A Report on Two Anti-Corruption Projects: "Reducing Transaction Costs" in Brazil and "Strategies to Combat Corruption" in Ecuador

The two projects addressed in this evaluation focused on changing specific procedures, as well as promoting strategies to curb corruption. Both projects completed all proposed activities competently, with the exception of the Liberal Institutefs diagnosis of deregulation. Furthermore, these projects achieved most of their broader impact goals.

In Brazil, the Liberal Institute of Rio de Janeiro (ILRJ) has for over a decade produced in-depth diagnostic studies on key public policy issues. These studies recommend specific measures to reduce costs while enhancing competition and economic efficiency. The study recommendations are often promoted in seminars to enhance awareness among key stakeholders, as well as the public at large. For this project that highlighted reducing transaction costs, the ILRJ was to focus its studies and awarenessraising on three key areas: labor courts, procurement and deregulation.

ILRJ produced two in-depth diagnostic studies on labor courts and government procurement. A third study on deregulation was never thoroughly completed. The two completed studies, as well as the outline of the never completed deregulation study were used to orient two conferences in Brasilia (September 1996) attended by key congressional stakeholders and the press.

A summary of ILRJ project impact includes:

  • Two of the four labor court study recommendations regarding abolishing "classista"representatives and facilitating pre-trial negotiation have been adopted
  • More than half of the eleven procurement study recommendations have been adopted and other recommendations are being considered for adoption
  • While a thorough deregulation study was not completed, a preliminary study raised awareness on the dangers of a regulation regime increasing transaction costs

In Ecuador, the Association of National Entrepreneurs (ANDE), a membership organization representing several hundred business concerns, has since the early 1990 focused its efforts increasingly on advocating the strengthening of the young democratic institutions and modernizing the nation's outdated economic policies.

In keeping with these objectives, ANDE produced six diagnostic studies focusing on: administration of justice, government procurement, customs, privatization, social security, and transparency in financial management/budgeting. These six studies, each published in booklet form, were both polished and later presented to a broader audience at working luncheons attended by key stakeholders in each sector.

A summary of ANDE project impact includes:

  • Study recommendations have been integrated into the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan which President Mahaud presented publicly at the Carter Center in early 1999
  • ANDE is represented on newly established boards to oversee key reforms
  • The project solidified the working relationship among key NGOs
  • The studies and project outreach enhanced awareness among key stakeholders and the public at large about both strategies and specific measures to reduce corruption
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