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URBAN GOVERNANCE | Transparency & Corruption

The promotion of accountability and transparency illustrated here include anti-bribery and corruption schemes, and innovative practices in ‘ethical’ governance, transparent procurement and contracting.

quick links

local level city level
  international level websites

local level

Gonzalez de Asis, Maria (2000) - Reducing Corruption at the Local Level - World Bank [pdf]

The objective of this paper is to provide both a conceptual and a practical framework, as well as an international perspective with concrete examples, to address the contexts that create perverse incentives for corruption to exist.

UNDP (2002) - "Corruption and the urban poor" - Urban Voices, No 38 August 2002 - UNDP / TUGI [pdf]

The urban poor live lives that are often extra-legal -their living and working conditions being often negotiated in regions that are not covered by the law, nor contained within the bounds of what is illegal. This has meant their cotinued victimization by clandestine mechanisms. Of these, corruption is the most prolific, occurring in various interactions. The following article provides an easy, step-by-step description of how these issues were addressed within three towns in Indonesia.

city level

Balala, Najieb (1999) - Ethical Local Government: The Mombasa Experience - 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), 10-15 October, 1999, Durban, South Africa [pdf]

Kenya - I was elected Mayor of Mombasa in early 1998 and I resigned on a matter of principle from office in early 1999. Notwithstanding the short duration of being a Mayor I believe I had amassed substantial experience on urban governance from my active involvement in the Management of the Local Authority. Within this short period of introducing responsible transparent and accountable management I was able to light the candle of hope and the sense of pride amongst the residents of Mombasa whom had but given up. In return for all my efforts and sacrifice I was hounded out of office because of my steadfast refusal to be compromised. Initially I was patient and diplomatic and believed in my self and in my vision to transform and effect changes at the local level. However as time progressed, frustration and character assassination continued un-abated, the message was quite clear “the System” was not ready for responsive governance. I concluded that patience is passive, resignation is active and I therefore called it a day.

Campaign for Good Governance (Sierra Leone) (2000) - Corruption, Local Government & Decentralization - Report on Southern & Eastern Provinces Workshops, Kenema, Decembe, CGG [pdf]

Participants were drawn from each chiefdom in the 4 districts of the southern province and from Kenema and Kailahun districts in the eastern province. The participants were frank and they provided accurate assessments of the conditions in their communities vis-à-vis the themes of the workshops. Many thanks to them, for some, for making the long and difficult journey to the respective venues, to
share ideas and experiences of the challenges they face in the course of activism in their localities.

Dhungal, Ramesh (1999) - Bhaktapur – Integrity Pact Case Study - 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), 10-15 October, 1999, Durban, South Africa [pdf]

Nepal - a. Corruption is a common problem of the country. It is a common practice in all government and civil bodies at the local level to pay some extra for the services rendered. However, Bhaktapur Municipality has made efforts in fighting corruption for a considerable time. It has hence been selected not as the worst case but as relatively better and easy place as a model.
b. A successful campaign against corruption at the local level can be the introduction of participatory mechanism for fighting corruption. The Integrity Pact is the best mechanism for good governance at
the local level.
c. The best way is to motivate the local authority for adopting the Integrity Pact for their own good. It can give them political mileage specially during election. Once a municipality or a village council agrees to enter into such Integrity Pact, other similar bodies especially in its neighbourhood feel publicly pressurised to follow its suit.
An agreement was concluded between Bhaktapur municipality and Transparency International Nepal in February 26, 1999 for its implementation of Integrity Pact. With this joint effort Transparency International Nepal and Bhaktapur Municipality hope to demonstrate firmly that corruption is a scourge that can be defeated with political commitment, increased pubic awareness and co-operation among like-minded groups

Galabov, Antony (2000) - Curbing Corruption and Improving Transparency in municipal Council Work in Bulgaria - Transparency International [pdf]

Bulgaria - Realising the need to promote a culture of transparency and accountability at the local level – at the level where the everyday life of the community is organised and a large portion of citizens’ significant interaction with administration takes place, Transparency
International, Bulgaria, focused its efforts on researching the degree of transparency and accountability in the operation of a local government authority, the municipal council. The results of social studies indicating a low level of social competence and a lack of
understanding the mechanics of local governance determined the topic area and methodology of the project - Curbing Corruption and Improving Transparency in Municipal Council Affairs in Bulgaria.

Goh, Kun (1999) - A Systematic Approach To Anti-Corruption: The Case of The Seoul Metropolitan Government - 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), 10-15 October, 1999, Durban, South Africa [pdf]

South Korea - Through my three decades of public service, I have been a firm believer in the old saying: "You must clean a staircase from the top." When I was appointed as mayor of Seoul in 1988, I promised city officials that I would fend off any external pressure from political circles. In return I asked them to stand stern against all temptations for compromise. I kept my word at great cost. The presidential office urged me to grant unlawfully a private contractor the right to develop a large housing estate. I refused to yield to the end and was eventually forced to resign. This developer almost had his way after my resignation. The unlawfulness of the grant was soon exposed, however, and a number of people were prosecuted in the midst of the so called "west Watergate scandal." But not a single official of the Seoul Metropolitan Government was implicated. I am proud of my conduct then and of the resolute city officials. In July of last year, I returned to my old office through winning a popular vote. I told the city officials upon assuming my duty: "The promises we made eight years ago remain valid. Let us wage our final battle to root out corruption once and for all."

Gole, Juliet S. (1999) - The Role of Civil Society in Containing Corruption at the Municipal Level -The Regional Conference of Transparency International Representatives / OSI April 29–30, 1999, Bratislava, Slovakia [pdf]

As the countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have proceeded in their transitions to the market economy and decentralized, democratic, responsive government, corruption has become an enormous impediment to the transformation and to the improvement in living standards. Thus far the international anticorruption movement, which Transparency International has
spearheaded, has tended to focus on the international and national levels. Yet as subnational levels of government have gained increased powers and responsibilities, local-level corruption has come to have a growing impact on the lives of citizens in the transitional countries.

Lippe, Michael (1999) - Corruption and Environment at the Local Level - Transparency International [pdf]

Corruption can have a devastating impact on the environment. This paper will examine two instances of corruption in cities. It will describe how urbanization has created serious pressure on the ability of local governments to achieve their fundamental objectives. Finally, it will discuss new thinking on environmental management at the local level and integrity in urban governance. Local governments,
using these systems, can reduce corruption, more effectively manage local environmental issues, and better respond to the challenges of urbanization.

Paul, Karen (1999) - The Miami Process - 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), 10-15 October, 1999, Durban, South Africa [pdf]

USA - The anti-corruption movement in Miami, Florida (USA) seems to me to date from the period just after Hurricane Andrew swept through the county in August, 1992, creating about $13b in
damages. Much of the damage was due to shoddy construction and lax standards by building inspectors. A Pulitzer Prize was awarded to The Miami Herald for its investigative reporting on this issue. This exposure to the costs of corruption at the household level, I hypothesise, sensitised the entire population to the damages associated with this type of wrongdoing.

Steets, Julia (2001) - Argentina: Transparent Contracting - Transparency International [pdf]

Argentina - As part of a more comprehensive Integrity System for Local Governments, TI Argentina (Poder Ciudadano) has developed a mechanism for rendering public procurement more transparent. Based on the analysis that most problems in public procurement stem from the fact that public officials have large powers of discretion in designing and awarding public contracts and that other interested parties lack access to crucial information, Poder Ciudadano proposes a programme with two main components: Public Hearings and Integrity Pacts.

Steets, Julia (2001) - Serbia: Budgeting and Public Procurement - Transparency International [pdf]

Serbia - In order to increase the efficiency and quality of municipal services, to improve the communications and relations between the municipal administration and citizens and to establish a more efficient and transparent budgeting and public procurement system that
would help to curb corruption and attract investment, TI Serbia (before the establishment of a TI Chapter, the European Movement in Serbia/EMS) developed the programme Towards More Transparent Budgeting and Public Procurement in Municipalities in Serbia

Transparency International-Kenya (n.d) - Corruption in Kenya: The Kenya Urban Bribery Index - TI Kenya [pdf]

This report presents preliminary analysis of a study by on the magnitude of bribery in Kenya. Based on a survey in which ordinary Kenyans report their daily encounters with corruption - who they bribe, how much, and for what, the study is part of TI-Kenya’s effort to inform the anti-corruption effort in with objective, rigorous research. This study seeks to go beyond perceptions of corruption to provide benchmarks of integrity based on the actual incidence of corruption. The survey conducted in March and April 2001 in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nyeri and Machakos and responded to by 1164 individuals, has been used to estimate the magnitude, incidence and direct financial cost of bribery and produce the Kenya Urban Bribery Index (KUBI) - a league table of the incidence of bribery.

UN-HABITAT (2002) - Best Practice - Effective and Efficient Services to the Public, Addis Ababa [pdf]

Ethiopia - An effective and efficient acts and documents registration service, promotes development by protecting persons and their property, allowing peaceful resolution of disputes, facilitating economic exchange and fostering the system of justice. The Addis Ababa City Government Acts and Documents Registration Office was a lead institution in translating the Government's policies and civil reform programmes of providing effective and efficient civil services to the public.

UN-HABITAT (2002) -Best Practice - Bogota, How are we doing? [pdf]

Colombia - The main purpose of "Bogota, How Are We Doing?" is to carry out a continuous evaluation of changes that are taking place regarding the quality of life in the city. It intends to contribute to the collective creation of a vision of the city of Bogota regarding the concept of quality of life. With this intention it: promotes effectiveness and transparency of government; makes the citizens more informed and involved and promotes the alliance between experts and research institutions.

international level

UN-HABITAT (2000) - Global Campaign for Good Urban Governance [pdf]

The development goal of the Global Campaign for Good Urban Governance is to contribute to the eradication of poverty through improved urban governance. The campaign aims to increase the capacity of local governments and other stakeholders to practice good urban governance and to raise awareness of and advocate for good urban governance around the world.


United Nations General Assembly Resolution on Corruption (1997) [pdf]

Declaration of the 8th International Conference Against Corruption held in Lima, Peru 1997 [pdf]

WE, over 1000 citizens drawn from 93 countries, coming from all the continents and from countries large and small, in every stage of development, rich and poor, and from varied backgrounds in government, the private sector, and civil society, AFTER a searching discussion of the means to contain corruption in all its manifestations around the globe and united in our vision of an era of international and national co-operation in the twenty-first century in which the evil of corruption is suppressed, NOW JOIN TOGETHER in this Declaration of the 8th International Conference Against
Corruption held in Lima, Peru from 7 - 11 September 1997.


Documents highlighting DFID's published work in support of transparency, and anti-corruption measures in urban areas.

"Report Cards on Urban Services", India Bangalore" - Wakely, Patrick; Nicholas You (2001) – Implementing the Habitat Agenda: In Search of Urban Sustainability - DPU [pdf]

A ‘report card’ on urban public services is an innovative monitoring and evaluation device, which can systematically gather feedback from users on the performance of a city's service providers. This experiment as the first of its kind undertaken in India, demonstrates how citizens can demand greater accountability and improved performance from public institutions through the formation of information sharing and learning mechanisms and networks.

"Bridging Judicial Reform in Line with Environmental Concerns" - Allen, Adriana; Nicholas You (2002) – Sustainable Urbanisation: Bridging the Green and Brown Agendas – DPU [pdf]

Since 1993, Bolivia has been pursuing a comprehensive reform of its judicial system, to make it more independent, transparent, accessible and efficient. The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, an American-based NGO, has initiated a review of this process, selecting environmental law as its entry point, for a number of reasons.

2003 Development Planning Unit | Sikandar Hasan | Anna Soave | Khanh Tran-Thanh || Tina Simon