Is making political institutions more transparent an effective method for combating corruption? Common wisdom in the debate and research on the causes of corruption answers strongly in the affirmative. We argue that this optimistic view is both right and wrong. Transparency may be an important medicine against corruption, but only under certain conditions. In order to capture this conditionality the concept of transparency must be distinguished from the interrelated but qualitatively different concepts of publicity and accountability. Facing increased risks of having information about ones bad behaviour made publicly available (transparency) is not enough to affect elite actors’ behaviour, if the information is not likely to be broadly spread, processed and utilised as a ground for putting sanctions on these actors. The theoretical argument is tested in the paper by analyzing the interaction effects between the degree of freedom of the press (as indicia of transparency), free and fair elections (indicating the presence of an accountability mechanism) and the level of education (a condition for publicity) in a cross-country study of 107 countries. The results demonstrate that the failure of previous research to analyze interaction effects have led scholars to draw inadequate and misleading conclusions about the link between transparency, democracy and corruption. Furthermore, it is argued, these findings will help to solve a puzzle in the previous research on democracy and corruption. Taken one at a time transparency and free and fair elections will not help much to reduce corruption. Taken together, on the other hand, they can be a powerful team. By Catharina Lindstedt & Daniel Naurin, Department of Political Science, Göteborg University. Nov. 2005. PDF, 48 pp.
Los Angeles, December 7, 2005 – Internet users say that going online creates political clout.
The comprehensive study of the impact of online technology conducted by the USC
Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future found that for the first time, the number of users
who say that the Internet can be used to gain political power has increased.
In 2005, 39.8 percent of Internet users agree that going online can give people more
political power -- up from 27.3 percent in the previous study. And, 61.7 percent of respondents -
- Internet users and non-users alike -- now agree that going online has become important to
"We are now seeing tangible evidence of the increasing role of the Internet in political
decision-making," said Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the USC Annenberg School Center for the
Digital Future. "The Internet’s growing role in political decision-making cannot be
"More than three-quarters of users who went online for political campaign information
sought insight regarding issues and candidates about which they were undecided," Cole said.
"Clearly, the Internet’s role in the American political process will continue to grow, and it could
have a significant impact during the Congressional elections of 2006."
The Digital Future Project provides a broad year-to-year exploration of the influence of
the Internet on Americans. Now in its fifth year, the project examines the behavior and views of
a national sample of Internet users and non-users, as well as comparisons between new users one
year or less of experience) and very experienced users (more than eight years of experience).
The British Council has compiled this online resource on behalf of UK Civil Society. It includes an introduction to WSIS, details of accreditation and registration, and listings of national and global news reports and WSIS events.
The Department for Democracy and Social Development (DESO) of the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (Sida) has developed a strategy to harness the potential of information and communication technology (ICT) for democratic governance and social development. DESO's ICT for development (ICT4D) strategy aims to identify ways in which ICT can be used to reduce poverty and to promote democracy, human rights and social development in Sidas partner countries.
This is a summary version of a longer evaluation report commissioned by the Development Gateway as part of its application for financial support from the World Bank’s Development Grant Facility. The Evaluation covers the period from 2001, when the Foundation was established, until April 2005, when the full report was delivered by the evaluators. This summary report was created by the evaluators at the request of the Development Gateway. The recommendations that were made in the longer report are repeated in this summary. The evaluators – Dr. H.P. Muth and Dr. F. H. Gerlach – are independent consultants who have not been involved in the work of the Development Gateway. From the Summary: "The evaluation of the Development Gateway Foundation concludes that: • The Development Gateway portal and the programs supported by the Development Gateway Foundation are fully compatible with the Foundation’s mission and objectives. • Continued donor support of the Foundation’s programs is necessary and justified, for three main reasons: o Some of the Foundation’s programs are unique in scope or concept, and some – based on current, primarily anecdotal, evidence – promise growing and eventually major impact in terms of its mission. o Some of the current weaknesses of the Foundation are due to the fact that it ‘lost’ two years of institutional development due to a problematic transition from World Bank incubation to operational independence; o After achieving operational independence, Management of the Foundation has demonstrated its will and ability to overcome these weaknesses and to make the Development Gateway into a powerful player in the ITC4D field.