Evidence and learning to improve anti-corruption work,
and how a breakdown in enforcement and regulation is leading to ecological disaster
“Corruption is a complex, systemic, and difficult problem.” We all know this and it affects our work daily. But it’s not always so obvious why or how to move forward.
In the news this month, an investigation into the circumstances leading to what appears to be straightforward dramatic pollution incident in the Mar Menor lagoon in Spain, shows a complex web of dynamics and systematic breakdowns related to integrity but no clear cut case on the causes of the situation or the way forward.
We have to learn from such cases, just as we must learn form governance and anti-corruption programmes, to improve management systems and limit opportunities for malpractice.
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Mar Menor: History of a Disaster
Close to 50,000 people demonstrated at the end of October in the south east of Spain after thousands of dead fish washed up on the shores of the protected Mar Menor lagoon. The waters are increasingly and dangerously polluted as a result of decades of systematic breakdowns in regulation, enforcement, and monitoring. Hundreds of illegal wells, canals, desalinations systems and pumps have proliferated unpunished, water is abstracted from overexploited aquifers, there is a lack of monitoring and control over land use and use of fertilizers.
How does one get to this point? What are the consequences of a lack of integrity in water management?
These are some of the questions that the journalists of Datadista covered in their investigation of the current crisis in the Mar Menor, an investigation WIN supported via its water integrity journalism fund. The in-depth investigation and interviews takes a longer term perspective on an ecological disaster.
Read full: Mar Menor: historia profunda de un desastre
Stay tuned for the translation into English
Learning from and for Anti-corruption Work
On Voices for Transparency: motivation to keep learning and taking action
Thoughts on the need to better plan and document anti-corruption work to integrate a continuous learning approach and push the field forward.
Read full on Medium: Doing anti-corruption work more effectively: How learning and adaptation matter
New insight from the Anti-corruption Evidence Research Programme
Diverging paths to fight corruption and promote open government and transparency in procurement in Uganda and Tanzania bring to light different motivations for action. These must be taken into account for effective action.