Location: Jack Morton Auditorium
There has been a renewed global attention on the issue of corruption and a growing consensus that corruption is undermining economic growth and stability in many countries. The IMF recently published a paper underscoring the substantial direct and indirect costs of corruption, leading to low growth and greater income inequality. Corruption also has a broader corrosive impact on society. It undermines trust in government and erodes the ethical standards of private citizens. Specifically, corruption can have a significant impact on youth, as it can negatively affect their employment opportunities and hamper their access to basic service, including education. The 2016 Youth Dialogue at the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings will provide a platform to share the views of youth on the impact of corruption on their lives and how to combat it.
Join the conversation via #IMFYouth
Roberto Ferdman, Correspondent for VICE News on HBO
Roberto Ferdman is a correspondent for VICE News on HBO, covering economics and the impact of local and national policies. Prior to joining VICE, Roberto wrote for The Washington Post, where he focused on food policy, food economics, and welfare reform. Roberto graduated from Brown University in 2010, and grew up in Puerto Rico.
Carla Grasso, Deputy Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer of the IMF
Carla Grasso, a dual national of Brazil and Italy, is Deputy Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer of the IMF. She oversees all the IMF’s administrative functions, coordinates the budget, HR, technology, general services, and internal audit, and oversees the IMF’s capacity building and training work. She worked for 14 years at Vale S.A., one of the world’s largest mining companies, as VP for Human Resources and Corporate Services.
Sean Hagan, General Counsel and Director of the Legal department, IMF
General Counsel and Director of the Legal Department at the IMF. Advises on legal aspects of the IMF operations, regulatory, advisory and lending functions. Published extensively on the law of the Fund and a broad range of legal issues relating to prevent and resolve financial crises, with emphasis on insolvency and restructuring of debt.
Emilia Díaz-Struck, Research Editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
Emilia is ICIJ’s research editor, taking part in cross-border investigations e.g. Panama Papers, Luxembourg Leaks. She has been a professor of journalism at the Central University of Venezuela, contributor for the Washington Post and several local newspapers. Co-founded Armando.info. Former investigative reporting coordinator at the Press and Society Institute of Venezuela.
Cissy Kagaba, Executive Director of the Anti- Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU)
Executive Director of the Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda. Worked with the Uganda Human Rights Commission and litigated rights violations, empowered communities to demand for transparency and accountability in the health, education and judiciary. Contributed to policy formulation: The Whistleblowers Protection, Anti-Corruption and the NGO Acts.
Sergejus Muravjovas, Executive Director of Transparency International Lithuania
Executive Director at TI Lithuania and founder of TransparencySchool.org. Council member of “Clear Wave” initiative for business transparency. An advisory board member of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Lithuania. Conducts consultancy tasks for the European Commission, teaches Corporate Governance and Anti-Corruption at the International School of Management in Vilnius.
Contributors: Irina Botu-Tallis and Deirdre Daly
Corruption has substantial direct and indirect costs, leading to low growth and greater income inequality. The panelists highlighted how corruption can have a significant impact on youth, negatively affecting their employment opportunities and hampering access to basic services, including education.
- Costs of corruption. Corruption can distort the way that government spends money, and systemic corruption undermines investment (Hagan). Corruption is not just limited to developing countries; developed countries also admit it impacts their economic performance (Muravjovas). Corruption leads to poverty and inequality by lowering spending on education and health, disproportionally affecting the poor who rely more on social services (Grasso).
- Impact on youth. It is important to explain why corruption—which can often be an abstract concept—impacts individuals, in particular the youth (Hagan, Kagaba). Corruption and practices such as nepotism undermine the incentives of young people to get a good education and therefore limits their access to jobs. (Hagan).
- Measures to combat corruption. Panelists agreed that governments can play a key role in reducing corruption, not only through legislation, but also through strong, independent institutions. A good example is Singapore, which had a successful anti-corruption strategy centered around the principles of: leadership; law enforcement; public conditioning and keeping money out of politics (Hagan). It is imperative to promote a culture of openness and transparency (Muravjovas). We need to create space for political discourse around corruption, considering both press freedom and how well informed the public is about corruption (Kagaba). We need to also eliminate loopholes that allow for corrupt activity within the legal system (Díaz‑Struck). Tools to uncover corruption include: investigative journalism, social media, whistleblower protection laws and democracy itself (Díaz‑Struck, Muravjovas). The Panama Papers scandal is one example of using these tools which had significant political repercussions in countries like Iceland and Malta (Díaz‑Struck).
- Role for youth. Grassroots organizations and governments should help youth become more engaged in fighting corruption (Muravjovas). Young people can become more engaged through education and setting a good example in their own lives (Kagaba). Traditional media and social media are also powerful tools to inform and engage young people (Hagan, Kagaba).
“The challenges that we face now are different from the past…An essential challenge is that we still fail a lot of times to communicate the importance of the cost that corruption actually entails.” Sergejus Muravjovas, Executive Director at Transparency International Lithuania
“The rule of law is central, but corruption is not going to be addressed by putting everyone in jail. It’s not just about punishment; it’s about building values and societal norms—and that’s a more complicated issue.” Sean Hagan, General Counsel and Director of the Legal Department at the IMF
“Leadership really makes a difference in my view. When you are changing norms, leadership is critical. You have to have good role models. You have to have people who lead by example.” Sean Hagan, General Counsel and Director of the Legal Department at the IMF
“The best and simple [place] where we have to start [to fight corruption] is the family. At the end of the day, we talk about youth being the next leaders, but we have to ask ourselves what kind of values are we incorporating as their parents and as their family?” Cissy Kagaba, Executive Director at the Anti‑Corruption Coalition Uganda
“We need to understand which role we play in society and then not get used to corruption. I think that is the key thing.” Emilia Díaz‑Struck, Research Editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists