Between condemnation and resignation: Study on Attitudes Towards Corruption in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Tanzania represents one of the well-documented cases of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where corruption is endemic. This has remained the case in spite of manifold commitments on the part of the regime to fight this problem and of the fact that Tanzania has in place, what is in the opinion of international experts, a state of the art anti-corruption legislation.

This article presents evidence collected through ethnographic research about the attitudes towards corruption of citizens in urban low income areas of Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, and explores some of the factors underpinning such attitudes. The research focused on experiences with corruption in the health sector, and on some of the coping strategies that citizens resort to in face of the difficulties encountered when seeking medical attention at public health facilities. With regard to the latter, it is well known that mutual help associations are playing an increasingly important role across Africa, which in turn suggests a relevant set of questions regarding the role that horizontal social networks found in these communities play in relation to prevailing corrupt practices but also regarding their potential role to develop more effective anti-corruption approaches. Regardless of the surge in the NGO “industry”, as denounced by some scholars, witnessed in Tanzania, we are interested in the role of these grassroots level associations as they are exactly of the kind that is expected to generate high levels of social capital, which – in the literature- is associated with favourable governance outcomes.

Old habits die hard: Challenges to participatory governance in post authoritarian Mexico.

This his article provides ethnographic evidence about the factors that shape the attitudes of citizens towards the state among communities in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Because we are interested in studying whether political democratization can offer real opportunities for the empowerment of previously oppressed or disadvantaged groups, the communities studied were low income, rural and mostly populated by indigenous groups. Furthermore, these communities are also geographically remote, which means that ensuring good governance and accountability of state officials poses special challenges to regional authorities in these areas. For the same reasons, the population in these communities is especially vulnerable to the impacts of corruption. Specifically, the study focuses on the interactions of community members with health service providers, where corruption can have specially deleterious consequences.

Institutional performance and social values: Mexico case study report

The contribution of The Basel Institute on Governance to ANTICORRP WP4, (the ethnographic study of corruption practices) involves field research in two countries: Mexico and Tanzania. This report describes the activities and findings form the research conducted in Mexico.

The report summarizes the results from the application in the Mexican context of the ethnographic survey on institutional performance and social values that all ANTICORRP partners working in WP4 have agreed upon and will apply in their respective case study countries. Additionally, the information on the survey is supplemented with additional insights that were obtained through semi-structured interviews with key informants as well as focus group discussions.

The field research in Mexico contributes to the ongoing work in WP4 in several ways.

First, by applying the standardized survey on institutional performance and social values to a Latin American context, it enriches the sample covered by the work of WP4. This is specially meaningful given the fact that the approach of this work package is that of ethnography. Therefore, inclusion of the Mexican case adds to the increase the breadth of cultural, demographic and geographical variation that the WP4 work will cover, contributing to the goal of bringing together a comprehensive view of how local contexts shape different understandings and perceptions of corruption.

Second, the field research in Mexico targets low-income, minority groups living in remote rural areas of the country. These groups, because they have been historically disempowered, and because their characteristics (rural, poor ethnic minorities) can make them especially hard to mobilize, are typically amongst the most vulnerable to corrupt practices. Therefore, developing a better understanding of the manner in which groups like these view their relationship with the institutions of the state and understand corruption is a necessary step to develop better approaches that can protect the most vulnerable from abuse of power.

Third, while the research in Mexico includes application of a shared research tool (the survey on institutional performance and social values) it also takes a unique perspective by placing the focus of the analysis on studying participatory initiatives to prevent corruption in the health sector. This angle will contribute to the overall WP4 effort by adding insights form the health sectors to the work in other sectors (e.g. education, business, electoral systems) that partners in WP4 are undertaking.

Ethnography of corruption: the case of Kosovo

This report includes the findings obtained through a survey, interviews with citizens, NGO and think-tank workers, representatives of public institutions, as well as observations at public workshops and roundtable discussions. In many ways it may reproduce the very techniques of knowledge productions it suggests must be viewed more critically. However, conducting and participating in similar survey projects is an important entry for an anthropologist. The limited ethnographic study conducted here has served to develop a background report, attached to this research report, which makes a particular argument: the need to account for activism and civil engagement against corruption and understand the terms based on which such mobilization occurs. For this purpose a desk review was conducted, one focus group was held with anti- corruption activists, and participant-observation was carried out in a citizens group that organized around claims of corruption in the public Kosovo Electric Company. As was noted in the ANTICORRP project document “a striking tendency of the literature on corruption has been the neglecting of anti-corruption movements”.  Our proposal is that we must take advantage of some very interesting and important ways in which public space and activist networks are linked together in Kosovo in protesting corruption. Current ethnographic research confirms that this approach will give us insight that is often lacking in other analyses, and give an important entry-point to discern for changes in social order and values, particularly definitions of morality and legality within the space of politics and economy.

Institutional performance and social values in Italy

The following report is based on data collected during ethnographic fieldwork, as a part of the ANTICORRP project, Work Package 4 – The Ethnography of Corruption. In particular, it deals with the results of a survey conducted in Italy on a small sample, divided in two groups: inhabitants of the cities of Monza (Northern Italy) and Lecce (Southern Italy). The results will be presented as a whole, although we are aware of the fact that neither of the two cities can be considered as representative of the very regionally diverse Italian reality. As a consequence of that, differences at a macroscopic level will be pointed out, in an attempt to take into account relevant issues that have arisen.

The aim of the survey is to collect information on how different areas of the public and private life are perceived by the respondents, and in particular: public institutions, local development, local customs, and values. The main focus of the questions is to investigate how people deal with the problem of corruption (if perceived at all), its effects, practices, social and cultural norms, as well as with the anti-corruption discourse, both at a local and national level. It is important to stress that the word “corruption” itself is not directly used in the survey, with one exception in section D, where it is used to address one of a series of hypothetical scenarios. Avoiding direct references to corruption as a phenomenon was a choice based on the awareness that corruption itself is hard to define and to frame, since it consists of multiple practices not always perceived as fraudulent or illegal, which are not necessarily fitting the social understanding of object corruption. Using a word that has such strong moral and social implications in the public discourse would have possibly influenced the results of the survey, and make the respondent feel at unease or bias their responses when dealing with such matters.

The survey target has been the ordinary residents in the above mentioned cities, in an attempt to give a bottom-up perspective of the relationship between the citizen and the institutions at multiple levels (from local to nations and supranational), as well as to underline how the citizens relate to such institutions in matter of social trust and ability to interact with them.

The survey is aimed at providing comparable data among the countries it has been conducted in, in the scope of the WP4 research. Therefore it serves a double purpose: attempting a comparison within two different areas in Italy, as well as providing information which could be used in a wider, comparative framework.

Comparative country reports on institutional performance Countries: Bosnia, Kosovo, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Tanzania, Turkey.

The report draws on ethnographic research undertaken in 8 countries object of investigation by the WP partners, namely: Italy, Hungary, Bosnia, Russia, Turkey, Kosovo, Tanzania and Mexico. In addition, an additional chapter (Annex 2) will render the case of Japan which will serve as a contrast case on which to assess ideas and practices of governance and institutional performance through an anthropological perspective. The report includes data gathered through a questionnaire survey undertaken, with minor differences, in all the eight countries included in WP4. The data analyzed comparatively refer to three main fields: perceived and experienced performance of local institutions, local problem and resolution ideas, socio- cultural norms and values. We have identified, following the anthropological literature, a number of cultural issues that are in relation with corruption, or with local citizens’ experiences of the functioning of public institutions in their countries. This first deliverable constitutes an attempt to draw some preliminary conclusions on the interaction between socio- cultural features and governance (both as experienced and perceived) which will be further and ethnographically explored in the final deliverable of this Working Package.

Institutional Performance and Social Values in Turkey

As part of agreed-upon research issues and methodologies developed within WP4, a survey has been conducted with a small sample in Ankara in 2012. It was meant as a supplement to the main ethnographic fieldwork. The current report is prepared to inform the reader about the data obtained and observations made through the survey.

The field research in its entirety aimed to gather data on the interactions between public institutions and citizens, definitions of corruption and its perception, types of corruption, effects of corruption, practices of anti-corruption, cultural and social norms in this field, national and local media, and local policies. In addition to the survey, participant observation and interviews have been main research methods in the ethnographic fieldwork. Interviews have been made with local government officers, politicians, entrepreneurs, anti-corruption activists, political civic organizations and citizens’ groups… Participant observation has been made possible through involvement in various relevant meetings, workshops, and conferences. It must be noted, however, that only the findings and observations gathered through the survey will be reported in the current report.

Again, this survey study has been carried out as a supplement to the briefly explained ethnographic fieldwork. With this survey, it has been aimed to reach the views and perspectives of ordinary citizens. The main reason of including local people in such a survey is to provide a bottom-up perspective by focusing on the social and cultural values and norms underlying state-citizen interactions, including corruption. In this way, survey has been used as an additional mean to main ethnographic work conducted within the framework of WP4. This survey has focused on social- cultural norms (such as common behavioral patterns), social values, and performances of institutions as forms of expressions of socio-cultural practices.