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Measuring Fraud Costs in Administration – Impact of Investigative Case Studies in Africa

The paper I would like to introduce first is related to a survey conducted by the World Bank in Southern Africa in the 1990s. As someone who witnessed corruption in Asia, I was searching for similar incidents worldwide and came across this paper, which played a crucial role in shaping my subsequent endeavors.

Title: “Local Capture: Evidence from a Central Government Transfer Program in Uganda” (Ritva Reinikka and Jakob Svensson, 2004) Key Points of the Paper:

  • In the 1990s, 20% of Uganda’s government expenditure was allocated to improving primary education, but the enrollment rate remained a challenge.
  • A significant portion of government expenditure on primary education was the non-wage capitation grant to primary schools.
  • Using the Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETS) methodology, the World Bank project team conducted an extensive survey to determine how much of the planned funds actually reached each beneficiary school. The results revealed that, on average, only 13% of the allocated budget reached the schools. Most schools did not receive any funds, indicating embezzlement by central and local government officials through the assumed fund transfer (Local Capture).
  • Similar surveys conducted in neighboring countries later revealed comparable results (see Reinikka and Svensson, 2004a).
  • While embezzlement of public funds in developing countries had long been suspected, the PETS methodology provided the first quantitative evidence, highlighting the importance of governance in the execution of national administrative budgets and development aid on a global scale.
  • Following the report, the Ugandan government successfully implemented a newspaper campaign to raise awareness of the grant’s existence, monitoring whether officials in each household were appropriately utilizing the funds, leading to a significant improvement in enrollment rates (“Fighting Corruption to Improve Schooling: Evidence from a Newspaper Campaign in Uganda” by Ritva Reinikka and Jakob Svensson, 2004).

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