GOVERNANCE: Defining corruption

Corruption is a complex multi-faceted social phenomenon with innumerable manifestations. It takes place as an outcome of deficiencies in the existing public administration apparatuses and systems as well as cultural, economic, political and social factors.

Basically it is about making use of public office or resources for private gains. However, differences of opinion still exist as to what precisely adds up to corruption. The reason is people’s understanding is shaped by their personal situation. It is encouraging, however, that the topic is getting more public attention.

Attempts have been made to classify different forms of corruption into broad categories. Corruption can result from personal, institutionalised and administrative malfunctions. Governments need well-coordinated and well-designed strategies that limit opportunities for the abuse of public office and reduce the likelihood of individuals profiting from corruption, whether as payers or recipients of bribes. Moreover, civil-society activism can contribute to fighting corruption.

A core issue is to make people aware how public office and public goods differ from private fortune. An important point is that political leaders and civil servants are bound by duties. They are not rulers who can hand out and accept favours as they please.

 

Media Award

I am proud to have been one of the winners of the Media Award on Corruption Prevention Bangladesh in 2014. The award was created in the context of a series of pilot projects on media and good governance by GIZ and Deutsche Welle Akademie.  These projects are funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and are meant to showcase how professional media contributes to better governance.

In 2014, the award was granted for the first time. It is the result of a joint initiative of  Dhaka University’s Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, the national government’s Anti Corruption Commission and civil-society organisations, such as the Press Institute Bangladesh.

The award is bestowed annually. The winner from each category takes part in the Global Media Forum in Bonn, an event that convenes journalists from all over the world and is organised by Deutsche Welle.

Rozina Islam
Links:
Media Award on Corruption Prevention Bangladesh:
http://www.media-award-bangladesh.net/english/

Global Media Forum:
http://www.dw.com/en/global-media-forum/best-of-gmf-2014/s-30956

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