Richard Messick of the World Bank discusses the state of the anti-corruption field worldwide. Messick points out the difficulty of measuring both the extent of national corruption and the impact of an anti-corruption agency. He then explains his own framework of evaluating the need for anti-corruption agencies, of building support for the agency, and for adapting an agency to specific national situation. In particular, having a respected leader to represent and structure the agency is important to its credibility and legitimacy. Additionally, Messick recommends that young agencies focus on projects that are easier to accomplish and galvanize widespread support of the agency.
Mr. Richard Messick was a Senior Public Sector Specialist in the Public Sector and Governance Group at the World Bank. In this role, he advises World Bank staff on a broad range of anti-corruption and governance issues. Prior to joining the World Bank, Dr. Messick was a senior consultant to Freedom House, A U.S. based organization that promoes human rights and freedom around the globe. He was also a senior fellow at Hernando de Soto’s Instituto Libertad y Democracia in Lima, Peru as well as an advisor to the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political, a non-government in Kyiv, Ukraine. In addition, he served as chief counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 99th Congress and was chief counsel and research director of the National Senatorial Committee. Mr. Messick has also published extensively; his writings and reviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the American Political Science Review, and other respected journals.