Nicaragua: Anti-corruption Struggle, 1998-2014

The Social Audit on the Perception of Corruption in Public Services, assumes the voice of communities as a central parameter of the evaluation, while citizens recognize that services meet their expectations or serve interests outside the responsibility of people in public service functions. Due to the systematicity of measurement throughout the period 1998-2014, this report makes it possible to evaluate trends and changes in indicators and provides evidence to discuss public policies and identify areas of intervention that improve the relationship between citizens and institutions.

The indicators of perception of corruption in the set of services have shown the following a continuous process of improvement in the period 1998-2014. Between 1998 and 2006, the perception
of corruption was mainly associated with making unauthorized payments; which, between 2009 and 2014, has been fundamentally associated with the degree of satisfaction with the
quality of services. In all cases, being satisfied with the care has reduced to half or more of the probabilities of perceiving corruption; if to this condition it is added that half of all households reporting that they have been affected by an act of corruption have indicated that they have been affected by corruption.
Mistreatment or denial of services as the main reason for affectation, one could say that citizenship not only suffers from deficiencies in care, but also from a lack of resources interpreted as corruption.

Similarly, the Social Audit has shown in its different measurement cycles the reduction of the perception of corruption based on the citizen’s appreciation that their opinion is taken into account by mayoralties; similar finding when the citizenship perceives that their opinion is heard by community leaders. In both cases, it is about of a citizenry assessing whether those who represent their interests effectively consult their needs and aspirations.

In summary, the evidence obtained over the period 1998-2014 identifies the perception of corruption as a condition that affects the link of the citizenry with the public institutions and show how this perception is favorably modified with the reduction of unauthorized payments, with improved quality of care, and with the inclusion of citizen opinion in the discussion of public policies. Dialogue around the evidence could strengthen efforts for Good Governance.