Corruption is defined as fraudulent or dishonest conduct by individuals that hold positions of power. Transparency International has identified it as one of the key reasons why some nations find it difficult to achieve economic growth goals. Corruption leads to wastage of public resources as monies meant for national development are stolen by people trusted to advance public interests.
Various forms of corruption exist, and the practice is not only limited to the misuse of public funds. It can also be found in the private sector when supply contracts are not awarded to merit or individuals selected for employment do not meet the stipulated criteria for employment. The fight against corruption is involved but still a necessity due to the various negative impacts of the practice. These are some of the ways to mitigate corruption.
Use the Law
The legislation provides a legal framework for mitigating corruption. Making it an offense to engage in corrupt practices deters people from abusing their positions of power. Most countries with runaway corruption have weak laws on abuse of power and misuse of public resources. Individuals and organizations, therefore, find it easier to engage in the vice since there is nothing that can be done to punish them as far as the law is concerned. Developing strong laws that outline strict punishments such as jail terms and fines for individuals found guilty of corruption can mitigate corruption in a given jurisdiction.
Elect Public Servants
Democracy has always been praised for giving a voice to the voiceless. Democratic governance offers the people a chance to elect leaders that they believe can bring about positive change and improve their welfare. Such leaders can also fight corruption because they will be working to achieve the interests of the citizens as opposed to driving their agendas. Electing leaders with an excellent public service record can, therefore, reduce corruption by ensuring that there is a political willingness to curb the vice. Change can be achieved through the ballot and countries with mature democracies have come to realize this benefit.
Change the National Culture
Culture is defined as a people’s way of life. It is made up of the values, beliefs, and customs of a given community. Rampant corruption can be attributed to the culture of society. When people are used to corruption and consider it normal to use their positions of power to advance personal interests, it becomes difficult to stop or reduce the practice. Changing the national culture, on the other hand, is one of the best ways to mitigate corruption. The practice will reduce when people start viewing corruption as a practice that goes against societal norms.
Reduction of the Income Gap
A widening income gap is also a major cause of corruption. A country with a high wage gap is likely to have a high rate of corruption since citizens that do not earn much are easily bribed by those that are economically empowered. Reducing the income gap will thus reduce corruption.
These are some of the ways through which corruption can be mitigated. It involves both individual and institutional efforts. Most societies struggle with the vice, but it can nonetheless be mitigated.