Govtech against corruption: What are the integrity dividends of government digitalization?

Paper by Carlos Santiso: “Does digitalization reduce corruption? What are the integrity benefits of government digitalization? While the correlation between digitalization and corruption is well established, there is less actionable evidence on the integrity dividends of specific digitalization reforms on different types of corruption and the policy channels through which they operate. These linkages are especially relevant in high corruption risk environments. This article unbundles the integrity dividends of digital reforms undertaken by governments around the world, accelerated by the pandemic. It analyzes the rise of data-driven integrity analytics as promising tools in the anticorruption space deployed by tech-savvy integrity actors. It also assesses the broader integrity benefits of the digitalization of government services and the automation of bureaucratic processes, which contribute to reducing bribe solicitation risks by front-office bureaucrats. It analyzes in particular the impact of digitalization on social transfers. It argues that government digitalization can be an implicit yet effective anticorruption strategy, with subtler yet deeper effects, but there needs to be greater synergies between digital reforms and anticorruption strategies….(More)”.