Indonesia has shown some signs of progress in the fight against corruption in the last years. During a recent visit by Prof. Robert Klitgaard to the country, for instance, he met several policy makers, civil society leaders and business people, and the general perception that emerged from the participants was that there has been significant improvement in anti-corruption efforts, even though corruption remains a big problem in Indonesia. Klitgaard himself also agreed that the country has taken important steps to curb corruption.
According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) published by Transparency International, Indonesia’s score went from 1.7 to 2.8 between 2001 and 2010. This improvement may be attributed to an increasingly engaged civil society and efforts by the Corruption Eradication Commission.
In 2010, Transparency International Indonesia conducted national surveys to produce a domestic equivalent of the CPI for 50 Indonesian cities. This initiative showed important disparities among the cities, with scores ranging from 3.6 (worst) to 6.7 (best). It also brought to light some examples of success in the least corrupt cities, such as Yogya and Solo, where measures to improve the business environment and simplify administrative procedures have contributed to increase transparency and reduce petty corruption.
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