Civil Society and the Specific Role of ICT
The efficacy of information and the media as weapons against corruption having been documented, this chapter discusses the complementary role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Including ICT can be more effective in combating corruption than relying on traditional media alone. ICT enables citizens to access many government services online, which weakens the role of bureaucrats as intermediaries between the government and the public. Moreover, citizens can use the “social web” to communicate their opinions, suggest possible solutions, expose misbehaviour and promote ethical behaviour over long distances very quickly. Very importantly, ICT greatly facilitates investigation and asset tracking. Empirical findings reveal that ICT does indeed have a significant role in reducing corruption. Interestingly, e-government and internet penetration do a better job of explaining variations in corruption among countries than bureaucratic quality and law enforcement.
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