Publication - Working Paper
Corruption affects the building of public infrastructure across Peru’s districts. According to news sources, funds that were earmarked for a bridge connecting Quiñota and Colquemarca were misallocated. In the municipality of Zaña, which is located in the northern highlands, the materials to build a sanitation plant were purchased at inflated prices. In Chucuito, a £300,000 laboratory was abandoned long before its completion—and, at the start of 2015, the country’s Office of the Comptroller General found another 339 projects in a similar state. These stalled projects represent a significant financial loss and risk undermining progress in key areas, such as education, transportation, and sanitation. Thus, in light of these risks and building on previous research, I am executing a randomised control trial (RCT) on anti-corruption monitoring.
The study builds on four core assumptions:
With these concerns in mind, I plan to test the extent to which an anti-corruption NGO, if armed with relevant information and supported by authorities with sanctioning capacity, can serve as the public’s delegate of accountability—or, viewed from a different angle, as an anti-corruption agency’s partner in accountability promotion.
Based on the RCT’s design, half of the urban and peri-urban governments in the sample will receive a targeted letter from the collaborating NGO warning that the progress of a set of public works under their charge will be closely monitored. These governments will also receive a letter from the Office of the Comptroller General noting that the anti-corruption agency is aware of the NGOs monitoring efforts. The other half of urban and peri-urban governments in the sample will serve as control.
Letters are expected to have a disciplinary effect on bureaucrats’ behaviour. If this expectation is met, then the RCT will result in the following outcomes: