Corruption has permeated all life facets from simple things like access to medical care, schools and jobs, to the grand scale of it all like award of contracts and use of public resources. The effect has been great inequalities both in access of services from government offices as well as opportunities for investment. Misappropriation of public funds and biased awarding of tenders compromises on the quality service available to the members of the public.
Corruption affects key sectors like healthcare, education and infrastructure and other social benefits, and is a contributing factor to the persistence of poverty and other inequalities. Health, Education, Emergency services and Infrastructure must be non-profit in nature. While strides are being made by respective governments, the perceptions of corruption and level of trust to the government and the organs show the situation is still far from ideal.
The process of governing is most legitimate when it incorporates democratic principles such as transparency, pluralism, citizen involvement in decision-making, representation, and accountability. Civil society, the media, and the private sector, have roles and responsibilities in addition to those of the government.
The democratic local governance initiatives currently under way in many countries hold much promise for developing effective systems of public accountability that will ensure that government servants are responsible to elected officials, and that the latter are in turn responsible to the public that elected them in the first place. In the process these systems of accountability should increase the pressure for more transparent local governance, in which corruption will be easier to bring to light and thus to curtail.