The index is useful, but after a couple of hours going through the book I thought to myself this should never have been a book, it should have been an online spreadsheet that could be sorted by country, issue area (agriculture, industry type, water), and timeframe. It complements what Transparency International does with its Corruption Perceptions Index, but on balance this is a very elementary start.
I found it most interesting that the earliest references to anti-corruption efforts were in India and Pakistan and then Indonesia, that this is primarily an English-language survey (e.g. not covering the extensive Chinese anti-corruption endeavors over quite a long time), and that the final two years are largely news hits that could be better explored with structured online searching.
The first conference on corruption and anti-corruption that is noted started in 1987. Today there are multiple conferences including those managed by Transparency International and those managed by law firms seeking to help clients comply with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other similar legislation.
What the book does not provide, and I for one would welcome a re-issuance–is any kind of analytic synthesis, region by region review, type by type review (e.g. corruption in the water cycle should be huge today and is not, yet) that also includes a “best practices” and “lessons learned” compendium of structured knowledge. I will be reviewing other books on anti-corruption (those that are priced fairly) and am creating a new section at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog, to focus exclusively on corruption and anti-corruption books and references and links.
Here is what we need: a global online database that leverages what UNICEF is doing with RapidSMS, that does two things:
2) Provides an online repository with a back office database for RapidSMS reporting from any cell phone on the planet to LOCAL web receiving sites that in turn compile the global to local database of corruption reports from citizens as witnessed, in text form, photo form, or video form.
The good news is that anti-corruption is here to stay, and the business world and governments are finally figuring out that a 20% surtax for corruption is bad for business, bad for the economy, and bad for citizens. In this the UN has done well, along with the US Agency for International Development and a number of organizations from Malaysia to many points in Africa including South Africa.