ODI’s Marta Foreti adds her voice to the ongoing corruption and development debate. My favorite bit:
According to recent research by ODI and IPPR the UK public is ready for a more open and honest conversation about what generates development. ‘The public’, i.e. voters and tax payers, are tired of being fed simplistic stories about global poverty, whether through pictures of starving children or through the never changing (but never entirely convincing) message that if only they were to contribute enough money the problem would be fixed. People want to know why things work, or not, and how solutions can be found.
This does not mean, of course, that there is going to be an outbreak of tolerance for corrupt practices, nor should there be. But it may imply a window of opportunity for fresh thinking about what to do differently about corruption.
Among other things, this could entail a refocusing of priorities to tackle the causes of corruption, such as the nature of political systems, support for political parties and arrangements for political funding, rather than just dealing with the symptoms.
The US public is also changing. No longer do they want pictures of starving children. Rather, they demand videos, preferably of abducted children, as starving children are what their parents like. Ideally, the film directors later cavort with rebels and then run around US cities in their underpants.
The US government, meanwhile, uses the opportunity to export the Patriot Act to as many countries as possible.
The Atlantic is indeed wide. I may have criticized Cameron, but he is way, way ahead of the curve.