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Covid-19 in the Pacific: Not so bad

Getting ahead of the curve

| Transparency International

BERLIN - The future is always uncertain, but rarely in our lifetimes has it felt more so.

As many countries begin to cautiously relax limits on public life put in place to control the spread of the coronavirus, thoughts turn to what kind of world those emerging from lockdown are stepping into, and what comes next.

The crisis is of course by no means over. There will be intense political, economic and social changes in the coming months and years.

Transparency International’s new report, Getting Ahead of the Curve, aims to help prepare for these.

It looks at likely changes in ten key areas of social, political and economic life – from state capacity to the role of big tech companies in our societies – and their implications for anti-corruption, governance and development.

There are reasons to be optimistic. Citizens and activists are increasingly able to use online tools to participate in public life and to organise.

Digital technologies may facilitate meaningful public action and engagement to a greater extent than before.

Yet there is also cause for alarm.

Many governments have quickly resorted to extreme measures, including increased surveillance, restrictions of the freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, and the closing of space for civil society, the media and whistleblowers.

Where authoritarianism was on the rise before the crisis, checks and balances on political power are likely to deteriorate even further.

This will fuel, and be fuelled by, corruption.

Our report shows that many of the key trends of the pre-pandemic era are simply accelerating as a result of the health and economic crises.

“The only constant in life is change,” a wise man once said.

Yet if we want a less corrupt and more equitable world after the Covid-19 pandemic, we must plan and prepare for it. Quite literally, there is no time like the present.


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