In the work that the Partnership has been doing in Indonesia, it is regularly faced with the problem that Indonesia’s corruption is systemic, that the system is seemingly impenetrable, and that it does not seem easy to identify ways into thatsystem to try and subvert it. Many suggestions for anti-corruption strategies are suggested from other countries’ experience, or from anti-corruption theory, but they do not seem to be effective. It seems important to find some way to design anti-corruption strategies that are (a) based on the Indonesian reality, and (b) can find away to break through the seemingly impenetrable barrier of a closed system. To illustrate what I mean, let me take the example of corrupt civil servants who steal the assets of the State for their own personal income. The huge income siphoned off by civil servants from illegal logging can serve as a model for such an inverted system.
If such a person is identified, it is very likely that:
When faced with such a situation, what can an anti-corruption activist do? Our suggestion is there are ways through this barrier, but they must be based on
The technique generally known as “Objectives Oriented Project Planning” provides us with a way to do this. This is very much ”work in progress”: Many new points may be suggested by others, and all readers who are interested are asked to contribute. The following pages give examples of working through Problems, Objectives andPrograms for “common denominator” issues, and then important governance institutions.
Many programs suggested as ways of limiting corruption start with models of a clean society or clean institutions and try and work back from those – fitting them into an Indonesian (or other) context. In my opinion this is the wrong way to start. We need to start with the actual problems caused by corruption in Indonesia, look at the effects caused by these problems, look at what might take place given the context of Indonesia and finally try to work out programs that reflect both the problems and the future states that we would like to see.
Two things have helped me with such a process. The first is the series of exercises that have been supported by the Partnership over the last year which have identified the ways that corruption works in Indonesia. The second is the very valuable work of the ADB in its 2002 Indonesian Governance Assessment written by Staffan Synnerstrom and Owen Podger. The first has clarified the insidious and pervasive way in which corruption works and its many enthusiastic adherents. The second carefully analyses the structures that support corruption which are not always easy to understand.