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Prevention of Corruption: Civil Society and the Media
Topic Outline

This Topic considers the important role that all aspects of society can play in the fight against corruption. In particular, the crucial work of civil society and the media in uncovering corrupt practices and promoting effective anti-corruption efforts will be addressed. Article 13 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption requires States parties to involve a broad range of stakeholders in the development and implementation of anti-corruption measures and also emphasises the important role of the media in this regard.

The resources provided below consider both the role that Civil Society and the media have to play and the types of legal and political frameworks which most effectively allow them to contribute to the fight against corruption.

(a) Legal and institutional mechanisms for the participation of civil society in the development of public policy.

(i) Reporting Mechanisms.

(ii) Public consultations.

(iii) The role of specialised anti-corruption bodies.



Academic article:

Abbink, Klaus & Matthew Ellman. 2010. The Donor Problem: An Experimental Analysis of Beneficiary Empowerment. Journal of Development Studies 46(8): 1327-1344.
Bertot, J.C., Jaeger, P.T., Grimes, J.M., Using ICTs to create a culture of transparency: E-Government and social media as openness and anti-corruption tools for societies, Government Information Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2010, pp. 264-271
Carr, I., Outhwaite, O., The Role of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Combating Corruption: Theory and Practice, Suffolk University Law Review, Vol. 44, No, 3, 2011, pp. 615-664
Peters, B., The media’s role: covering or covering up corruption?, Chapter 6, Global Corruption Report 2003, Transparency International

International Organisation:

UN CAC COSP, Best Practices for Promoting Responsible and Professional Reporting on Corruption for Journalists, Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Prevention of Corruption, 13-15 December 2010, Vienna
Dell, G., Anti-Corruption Conventions in Africa – What Civil Society can do to make them work,. A civil society advocacy guide, Transparency International, 2006
Independent Commission Against Corruption, Governance and Internal Control in Non-Governmental Organisations
ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative in Asia and the Pacific, The role of civil society in curbing corruption in public procurement, in Fighting Bribery in Public Procurement in Asia and the Pacific, 2008, Ch. 6, pp. 195-214
World Bank, Civil Society Participation
World Movement for Democracy, How Can Civil Society Help Ensure the Effectiveness of Anti-Corruption Efforts, Sixth Assembly, Jakarta, April 2010

(b) Oversight by civil society organizations

Students will learn about some of the valuable work done by CSOs and how to determine whether the information is valid and accurate.




(c) Reporting and oversight by the press

Students will learn about some of the valuable work done by journalists and the press and how to determine whether the information is valid and accurate.

a. Media licensing arrangements

b. Defamation Laws

c. Legal Protection of Journalists


Academic article:

Gratton, G., the Sound of Silence: Anti-Defamation Law and Political Corruption, UNSW Australian School of Business Research Paper No. 2012ECON21, 2012
Kleinhempel, M., Collective Action – A Practical Tool to Fight Corruption (technical note), IAE Business School, Universidad Austral, August 2011
Mortensen, Gemma, Corruption in Emergencies: What Role for the Media?, U4 Anti-Corruption Center, Issue 5 (2006)
Nazakat. S., Social Media and Investigative Journalism, in Winkelman, S. (ed.), The Social media (R)Evolution? Asian Perspectives on New Media, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Singapore, 2012
Spahn, E. K., Multijurisdictional Bribery Law Enforcement: The OECD Anti bribery Convention, Virginia Journal of International Law, December 2012

International organisation and online tools:

Radu, P.C., Follow the Money: A Digital Guide for Tracking Corruption, International Center for Journalists – the Investigative Journalist Handbook, 2008
Committee to Protect Journalists, Journalist Security Guide – chapter 5: Organized crime and Corruption
Stapenhurst, R., The Media’s Role in Curbing Corruption, World Bank Institute Working Papers, 2010
USAID, Pact Tanzania, Investigative Journalisms for Anti-Corruption and Good Governance, A Facilitator’s Manual, 2008
Kocaoglu, N., Figari, A. (eds.), Using the Right to Information as an Anti Corruption Tool, Transparency International Publishing, 2006
Article 19, information of defamation laws and issues

Case Study:

Nogara, M., Role of media in curbing corruption: the case of Uganda under President Yoweri K. Museveni during the “no-party” system, DESA Working Paper No. 70, January 2009
Sowunmi, F.A. et al., The Role of Media in Curbing Corruption in Nigeria, Maxwell Scientific Organisation, Research Journal of Information Technology, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2010, pp. 7-23
Brembatti, K., Alberti, J., TabatcheikG., Kohlbach, K, Secret Diaries – Los Diarios Secretos des Paraná

(d) Multi-stakeholder Processes and Collective Action

This section will explore the advantages of collaborative and collective actions against corrupt practices as well as the potential harm or ineffectiveness, if there are too many parties involved. More recent developments suggest that it may be necessary for anti-corruption processes to involve more groups and individuals in order to be successful.


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