Corruption is a massive global challenge, with the annual cost of bribery alone estimated at over $1.5 trillion. The social and economic consequences are even greater.
Corruption inhibits sustainable development and disproportionately harms vulnerable communities. It erodes public confidence and diverts public resources away from important services such as health, education, and infrastructure. One study estimates that if the wealth of the 94 (as of 2013) natural resource-dependent nations were used to pursue anti-poverty goals rather than corrupt or rent-seeking profits, more than half a billion people would be lifted out of extreme poverty by 2030.
Extractive industries like oil, gas, and mining are particularly prone to the corruption risks that undermine good governance. Given the complexity of these governance challenges, can natural resource corruption be reduced, or even eliminated?