering Committee Presentations
After the diagnostic work is complete, it is up to the Steering Committee to create a governance and anti-corruption strategy and the government accordingly implements policies and reforms. Below are links to the Honduras Anti-corruption Strategy and the initiatives of the Honduras government to improve governance and combat corruption.
Local Capacity Building
As a first step, WBI organized (together with the Inter-American Development Bank) a Regional Integrity Workshop in February 1999, which brought together representatives from Central America to share their experiences and lay the foundation for the development of national integrity plans. Secondly, WBI facilitated the creation of a national steering committee with the purpose of developing the governance and anti-corruption reform. This committee includes representatives from both civil society and the government and is coordinated by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez. One of the first actions of the Steering Committee was to assess the current quality of governance in Honduras through large-scale governance and corruption diagnostic surveys, carried out jointly by MERCAPLAN and WBI.
Steering Committee for Honduras
For additional information regarding WBI's diagnostic work in Honduras, please contact:
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