India among 13 nations that are corrupt and badly governed

     India is among thirteen countries that have been declared to have a high level of corruption and abysmal government performance. According to the report prepared by the Washington based Results for Development Institute (R4D), Guatemala, Paraguay, Ghana, Kenya, Peru, Argentina, Russia, Romania, Albania, Moldova, Poland, and Indonesia are the other countries that were listed for review and assessment on these two counts. Insofar as India was concerned, the report based its assessment on two districts in the state of Karnataka in India, which has a population of 53 million. It quoted the Indo-Dutch Project Management Society (IDPMS) as saying that it found that 24 percent of all positions were vacant at public health centers, including half of the pharmacy jobs. They also found that common drugs were not available in health clinics for six to eight months at a time, and doctors were not available for 37 percent of the time during clinic hours. In some cases, the investigators said in interviews, unqualified people were disbursing drugs because no pharmacist was available. The report, From the Ground Up, which was published by the Brookings Institution Press, documents a growing phenomenon of watchdog groups in developing countries examining key issues in government performance, seizing a role that has long been delegated to Western institutions and a cadre of outside consultants. Experts say the indigenous groups have the potential to do a better job than the outsiders-and cost far less. "What these organizations are showing is that there are people on the ground in these countries who know the context better, know the schools, know the health system, and with a little outside help, they can go in and make changes happen,'' said Courtney Tolmie, a co-author of the report. The report, released today at the London School of Economics, documents 19 case studies and related reform advocacy by groups from 2006 to 2008. The problem of mismanagement and corruption in young democracies has been a source of great concern among donors, governments, and obviously citizens in developing countries. Surveys have consistently shown that in many countries more than half the people have directly experienced instances of corruption-from local policemen demanding bribes to their family doctor asking for additional fees.

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