We have summarised here Diakonia's six principal strategies for combating corruption. This is work carried out both within our own operations, with our partner organisations and in the countries in which we work. In addition, we work at the global level to promote policies and economics that benefit the poor.
1. Long-term support for civil society’s work for democracy and citizenship:
Diakonia provides long-term support to organisations in civil society that are working for empowered and actively participative citizenship, such that people have knowledge about their rights and obligations; and the right and opportunity to organise, participate in and influence their communities, and to demand accountability.
It is particularly urgent to work for the rights and opportunities of discriminated groups to participate in the political process. Transparency and access to information are fundamental to this work.
2. Transparency and the demand for accountability within civil society:
Organisations that scrutinise those in power must be credible. Work with codes of conduct is a vital instrument for ensuring that organisations work for the poor’s perspective and that they live up to the rights perspective.
Diakonia has clear agreements with its partners and works continuously on building the institutional capacity of these organisations. In the event of mismanagement or misappropriation of funds, there are clear guidelines in place on how we should act.
3. Strategies for tackling global problems associated with corruption, misappropriation of funds and draining of resources for fighting poverty:
Many issues around corruption cannot be resolved within the framework of domestic politics in poorer countries. All too seldom is there any discussion about ‘the hand that bribes’ in the debate on corruption. Since many poorer countries lack capacity in their administrations and have weak legal systems, civil society has an important role to play in scrutinising the investments that are made.
Increased transparency and increased domestic income, through improved global and national financial regulation, constitutes a strong contribution to anti-corruption and sustainable development.
4. Collaboration between different players working for transparency and demanding accountability:
Combating corruption can only be effective if there is effective coordination between different players. Sweden is in a unique position in terms of transparency and opportunities to demand accountability, and thus ought to be able to play a unique role in this context.
5. A consensus-based Swedish policy must cover all areas of policy:
Measures against corruption and misappropriation of funds must apply to all areas of policy. Not least to the issue of arms deals, where the Swedish government is active through promotional activities via embassies, export credit guarantees, and loans from the Swedish Export Credit Corporation, for example. For Sweden’s anti-corruption policy to be credible, it must be coherent.
6. Rules for responsible lending:
The current rules governing how lending to poor countries is to be framed contain a number of flaws. The focus within current international frameworks for lending has primarily been on avoiding new unsustainable debts in developing countries; while developmental effects, such as the development of democracy, fighting poverty and human rights have not been taken into consideration to the same degree.
Even if improvements have been made in the rules towards achieving more responsible lending, additional action can be taken to ensure that Swedish export credit guarantees are provided in accordance with the Swedish Policy for Global Development’s (PGU) goals of promoting human rights, transparency and the development of democracy.