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For decades the international donor community has turned a blind eye to corruption in developing countries. This attitude appears to have changed. There is now a remarkable consensus among aid organisations on the importance of fighting corruption in developing countries. Missing, however, in their approach is an examination of how aid contributes to corruption. Fjeldstad argues that the prescription of "good governance" through improved accountability and transparency should be introduced in the donor agencies as well. To address the question of corruption, donors ought to focus on their own role in creating the problem, which they now propose to cure. To establish credibility, more openness about weaknesses in the aid system is needed. The non-governmental organisation Transparency International regularly publishes a corruption index, ranking countries according to their levels of corruption. There seems to be a need for an index ranking donor agencies according to similar criteria, to make the public more informed and the agencies more accountable about this important issue.

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad

Research Professor, Coordinator: Tax and Public Finance