Notions of corruption and its impact on development have evolved significantly over the last two decades. Corruption has been recognized as one root cause of many of the problems faced by developing countries: the failure of growth strategies, ineffective institutions, barriers to public services, and the lack of respect for human rights. Because of its illicit nature, this damage is difficult to measure. Its cost exceeds the illegal act itself—from petty bribery that adds to the suffering of the poor to the capture of government policy by special interests. Corruption weakens institutions and reduces the capacity of all governments and international organizations to tackle challenges like poverty, conflict, economic crisis, and climate change. Recognizing the multi-faceted challenges of corruption has led to increased efforts to promote good governance by making institutions more transparent, in order to prevent corruption and sanction those who abuse their power.
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