Aid workers and others with experience from disasters, are well aware of the severe impact corruption has on disaster management. The problem with corruption is of course that it is opaque; and often occurs in countries where transparency is low and press freedom repressed. Hence, it can continue undisturbed. Journalists or others who want to investigate cases of severe corruption also risk putting themselves in danger.
In academic literature the influence of corruption on disaster management is mentioned; but mostly in a generic way without elaborating on the matter. When I browsed through the index lists of my books on disaster management, the word corruption occurred in only one of them. Articles that do exist are often shared among academics or networks of professionals. In other words, within closed communities talking to themselves.
Therefore, aiming to reach a wider audience; and in a series of articles I will highlight what is more widely known about disasters and corruption, what is less known, and my own take on the matter.
Let´s start with what we know. [Read more…]