We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

If you are unable to listen to this audio, please update your browser or click here to download the file [18.1MB].

Corruption is neither black nor white but fifty shades of grey, explains Alina Rocha Menocal, in this audio interview. Any attempts to tackle it must take such nuances into account.
Rocha Menocal is a senior research fellow in the Developmental Leadership Program at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and co-author of Why corruption matters, a 2015 report published by the UK Department for International Development.

“If you are concerned about inequality, corruption is a big problem because however you look at it ... the main burden of corruption will fall on poor people.”

Alina Rocha Menocal


Here she lifts the lid on myths surrounding corruption — including the alarming development that, rather than stamping it out, the transition of many regimes from authoritarian to democratic government during the 1980s  entrenched new forms of graft.

In states where institutions of accountability are weak, the democratic process is often “where much of the business of corruption happens”, Rocha Menocal says. There’s a lot of money involved, “both legal and completely dirty”.
Another issue is that “corruption is not the sole domain of the developing world … [but] exists everywhere”.  According to Rocha Menocal, developed countries are often responsible for propping up corrupt practices in the global South. Meanwhile, mechanisms for measuring and analysing corruption vary across different contexts, making it difficult to compare across countries, continents or regions. Breaking down what people mean when they use the word “corruption” and putting in place robust mechanisms for measuring and analysing it will be a vital first step towards its eradication, she says. The interview was recorded at Corruption and Development, an event at University College London, United Kingdom, on 29 June.


Why corruption matters: understanding causes, effects and how to address them (Department for International Development, January 2015)

Related topics