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Frontiers in Anticorruption: Strengthening Prevention, Tackling Impunity, and Changing Perceptions

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We have to fight corruption by making sure it doesn’t happen in the first place and use technology to give every citizen a voice in this effort, said World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva in her opening remarks at a high-level event on Wednesday where leaders from government, the private sector, civil society, media, and academia discussed how to catalyze innovation to end corruption.

During a lively discussion, Thuli Madonsela, an Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, emphasized that public officials must have a track record of the highest standard and integrity. Peter Solmssen, Former General Counsel of Siemens AG, and AIG encouraged building trust that can lead to embracing the private sector as a potential partner.

Over the last two decades we have learned that to be effective you can’t confront corruption the same way in countries at different points on the economic ladder, said Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, an author of a book on the topic. Journalists can be a critical force to help expose corruption and make sure the public is well informed with quality data, said Gianina Segnini of Columbia University. Chris White of Microsoft said technology can be leveraged to help end corruption by allowing us to see anomalies and other indications of possible bad conduct we couldn’t see before.

Towards the end of the full-house event, audiences asked thought-provoking questions, and the panelists unequivocally agreed that technology alone is not a solution in itself, which is why all sectors need to work together to end corruption.