We’ve written quite a bit recently about our work on governance & corruption, and it was great to have the opportunity yesterday to speak with DFID Minister Stephen O’Brien at a Tearfund and Bright Blue event in parliament. Tearfund’s Chief Executive Matthew Frost focused on three areas for action:
– continued support from DFID for effective civil society initiatives aimed at tackling corruption and holding governments to account;
– increased transparency across the board, especially in the extractive industries where we need to see greater support across the EU for project-level reporting (see our Unearth the Truth campaign for more info); and
– effective leadership from the UK in global discussions about corruption and development including the G8, G20 and in the unfolding debate about what comes next after the MDGs expire in 2015.
The Minister spoke about DFID’s ‘zero-tolerance approach’ to corruption and cited their funding to strengthen civil society, improve public financial management overseas, and to support Met Police investigations into embezzlement. There is a huge amount already going on that people probably don’t know about but also a number of key challenges linked to things like money-laundering, the widespread use of shell companies to aid corruption, and the implementation of anti-bribery legislation.
This film starring Tearfund partners from Zambia including EFZ, BICC and Micah Challenge, was shown at the event and its a reminder of why tackling corruption must be at the heart of any sustainable development strategy.