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Integrity for Good Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean

From Commitments to Action

image of Integrity for Good Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean

Increasing productivity, enhancing social inclusion and strengthening institutions are top priorities for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and constitute therefore the three pillars of the OECD LAC Regional Programme. Good public governance and a strong culture of integrity are indispensable to achieve these three objectives. The most recent corruption cases and the growing discontent of citizens are an opportunity for policy makers to promote a culture of integrity and implement national integrity and anti-corruption strategies.

This report builds on the recent Lima Commitment, which was dedicated to “Democratic Governance against Corruption” and signed by 34 countries at the Summit of the Americas held in Lima in 2018. It provides strategic guidance to policy makers to bring political commitments into concrete actions that deliver results at the height of the expectations of their citizens.

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Introduction

Increasing productivity, enhancing social inclusion and strengthening institutions are top priorities for countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Without strengthening public integrity, these goals will not be achieved (). Integrity is a condition for achieving efficient and effective public governance with accountability for results, as well as inclusive and transparent policy-making where the voices of the citizens are heard and taken into account. Integrity enables the development of competitive markets that boost innovation and growth to escape the middle-income trap. In turn, corrupt and unethical practices translate to a waste of scarce resources, lower productivity, lower quality of public goods and services, and policies that are reflecting vested interests instead of the public interest thereby exacerbating existing inequalities. Perhaps even more devastating is that a lack of public integrity, even if only perceived, undermines a government’s legitimacy and citizens’ trust in it and, in the worst case, even their trust in the system overall. This poses a threat to the social contract and good democratic governance. Indeed, integrity is the glue that holds societies together.

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