Participatory Corruption Appraisal is a tool that focuses on the impact of corruption on the most vulnerable of urban stakeholders – the urban poor. It was first introduced in Indonesia (Box 13-Analysing corruption’s impact on the urban poor in Indonesia) as part of a World Bank-supported initiative.
It is always difficult to get information about corrupt practices. It is doubly difficult to get information about corruption as it affects the poor, since poor people will be unwilling to talk about their own corrupt behaviour or others’ corrupt behaviour in case this results in retribution for them. The PCA experience in Indonesia shows that given the right atmosphere, it is quite possible to learn a lot about how corruption affects poor people’s lives.
The general objectives of the Participatory Corruption Appraisal (PCA) are:
To understand the harmful effects of corruption on the lives of poor people
To communicate such information widely to policymakers and the general public
To help the communities in which the oversight committees took place to plan and act to reduce corruption.
Linkage to Transparency
The impact of corruption on the poor is not very well documented.(47) It is an accepted fact, however, that corruption and malpractice in areas such as land allocation and service delivery play a significant role in further marginalising the poor. A concerted effort to learn more about the nature and scale of the impact of corrupt or unethical practices on the urban poor can lead to well-informed strategies to tackle the problem and contribute to building inclusion in cities.
How it Works – The Key Steps in the PCA process
Making contact. It is important to identify an organization that has the trust of the poor in the general area in which information is sought. This will usually be an NGO that has an existing programme in that area (e.g., savings and credit or health services or a local community organization).
Identifying the community. Identification of the community goes hand-in-hand with the process of getting to know local organizations. This needs to be a community in which there are considerable numbers of poor people. Depending on the country and the culture, there may be slum areas that are uniformly poor, or there may be communities in slum areas of a city that are relatively homogeneous, or there may be a large number of poor people within a heterogeneous community. It also needs to be a community which is clearly defined or self-identified, and in which people know each other.
Building a team. The team of field workers which would conduct a PCA usually comprises individuals from the NGO or community association who are able and willing to learn about the methodology and carry it out in the community. This involves developing skills in participatory Focus Group Discussions (FGD) and interviews.
Focus Group Discussions. A number of Focus Group Discussions and several personal interviews are conducted over a period of one or two weeks.
Synthesis of information. The information collected must be sifted and organized in a way that can be presented back to the people.
Sharing results with the community and decision makers. The assembled information must be presented to the community and possible actions discussed. This could be followed-up with a public meeting (with the agreement of the community) in which the findings from the appraisal and the action plans proposed are presented to a larger audience (local government officials, local NGOs, local traditional leaders, local journalists). The idea is to amplify the voice of the community, and seek others’ involvement in addressing the problems caused by corruption.
Analysing corruption’s impact on the urban poor in Indonesia
Further information and contacts
The Partnership for Governance Reform in Indonesia: http://www.partnership.or.id
Notes and references
- Although the impact of corruption on the poor is not always directly discernible, the Kenya Urban Bribery Survey (see also 2.2 The Urban Corruption Survey and Box 10) came up with figures on the Shilling impact of various corrupt practices. The second Kenya survey also concluded that the advent of a new government committed to anti-corruption apparently caused a reduction in the amount of small bribes being demanded