Mobile phones and other technologies have transformed the nature and dynamics of informal social networks in Kyrgyzstan. Some scholars argue that new technology (electronisation, digitalisation) helps to prevent corruption and reduce the risk of bribery, informal social networks and bureaucracy. In their view, new technology has the potential to create transparent and efficient ways to access public services.

We are delighted to release our Annual Report 2019 – view it here.

The report highlights our achievements in the past year, but it also looks forward to the future. It is a chance to reflect on how corruption and governance are changing around the world and how we are adapting to new challenges. It is also a chance to thank, once again, our partners and donors for their unwavering support. 

Last week’s blog about corruption risks in natural disaster situations triggered some interesting feedback. Many observers are seeing the same as I am in the international response to the covid-19 pandemic – namely, that there are striking similarities with the response to earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters in the past.

“Unprecedented” comes up again and again in commentaries on covid-19. But as I listen to more of my colleagues’ and other experts’ reflections on corruption in relation to the pandemic, it strikes me that we’ve seen many of the same features and corruption risks before.

The enormity of the situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic invites – or rather forces – us to reflect on the nature and effectiveness of our systems of governance. And not just of health systems, but more broadly the governance of our very complex societies and their transnational flows.

I start with some definitions, as the term governance is itself broad and contested.